a floridays journey

a floridays journey

Trip 16 – Wekiwa Springs State Park

Dates:Dec 22 – 26, 2023
AmenitiesWater, Electric, Sewer
What we learned:Taking 2 vehicles has good sides and bad sides
Would we go back:yes
WebsiteWekiwa Springs State Park

This is the 2nd Christmas in a row we have camped. It was not as cold as last Christmas but it was cool and a bit rainy. We will have three days to enjoy, relax and explore. We again took the Jeep with the kayaks as we knew the excursions we wanted to do would not be good in Floridays. The drive to Apopka was not bad until we hit I-4. Wekiwa Springs was the first tourist attraction in the state, dating back to 1890’s. The park is only 16 miles from downtown Orlando but you feel miles away from all the hustle and bustle of the city and surrounding areas.

Our plan for this trip was to kayak the Wekiva river from Kings Landing to Wekiva Island. This is a 8.5 mile paddle down river and Kings Landing has a shuttle service. This took us all day and was amazing. You are out in the middle of nowhere between 2 parks. You do not hear people or see buildings until you get down the river near Wekiwa Springs State Park and Wekiva Island.

The two other days we drove the Apopka Wildlife Drive. We had done this drive not too long ago and loved it. As winter has arrived more and more birds are making their way to Florida and our natural areas. We thought about paddling the spring again in the state park but our arms were sore and the launch is down a steep hill and we were too lazy to carry your kayaks down and then up the hill. Yes there are hills in Florida.

Wildlife sightings: American Alligator, Osprey, Great Blue Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, Great Egret, Black Crowned Night Heron, Black-bellied Whistling duck, Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, American Kestrel, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Wild Turkey, Common Moorhen, Purple Gallinule, American Coot, Limpkin, Belted Kingfisher, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, American Robin, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Boat-tailed Grackle, Gopher Tortoise, Red-bellied Turtle, Manatee

I started taking more video this trip. I am using a mirrorless camera and when I have it in my hand I think pictures and not video but the new Nikon Z8 is a really good hybrid camera so I am going to try to take more video.

The highlight of the first trip to Apopka Wildlife Drive was watching an alligator swim among the ducks and then cross the road.

The highlight of the 2nd day at Apopka Wildlife drive was all the bird life.

Note: All photos and videos unless otherwise stated are property of Wayne and Margaret Shoemake. If you would like to use any of them please click the contact page and email us.