Updated: Oct 22, 2019
I am a wildlife and nature photographer and RVer. Now and then I like to give my perspective on campgrounds I've stayed at, primarily state parks. State parks are where we mostly camp for obvious reasons...I like nature and wildlife.
I also like to mountain bike. This park has all of that. Located in Wekiva Springs, FL, just northwest of Orlando, Wekiwa Springs is the closest park to where I live, yet I like to spend a few weekends a year there. It has so much to offer. Most people visit on the weekends in the Summer because of the Spring. It has a very nice spring "pool" for swimming or just floating around and cooling off. It's a brisk 72° F year-long. It's so popular that there is a line out the gate of the park of cars waiting to get in and they usually close due to over crowded. In fact, if you are camping there and decide to leave the park for whatever reason, you may have to wait in that line to get back in.
But I really could care less about the swimming in the Springs. I don't like the crowds. You can also kayak or canoe on the Wekiva River from the park. If you rent, you can kayak/canoe to another location and get a ride back. I haven't done that yet, but I hear it's beautiful. So that's the springs side of the park. MY favorite part is the rest of the park. There are about 60 campsites within two loops with electric and water. One loop has sewage as well. The restroom/shower facilities are pretty decent. There are many acres of preserved forest to explore. Lots of hiking and biking trails and the wildlife is awesome. You are guaranteed to see wildlife if you're looking. I think some people just simply aren't looking and walk right past it. I've seen gopher turtles (be careful not to hit them as you drive in), lots of deer, turkeys, barred owls, woodpeckers, eagles, grey squirrels and fox squirrels. The wildlife right around the campground are quite used to people and let you get pretty close. These are the animals and birds I've seen. But there is much more out there. Bears are usually active in the area, but I have not seen one there yet. Trust me, I'm looking. I did find tracks.
I try to get out in the woods right before sunrise and sunset just about every day I'm there. That's when the wildlife is the most active. During my most recent visit there, I was shooting an eight point buck (with my camera of course) from the road when all of the sudden he took off. I then realized he was chasing a four point buck. It appeared to be a territorial dispute. As I'm taking pictures of these guys I hear hooves on the road behind me. I turn around to see another six point buck coming up right behind me on the road. He then got into it with the other two. It was pretty cool.
So I highly recommend checking out Wekiwa Springs State Park. If you're going for the day on a weekend, get there early. If you're planning to camp, you have to book pretty far out in advance...sometimes a year. And take your hiking shoes, or bikes. You'll definitely enjoy it if you like nature. Stay tuned for more park reviews.
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