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Wekiwa Springs State Park - Part II
After our lunch, having finally convinced my wife that a canoe trip would really enhance our day out, we headed down to the canoe ‘dock’ to view the types of canoe on offer and some assistance from the attendant as to which type of boat would be better for us as novices – canoe or kayak. We opted for the canoe and bought our tickets from the concession shop. You just need to leave your car keys as a deposit, and before long we had set off with our life jackets and whistle for a paddle along the Wekiwa Springs Run. We had hired the canoe for two hours and paddled, somewhat crookedly at first, along the river, doing our best to avoid low branches and tree limbs that extended under the waters surface. We did ‘beach’ on one tree limb but eventually managed to push free, thankfully without having to resort to getting out of the canoe! The water was wonderfully clear and we could see fish and turtles as we paddled along and although it was only early May it was warm work and I’m glad we had our water bottles with us! I later used Google Earth and determined that we had travel almost one mile before turning round and heading back to the marina. It had seemed at lot longer at the time!
After the exertions of our canoe ride I was ready for my other goal of the trip – a swim in the spring. I had taken swimming shorts and changed in the nearby restrooms. Using the steps to enter the waters I was soon in the cool (72 degree) waters of the spring and headed over to where the 52 million gallons per day emerged from a fissure in the bedrock. Being a fairly strong swimmer I tried diving down into the waters as they bubbled up – it was harder than I thought! If I go again I will definitely take a pair of fins with me as arms and legs alone are not enough to battle against the emerging flow of water.
After my swim it was time to dry off in the sunshine on the grassy slopes before heading back to the car for the journey home at the end of an excellent and varied day at Wekiwa Springs State Park.
To reach the park either take the I4 to exit 94 and then SR 434 to approach from the east, or take SR 429, 441 then 436 if approaching from the west.
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