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One of the last remaining near-pristine riverine systems in Central Florida, the Wekiwa River and Rock Springs Run are an ideal escape from Florida’s summertime heat. Pack your sunnies and sunscreen and head to one of the Sunshine State’s most beautiful natural wonders, where its crystal clear spring waters, lush green surroundings, and undisturbed nature will take your stress away.
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Located just minutes from downtown Orlando, get away from the long lines of tourists at the theme parks and explore some of Florida’s natural beauty, all under the shaded canopy of leafy trees. Designated an “Oustanding Florida Water,” this is the perfect spot to hop in a canoe and explore the stunning natural surroundings as the Timucua Indians once did on their hollowed out tree trunks as they went fishing and hunting for deer.
Visitors who want to start their journey at Kelly Park will find a nice place to swim, with a one-mile run leading out of the spring that is a hot spot for tubing. Further down the run is King’s Landing, home to the catchy motto “Where Everyone Deserves a Good Paddling.”
The most popular launching point for canoes, the 8-mile long King’s Landing is where you can rent a canoe and enjoy the beauty of the river while traveling downstream at a steady rate of 3-4 miles per hour down Rock Springs Run. Immerse yourself in the idyllic surroundings, where the gentle current allows you to unwind and relax under the Florida sunshine as you paddle your way through this outdoor attraction.
Animal lovers will delight in the array of wildlife you can spot here, from the wood storks nestled in the towering cypress trees to the little blue herons and tri-colored herons seen foraging along the banks of the Wekiwa and Rock Springs Run. The wildlife spotting here really is diverse, where visitors have spotted otters, bears, deer, and even monkeys! There are various places to stop for a swim or have a picnic, with the trip ending at the King’s Landing take out point or Wekiwa Springs.
Nearby, Wekiwa Springs State Park offers 13 miles of trails and 7,000 acres of scenery, where you’ll find plenty of outdoor recreation, from hiking and biking to horseback riding through the scenic trails. Those looking for an overnight adventure can spend an evening stargazing at the park’s full facility campground and primitive camping areas.
Just one hour from most Central Florida attractions, the natural wonders in this area are a must-see destination for outdoor enthusiasts. A perfect day trip for those looking to beat the heat, visit this natural setting to enjoy an afternoon of swimming, canoeing and picnicking.