If there is one state park that you’ve likely heard of in Central Florida it is Wekiwa Springs State Park. Wekiwa Springs has been an institution for years. Even if you have never visited you may have seen the line of cars waiting to get in. While everyone always talks about the spring, they tend to leave out the great hiking trails that are available. If you’re looking for a place to hike you would be missing out if you didn’t pay a visit to Wekiwa Springs.
What Makes It Great
Wekiwa Springs has 4 trails available for hikers and 2 multi-use trails. The length of each trail varies from 5.3 miles to 13.5 miles. With this range of options you’ll be sure to find the right trail for your hike. Each trail gives you the opportunity to explore the area and even has the added benefit of being able to jump into the spring to cool off afterwards.
In order to access the trails you can use one of the two main trailheads. One is located near the Ranger Station and the other near Sand Lake. Using either of these trailheads you can create your own hike by connecting the different trails together. The trails are well maintained and make for relaxing walks. Hikers will primarily want to stay on the Main Hiking Trail (13.5 miles) or the Volksmarch Trail (5.3 miles). Both of these trails will take from through sunny upland areas to dense forest. There are also Horse and Bicycle trails that can be used by Hikers, but they are wide and often sandy. They can be used as connector trails to help you get to certain areas of the park.
As with any location in Florida rain is always an issue. Be sure to check the forecast for rain as the trails can get muddy. Also, be mindful of the heat and sun. While most of the hiking trails are shaded you will still be exposed to the sun. Bring plenty of water or fill up at one of the restrooms before heading out.
Who is Going to Love It
Due to the variety of trails at Wekiwa Springs State Park everyone is sure to find something to love. You can bring the whole family and put together a short day hike or go solo with a long day hike with a night at one of the campsite. After everyone has their fill of hiking they’re sure to enjoy a dip in the spring as well as a cold drink and burger at the concession area.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
When you arrive at the Wekiwa Springs you have the option of parking at one of the two parking areas. One is located near the Ranger Station which provides easy access to the Volksmarch and Main Hiking Trail. Further in near Sand Lake you’ll park near the second trailhead with access to all of the trails. This central location is a great spot to start if you’re not sure which trail you’re going to use.
Keep in mind that this park can get extremely busy during the summer and weekends. Don’t be surprised to find a line of cars at the entrance waiting to get in. You’re best bet is to get to the park as early as possible and then continue to the central trailhead. By going further into the park you’ll leave most of the crowds behind as they rush over to the springs. Remember this is a state park so an entrance fee will apply.
If you’re interested in extending your visit, you have have the option of camping at one of the primitive campsites along the trail. This can be a great idea if you’re planning on hiking the entire park. Be sure to call ahead as these sites require a reservation.