31799 SR 433, Apopka 32712
Admission: $2 per vehicle (up to 8 people); $1 for walk-ins and bicyclists
Hours: Daily 8:00 a.m. to sunset
Location: From I-4 Exit 101C, take SR 46 West about 7 miles; turn left onto route 433
This sprawling park is bounded by Rock Springs Run and the Wekiva River, which might suggest that water activities abound. Not so. There is no water access and a sign at the gate directs you to nearby resorts and parks if that’s what you have in mind.
What the Reserve has to offer, in abundance, is solitude and well-maintained hiking trails that meander through 8,750 acres of the kind of terrain that’s referred to as “Florida’s Desert.” Depending on how far you trek, you’ll see sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, bayheads, hammocks, and a few swamps. Depending on how lucky you are, you may glimpse a black bear. If you do, report the sighting by calling (407) 884-2008.
There is one “primitive” camping site in the Reserve for those hardy enough to backpack to the far side of the park. Or you can ride your horse there. The camping fee is $4 per person (adult or child) and $5 per horse. If riding is your cup of tea, the Rock Springs Run Riding Stables has horses for hire. (See Chapter 12: Do It!)
Nearby: Kelly Park, King’s Landing Canoe Rental, Wekiva Falls Resort, Wekiwa Springs State Park.
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