Great Camping in Central Florida

Camp Cozy Canoe/ Backpacking Site
Gorp.com

Although set aside primarily for hikers, this primitive campsite located about 100 yards off Rock Springs Run is sometimes opened to canoeists as well. It's an old hunting camp from a time before this area was a state park. Hence, the spigot, which provides water that is OK for cleaning up but is technically not designated for drinking. The campsite is on the edge of an oak hammock, so you can take your pick between a shady spot under the arching branches of oaks or a sunnier sleeping spot in the bordering pine flatwoods. Rock Springs Run-which forms the border between the state park and Rock Springs Run State Reserve-spans eight miles downstream and is covered in an easy four-mile canoe trip. The run is the headwaters of the Wekiva River. (About the two spellings: Wekiva is Indian for"flowing water"; Wekiwa means "spring of water.")

How To Get There

From Orlando, drive north on Interstate 4 to Exit 49. Head west on Highway 434 for about one mile to Wekiwa Springs Road. Turn right and continue 5.5 miles to the campground parking lot and trailhead. Talk to a ranger to get instructions on finding the site and where to launch a canoe.

Campsites, facilities: This primitive site can accommodate 10 backpackers or canoeists. The only facilities are a spigot that produces nonpotable water and an in-ground campfire circle. You must carry in water and all supplies and pack out trash. Children are permitted. Pets, firearms, and alcohol are prohibited.

Reservations, fees: Reservations are not accepted, and demand is particularly high in late winter, spring, and summer. There are nightly fees for campsites. Major credit cards are accepted.

Contact: Wekiwa Springs State Park, 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, FL 32712; (407) 884-2009. Canoes are rented out by the state park and by local canoe liveries such as King's Landing, 5714 Baptist Camp Road; (407) 886-0859.


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