Great Camping in Central Florida

Big Buck Canoe/ Backpacking Site

This is the first of two primitive campsites along the popular Rock Springs Run canoe route between Wekiwa Springs and the Wekiva River. Both are an easy half-day paddle of two to three hours, traveling with the current. Most paddlers prefer the other site, Indian Mound, because it's right on the river, while Big Buck is about 50 yards inland. Big Buck is in a riverine swamp studded by sweet gum and cypress trees, and a big live oak tree shades the campsite itself. Pitch your tent on mowed native grasses. There are a couple of benches and a ground grill. Other than that, you're on your own. You may see other canoeists go by, but you won't hear the rumble of motorboats; they're not allowed on this part of the run.

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: Up to 10 people can sleep at this small primitive campsite. Besides a ground grill and a couple of benches, there are no facilities, so bring drinking water, food, and all the supplies you will need. Children are allowed. Pets, firearms, and alcohol are prohibited. When it is not claimed by canoeists, the campsite is available for backpackers.

Reservations, fees: Reservations are not accepted, and demand is particularly high in late winter, spring, and summer. Camping fees are assessed on a nightly basis. Major credit cards are accepted. Stays are limited to a few days.

Contact: Wekiwa Springs State Park, 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, FL 32712; (407) 884-2009. Canoes can be rented from the park or Katie's Wekiva River Landing, 190 Katie's Cove, Sanford, FL 32771; (407) 628-1482 or (407) 322-4470.


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