The closest major spring to Orlando (just 20 min. north, off I-4’s exit 94) is, despite encroachment by suburbs and malls, one of the prettiest preserves in the area. When you think of Florida, you don't normally picture rambling rivers, but the 42-mile Wekiva (yes, spelled differently than the park's name and pronounced “Wek-eye-va”) is federally designated as "Wild and Scenic," meaning it hasn't been dammed or otherwise despoiled by development, despite the fact it's just northwest of Orlando's sprawl near Apopka. The springhead, fed by two sources, flows briskly and thrillingly over rock and sand, and some people come to fish, but most agree that its canoeing is among the most spectacular in the state. Wekiwa Springs State Park Nature Adventures ([tel] 407/884-4311; www.canoewekiva.com) rents canoes ($17 for 2 hr.). Developers would love to sink their bulldozers’ claws into this paradise; in fact, so much water is being siphoned from it that its flow is expected to diminish by 10 percent by 2025.
Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka
Our Rating Hours Daily 8am–sundown Phone 407/884-2008 Prices $6 per car Web site Wekiwa Springs State Park
Map1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka Orlando
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.