A draw for locals and travelers since its discovery in the 1860s, Wekiwa Springs became the first tourist attraction in Central Florida. Today, the park welcomes several hundred thousand visitors each year. Wekiwa Springs State Park is a treasure trove of fun for a great day out and one of our favorite outdoor activities in Orlando – especially for adults. Before your day of fun, read our tips for the perfect outing.

Updated March 2024 by Meghan Roth

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Pack a picnic and a sense of adventure for a fun-filled day of swimming, hiking, canoeing, and more. In the cooler months, plan an overnight camping trip for exclusive access to the trails and activities, only 20 minutes from Downtown Orlando.

Things to Do at Wekiwa Springs State Park

  • Springs and Swimming
  • Canoeing and Kayaking
  • Hiking and Nature Trails
  • Camping and Picnicking

Springs and Swimming

With year-round 72 degree waters, the crystal clear spring head pool is an invitation to anyone suffering the extreme heat of Florida’s summers. Bring a snorkel mask or a personal-sized tube or floatation device for added fun while enjoying a swim in nature’s swimming pool. 

Wekiwa Springs State Park is extremely popular in the summer and will reach capacity early in the morning, especially on weekends. Try to visit on a weekday or in the off-season like Fall or early Spring. 

Note that due to shallow waters in the pool, diving or jumping in is prohibited for safety. Swimming is only allowed in the designated springs pool area.

Swimming Area at Wekiwa Springs State Park - image by Maria DiCicco
Swimming Area at Wekiwa Springs State Park – image by Maria DiCicco

Canoeing and Kayaking

For an easy and enjoyable paddle, travel the one mile (each way) from Wekiwa Springs to Wekiva Island, where you can cool off at their full-service bar, soak in some sun on their sand “beach”, or grab a bite at their onsite food truck before paddling back. 

Kayaks and canoes can be rented at the park concession, or visitors can launch their own from any launch site along the Wekiva River or Rock Springs Run. For a longer paddle, consult the Wekiwa Springs website for options on the many river routes available.

Explore more kayak rentals in Orlando.

Camping and Picnicking

Wekiwa Springs State Park offers camping facilities for both tents and RVs. The campground has a total of 60 campsites equipped with picnic tables, grills, and fire rings. Due to the park’s proximity to civilization, you don’t need to go far to pick up any necessary supplies at the local grocery stores. 

RV Campsite Wekiwa Springs State Park - image by Maria DiCicco
RV Campsite Wekiwa Springs State Park – image by Maria DiCicco

Dining out is also easy and convenient, with all the Longwood restaurants at your fingertips. Weekend camping trips can be spent at the campsite virtually in Orlando’s backyard, without spending much time in the car to get there.

Ideally, the closest nature-filled retreat for camping in Central Florida, Wekiwa Springs campground is typically sold out, so reserve campsites online in advance.  

For the especially adventurous, there are even two primitive sites that can only be accessed by canoe or kayak.

Wekiwa Springs State Park Canoe Launch
Wekiwa Springs State Park Canoe Launch – image by Maria DiCicco

Additionally, the park provides picnic areas with tables and grills for day-use visitors. Large groups can reserve pavilions for cookouts or bring your picnic basket and set up on the hill overlooking the springs pool for a simpler outing.

If you forgot to pack some snacks, don’t worry – the park concession stand has you covered. From sunscreen to hot dogs, the popular stand has plenty of options. There is even a deck with tables, chairs, and umbrellas to enjoy a cold beverage, including canned adult beverages. However, the adult beverages can only be consumed in the concessions area and not brought further into the park. 

Hiking and Nature Trails

With four primary trails for hiking, bicycling, or even horseback riding, Wekiwa Springs State Park has 25 miles of trails from lengths less than a mile to nearly 14 miles long, perfect for any level of hiking or mountain biking expertise.

For a respite from the crowds of the springs pool, try a hike to Sand Lake for a peaceful picnic, easily accessible from the main hiking trails. Fishing is also allowed at Sand Lake, as well as on the Wekiwa River. Adhere to fishing regulations and licensing rules.

Florida Wildlife at Wekiwa Springs State Park - image by Maria DiCicco
Florida Wildlife at Wekiwa Springs State Park – image by Maria DiCicco

Note that bears are prevalent in the park, so be bear aware. Signs posted around the park entrance share details about how to react to a bear. Always provide the bear an exit route and stay still, making yourself look as large as possible.

Bears aren’t all you may find in this suburban forest, though. It is common to come across deer, turtles, turkeys, and many species of birds as well. A large number of birds inhabit the sandhills, scrub, hardwood hammocks, and waterways of Wekiwa Springs State Park, which is part of the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail.

For an added thrill, try your hand at geocaching – a niche treasure hunt of sorts, using a GPS to find hidden trinkets along trails. For more information on geo-seeking, read up on the Florida State Park website in advance of your trip.

Pick up a park map at the ranger booth for more trail information upon arrival, or learn more in advance here.

Expert Tips

Go early. Once the park reaches capacity in peak season, the park may temporarily close. If the nearly mile-long turning lane into the park is any indication, realize that car lines can be very long to get in, so plan ahead!

Scope out the best spot for your day by finding a shade tree along the pool’s edge, or along the sides of the sloping hill leading to the pool. 

Don’t forget to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks and picnic foods
  • A snorkel and mask
  • Flotation device or tube (single occupant size only)
  • Towel
  • Bug spray

Note that consumption of alcohol is not permitted.

Pets are allowed at Wekiwa Springs State Park. All pets must be on a hand-held, 6-foot leash at all times. Pets may not be left unattended.

River Launch Wekiwa Springs State Park - image by Maria DiCicco
River Launch Wekiwa Springs State Park – image by Maria DiCicco

Plan Your Visit

Wekiwa Springs State Park

1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka FL 32712



Open Daily 8am until sundown


$6 per vehicle, unless camping (entry fee is included in the camping fee)