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Re: [ft-l] Going to Wekiwa Springs State Park

FYI:  Here's a map of Wekiwa Springs State Park.

D_Blick wrote:
I'm going to assume that you really are talking about Wekiwa Springs State
Park which is on the north side of Orlando and not anywhere near St. Cloud.
Parking for overnight back-country camping is in the Sand Lake Parking Lot.
It's inside the park and patrolled so you should have any problems parking
there. Just ask the ranger at the entrance station. I think it is $3 for
overnight parking.  Also, if you are going to be staying at either of the
two trail backcountry sites, Live Oak and Cozy Camp, you can't make
reservations.  So you will have to stop at the ranger station and sign up
for the campsite Saturday morning.  Those two sites are first come-first
get.  However, there are three canoeing campsites close to Cozy Camp that
you can reserve ahead of time.  Last time I was there (December) we stayed
at Big Buck camp - just a short distance east on the FT from Cozy Camp.

The spring/swimming area is on a side trail to the south and east of the
Sand Lake parking lot. (You will pass the road to the spring as you drive
down to Sand Lake.)  It is a fairly large swimming area with sandy bottom,
mostly enclosed by concrete.  Nice picnic area surrounding the spring.
Snorkeling is ok, but spring really isn't deep enough for scuba diving.
Can't remember if they allow diving or not, don't think I've ever seen
divers there, but I could be wrong.

Live Oak campsite is on the west side of the park.  There is no water at the
site and normally no water to be found in the area.  The other campsites -
Cozy Camp and the 3 canoe sites are close to the Wekiva River on the north
side of the park.  Cozy Camp and Big Buck have spigots, water untested, or
get water from the river.  You'll need to treat the water in some way.  The
mosquitoes are pretty bad at all the river camps, unless you have a cool
weekend or a good breeze blowing.

The trail through Wekiwa is a really nice one, except the section that runs
along the river.  It's very rooty and has not been maintained recently.
It's not that bad, but take it easy through there because it would be really
easy to sprain an ankle or knee with a misstep.

The hiking trail makes a large oval in the park, but it is crossed by
several other trials, so you can hike the entire perimeter trail or take
shorter hikes.

My only sighting of a Florida Panther was just west of Sand Lake parking lot
near the horse corral about 15 years ago.  Wekiwa has been a favorite place
of mine ever since.

If you need any info on AT north of HS, let me know.  I've done that section
several times in the last few years.