9 Remarkable Ways to Enjoy The Wekiva River Preserve

Central Florida in its purest form along four miles of the Wekiva River and Blackwater Creek.
8 am to Sunset
$3 per Vehicle
8300 W State Rd 46, Sanford, FL 32771
407 884 2009

Native Americans have valued the richness of wildlife in this area, for thousands of years. It contains a system of blackwater streams and wetlands that are a perfect habitat for river otters, alligators, wood storks, black bears, and sandhill cranes. Visitors can walk along the Sand Hill Nature Trail for an nice tour of the native Florida plants and wildlife at the park. Visitors can canoe through the park on the Wekiva River. Equestrian camping is available in certain areas of the park and can be reserved by calling Wekiwa Springs State Park. Horse stalls and corrals are also available for equestrian campers.

There are three point of entry into the Lower Wekiwa River Preserve State Park:  there is one at the hiking trails at the south entrance, at 8300 W. State Road 46, Sanford, Florida 32771, also you can enter the Wekiva River at Katie’s Landing located at 262 Wekiva Park Drive, Sanford, FL 32771, and also by horseback riding and hiking on the Fechtel Tract is located at 38015 Fechtel Road, Eustis, FL 32726.

 

Experiences

Bicycling

If you are a Cyclists you can find all levels of enjoyable, challenging rides in the Preserve. Bicycling is welcomed on the Nature Trail and you can enter at the Southern entrance of the preserve (about 2.5 miles trails). The 18 miles of trails located at the North entrance of the preserve are trails for bicyclists and more. Since the trails are multi-use, don’t be surprised if you meet an occasional hiker, equestrian rider, or park vehicle. Kindly stay on trails, respect the park and wildlife, and ride responsibly. The park closes at dusk and visitors must exit the park at that time.

 A few items to keep in mind:

·     Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and the      Florida law requires helmets for cyclists of age 16 and younger.

·     Always bring water, a compass and a map or GPS.

·     Note that the trails are located in a wilderness areas.

 

Camping Equestrian

Enjoy primitive camping at Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park. Equestrian camping is also available in the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park entrance which is located off of State Road 44.

 Bring your recreational vehicles and park the trailers, but be aware that parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis. This also applies to the horse stalls and corrals. The park has posts for tethering but temporary fencing of any kind is not allowed. There is non-potable water available for the horses as well as troughs located throughout the park. The equestrian area also has a restroom and shower facility available for the visitors as well.

•  Please note that proof of negative Coggins must be carried at all times. 

•  You must always be accompanied by one member of the camping party that is 18 years of age of older. Pack all food, firewood, water, and pack out all trash. Restrooms with showers are available. Visitors are permitted to have campfires only in the ground grills provided.

 •  Visitors must pitch their tents in the designated camping areas. Collection of fire wood is not allowed must be brought with you. 

•   Pets are allowed as long as you abide by the Pet Policy rules.

•  Reservations can be made no more than 60 days in advance, and are required. Make reservations by calling Wekiwa Springs State Park at 407-884-2009. We can also find additional fee information and reservation limitations as well.

 •   Visitors can make reservations by phone and can be held with a Visa, Master Card, Discover, or American Express, or we accept pay by check. If pay by check, it must be received no later than 10 days from the date the reservations are made.

Canoe Kayak Launch

Visitors can launch Canoes and kayaks at Katie’s Landing. Katies landing is located on Wekiva Park Drive off of SR 46 in Sorrento.  This launch area is the only place to launch in the preserve. This launch area places you on the Wekiva River – a national designated Wild & Scenic River. Rent a Kayak, or visit our Canoe Rentals.

 We have provided distances between landmarks to help plan your excursion. GPS coordinates of these points can be obtained in the Paddle Wekiva Brochure. If you are looking to approximate your pace in a canoe, travel forums suggest that a canoe with 2 people and 25 lbs. of equipment can average 3 mph on calm water.  Traveling due north with the current is typically faster than traveling due south against the current.  Kayaks typically travel slightly faster.

 Distances Between Points of Interest

•  Katie’s Landing north to Blackwater Creek (Wekiva River) – 4 mile

•  Katie’s Landing north to Highbanks Boat Ramp (Wekiva River) – 7.6 miles

•  Katie’s Landing south to Wilson’s Landing Park (Wekiva River) – 1.5 miles

•  Katie’s Landing south to Buffalo Tram (Wekiva River) – 6.5 miles

•  Katie’s Landing south to Wekiva Island (Wekiva River) – 9.0 miles

•  Katie’s Landing to Wekiwa Springs (Wekiva River) – 10 miles

•  Katie’s Landing to King’s Landing/Kelly Park (Rock Springs Run) – 17.5 miles

Paddling

Wekiva River is a great way to traverse the Park.  Canoe and kayak launching is available as mentioned earlier, and you can rent Canoes and Kayaks on our Water Rentals page.

 Geo-Seeking

Geo caching is another great way to explore the park. We have had experienced Geocachers hide caches containing trinkets, treasures, and/or information in multiple places around the park.  Please check the Geocaching website for current, up-to-date information and clues to locate these caches. 

•  Operation Recreation GeoTour 

 Hiking 

Enjoy a self-guided 50-minute walk (approximately 2.5 miles) on the Sand Hill Nature Trail. It can be accessed thru the Southern Entrance of the Lower Wekiva River Preserve off of State Road 46.

 •  The Florida National Scenic Trail runs through Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park and is kept up and maintained by Florida Trail Association volunteers.

•  There are 18 miles of hiking and multi-use trails accessible at the North entrance of the Preserve off S.R. 44. Since these trails are multi-use and used primarily as an equestrian trail, don’t be surpassed to see the occasional bicyclist, park vehicle, or horseback rider.

•  Please follow the rules and stay on the designated trails, hike carefully, and responsibly, and respect the park’s visitors and wildlife. The park closes at dusk and exit the park at that time.

Wildlife Viewing

The Florida black bear, American alligator, river otter, indigo snake, and sandhill crane plus a variety of more common native species may be observed while enjoying the park via horse-back riding, hiking, bicycling, kayaking, or canoeing through the Preserve.

Amenities

Pets

Visitors are welcome to bring pets on the trails, however pets are not permitted in any of the  primitive camping areas (as an exception horses are allowed in the horse camping area). Pets must be kept on a maximum six-foot handheld leash and accompanied by its owner at all times. Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of its pets droppings and place in the trash receptacles throughout the park. All pets must be vaccinated for rabies according to Florida law. Pets that are threatening, noisy, or dangerous will be asked to leave the park. Some animals may be prohibited on park property, check with the office for more information.  Contact the Wekiwa Springs State Park  for questions at 407-884-2009.

Restroom Facilities

Restrooms areas are provided near the horse stalls at the Fechtel area of the Preserve and also at Katie’s Landing. Both facilities are ADA accessible. ADA-accessible parking is also available next to the buildings. No other facilities exist at the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park.

Horse Equestrian Trail

The 18 miles of horse trails are accessible through the North entrance of the Preserve off of State Road 44.

•  Horses and riders must stay on the designated equestrian trails and carry proof of Negative Coggins.

•  The park closes at dusk and unless you are camping you shall exit the park at that time.

 

If you are looking for Things to do in Orlando beside theme parks and tourist attractions, come check out Orlando natural lakes, and preserves for a truly memorable day.