Florida Guide > State Parks
LOWER WEKIVA RIVER
Lower Wekiva River State Park is situated both in Eustis and Sanford; the southern end is 9 miles west of Sanford off S. R. 46. and the north entrance is in Pine Lakes off S. R. 44.
This park covers 18000 acres of wet lands and black water streams and forms an entrance to Ocala National Park.
Native Americans were the first known settlers to this area drawn by the rich opportunities for hunting. Then of course the Spanish arrived in 1513 which spelled the beginning of the end for the Indians.
There are many middens along the banks of the river which will reveal the secrets of these times. They are due to be excavated sometime in the near future.
About 5000 acres of preserve were acquired by the State in 1976 and much later in 1994 and 1995 more acres were added to form what is now known as Lower Wekiva River State Park.
The southern end of this park comprises of 5000 acres and has a nature trail of about two and a half miles. There is a good self guide map available to help you on your way.
The northern entrance boasts an astounding 18 miles of trails that can be enjoyed on foot, by horseback or on a bike. Take your binoculars and a camera to spot maybe a black bear, river otter or a sand crane.
Canoeing or kayaking is a good choice to explore the waterways; rentals are available privately and you can only enter from Katies Landing which is out side of the park boundaries. The rental shop is located north along Wekiva Drive and they will give you further help and advice
The final thing to stress is that this park is comprised of wilderness so take the normal precautions. Tell somebody where you are going, take along lots of water and snacks. It is also prudent to take a high factor sun screen, good insect repellant and a hat in the summer months. A compass could prove useful too.
It is undoubtably true that mosquitos can be a nuisance in the hotter months and when we stayed in Homossassas many years ago a local told me not to breakfast on bananas. This turns out to be a very good tip!
Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, Florida 32712
Phone: (407) 884 2008
Nearby parks include Blue Springs State Park and Silver River State Park and your ranger is a good source of information about which will suit your group. Blue Springs Park is a good choice in the winter months.
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