Natural Wonders: Exploring Central Florida's Springs and States Parks

Natural Wonders: Exploring Central Florida's Springs and States Parks

May 23, 2024
Summer is almost here, and while the major theme parks around Disney and Universal offer plenty of excitement, Central Florida boasts a wealth of natural attractions that are perfect for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors. From crystal-clear springs to scenic state parks, there's no shortage of adventures awaiting you. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best springs and natural parks in Central Florida, highlighting what makes each one unique and why they’re worth a visit.

Rock Springs at Kelly Park

Image by Get Up and Go Kayaking
  • Tubing: Rock Springs is famous for its tubing opportunities. The gentle, free-flowing spring run allows visitors to float down its cool, clear waters, making it an ideal activity for families and friends.
  • Swimming and Snorkeling: The spring maintains a refreshing 68 degrees year-round, perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Picnic and Trails: Enjoy a picnic in the shaded areas or explore the hiking trails that wind through lush landscapes.
Why Visit: Rock Springs offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re tubing down the lazy river or enjoying a family picnic, this spot provides a refreshing escape from the summer heat.
400 E Kelly Park Rd. Apopka, FL  32712
Approx 45 minutes from the Disney area


Wekiwa Springs State Park

Image by Kara Akers
  • Swimming and Kayaking: The clear, blue waters of Wekiwa Springs are perfect for a swim or a paddle. Kayaking and canoeing down the Wekiva River offers a unique perspective on the local wildlife and scenery.
  • Hiking and Wildlife Viewing: The park features over 25 miles of trails, providing ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and observing wildlife like deer, turkeys, and a variety of bird species.
  • Camping: For those looking to extend their stay, the park offers camping facilities, including tent and RV sites.

Why Visit: Wekiwa Springs State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities set in a serene and picturesque environment. It’s a great spot for a day trip or an extended nature retreat.

1800 Wekiwa Cir Apopka, FL 32712
Approx 45 minutes from the Disney area


Lake Louisa State Park

Image by Florida State Parks
  • Lakes and Fishing: With six lakes within the park, visitors can enjoy fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. Lake Louisa, the largest, is great for swimming and paddling.
  • Hiking and Equestrian Trails: The park offers 20 miles of hiking trails and dedicated equestrian trails, allowing visitors to explore its diverse ecosystems on foot or horseback.
  • Camping and Cabins: The park provides a range of accommodation options, including campgrounds and fully-equipped cabins with stunning lake views.
Why Visit: Lake Louisa State Park is a gem for nature lovers. Its varied landscapes, from lakes and streams to rolling hills, provide a perfect backdrop for a multitude of outdoor activities.
7305 U.S. Highway 27 Clermont, FL 34714
Approx 30 minutes from the Disney area


Silver Springs State Park

Image by Florida State Parks
  • Glass-Bottom Boat Tours: Silver Springs is renowned for its glass-bottom boat tours, offering a unique view of the underwater world and the park’s famous crystal-clear springs.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing: Paddle through the serene waters of the Silver River, where you might spot manatees, alligators, and a variety of fish and birds.
  • Historical Significance: The park is rich in history, with exhibits and tours that highlight its past as one of Florida’s oldest tourist attractions.
Why Visit: Silver Springs State Park combines natural beauty with fascinating history. The glass-bottom boat tours alone make it a must-visit, providing a one-of-a-kind experience for all ages.
5656 E Silver Springs Blvd Silver Springs, FL  34488
Approx 90 minutes from the Disney area


Blue Spring State Park

Image by Monica Wagner
  • Manatee Viewing: During the winter months, Blue Spring becomes a sanctuary for manatees. While summer may not see as many, the spring remains a beautiful spot for observing these gentle giants when they are present.
  • Swimming and Snorkeling: The spring’s clear, cool waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The constant 72-degree temperature is particularly refreshing on a hot summer day.
  • Boat Tours and Kayaking: Explore the St. Johns River via boat tours or kayak rentals, offering a peaceful way to see the park’s abundant wildlife and scenic beauty.

Why Visit: Blue Spring State Park is a top destination for wildlife enthusiasts and those looking to cool off in pristine spring waters. Its combination of natural beauty and diverse recreational opportunities makes it a standout location.

2100 W French Ave Orange City, FL  32763
Approx 70 minutes from the Disney area
Central Florida's springs and natural parks offer a refreshing alternative to the hustle and bustle of theme parks. From the adventurous tubing at Rock Springs to the serene kayaking at Silver Springs State Park, these destinations provide endless opportunities for outdoor fun and relaxation. This summer, make sure to explore these natural treasures and create unforgettable memories with your family and friends. Happy exploring!


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