Updated: Aug 25
When thinking of Florida, many people only think of the manmade attractions but there is so much more to discover. We really love all the nature that surrounds us, not only the stunning silver sand beaches but the nature parks that you can happily lose yourself in. Our absolute favorites are the natural springs, they offer a kind of tranquility you want to absorb, and they really do wash away any negative energy. Here we take you on a journey to Kelly Parks Rock Springs Run.
If dipping into the crystal-clear waters of a natural spring, surrounded by a lush subtropical forest is your idea of paradise, then don’t hesitate to put Kelly Park, Rock Springs Run, in Florida’s Orange County on your 2021 bucket list! This 248-acre park really is beautiful, only 17 miles northwest of Orlando, you can enjoy its trails and picnic areas, as well as the spring, for only $3-5 per carload.
Part way down, the stream opens up and you are greeted with a picturesque lagoon for swimming, surrounded by picnic area’s and space for sunbathing. It was wonderfully idyllic when we were there, we recommend going off season, as the park does get extremely busy during the peak summer months, it opens at 8AM and usually fills up by 9AM.
After floating your way down the stream for about a mile, you reach a bridge divider this ends the tubing section of the stream, there are more easy exit points here, that bring you to a boardwalk and then a paved pathway, this leads you all the way back to the start, if you want to float again.
On the other side of the bridge divider, where the Rock Springs Run deepens, you can kayak or canoe down a further 8.5 miles, this part of the stream merges into Wekiwa Springs Run.
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If you prefer to walk you can enjoy the trails there, taking in the extensive sub-tropical forest, do be aware that there are many wild animals roaming, including bears. While we were walking a trail, we spotted a black snake and a Gopher Tortoise, part way through our walk we heard the sound of something large lolloping nearby, so we made a quick about-turn, not wanting any confrontation with a bear, possibly it was just a deer but we didn’t want to take any chances.
After the excitement of a hurried walk back, we sat down near the central lagoon, sipping our drinks and taking in the view of tubers floating by. You can bring your own picnic, or use the grills provided, park amenities include concessions and restrooms. You can’t bring pets, alcohol or firearms into the park and there is no fishing allowed.
This park makes a perfect, inexpensive, day out, that the whole family can enjoy, plenty of opportunities for great photography and a real taste of natural Florida. We highly recommend you grab a tube and head down a real lazy river, let the water relax you and revive your tired soul.
Kelly Park, Rock Springs Run is situated at 400 East Kelly Park Road, Apopka, Florida (407) 889-4179
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