Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Another Beautiful Florida Springs State Park

Tuesday and Wednesday March 29 & 30, 2016                              Most Recent Posts:
Wekiwa Springs State Park                                                          My Kayak Lament – Final Hikes at Silver Springs
Apopka, Florida                                                                           It’s Fine to Call Them Crackers





Today we pack up and move from Silver Springs State Park near Ocala to Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka, Florida. It’s only about 80 miles but there’s no direct route there so we have to take the turn, turn , turn method on State and County Roads. You know the one….go 1.2 miles and turn right then go 3.3 miles and turn left, then 6.1 miles and right……………….

We have been to many of Florida’s State Parks with Springs and I can’t compliment Florida enough for saving and protecting so many of these wonderful places. Wekiwa is one we’ve visited and kayaked before but we have never actually stayed in their campground so we are looking forward to it.

We arrive and have little time to set up before the rains begin. The check out of the campground hike will have to wait until tomorrow.




Today is Wednesday, so David has to go to a Florida Cancer Specialists clinic for treatment. Thank heavens for their network of clinics and for Dr. David Wright who arranges his treatment while we hop around the state in the winters. If you should ever need a hematologist go directly to Florida Cancer Specialists in Tampa. You’ll be in wonderful hands. We can never thank him enough for all he has done to allow us to continue our full timing life style despite David’s serious illness.



We haven’t really set anything up yet when I take this first picture of our site.  We will do that when David returns.  But you can see this site is quite large and nicely shaded.  We happen to be in what was probably designed as a set of buddy sites since they are close together but many other sites have nice distances between them.



I walk both the campground loops and find that I like the one we are in best even though the other one has full hook ups and this one does not.



The kayak put in here is much too far away to walk your kayak to although there is a nice trail that leads to the springs.  It is a sandy wooded narrow trail and not suitable even for a kayak cart.  I hike over and find that even when we drive our car to the closest parking spot, we will have to have carts to get the kayaks down there.   That’s OK since I only intend to take mine down once.  You can see that the concessionaire does a very good business in canoe rentals.  I’ll obviously be going out early in the morning, hopefully before the park even opens.

I take the bridge over to the spring area from the kayak launch.  Folks are in the water.  It’s about 10am by now.







The spring has a bit of a swimming pool look about it.  The banks directly around the spring are not natural but it is a beautiful area just the same.  




In the afternoon we take the kayaks over and on the way we are lucky enough to see a gopher tortoise right by the side of the road.  The designs on her shell are beautiful.  It is clear where the Native peoples derived their pottery and weaving patterns.






This is the perfect habitat for the gopher tortoise since, like Silver Springs, it is also long leaf pine habitat.  On the walk over this morning I found that the area has been recently burned which is necessary to keep the long leaf pine habitat in good health. It’s just amazing that the pines, palms and palmettos all spring back to life.  It looks pretty black just now.






This morning I talked to the park manager about getting permission to lock our boats up to the parks one rack.  All the others are owned by the concessionaire.  So we take the kayaks over on the car and cart them down to lock them up.  We have not used our kayak lock in quite some time since we have been taking the boats off and putting them directly back on the car.  I made the mistake of allowing it to stay in behind my seat in my kayak and somehow it has been sitting in water and will not open.  David tries a number of things but they don’t work.  He is not a happy camper.  Another thing that needs fixing.


I go back to Winnona and bring back one of our bicycle locks.  The kayaks are now ready for tomorrow morning when we plan to get out on the river. 



  1. Loved that park! (Just make sure that you dump your trash before they lock the dumpsters for the evening, BEARS!!!)

  2. The turtle wonderful, the burn I suppose necessary. Looking forward to your kayaking trip.

  3. Wekiwa Springs was a great surprise. I'm so glad you made the reservation. Great paddling and swimming & trails too! Always great to see a happy gopher turtle out for a snack. ;)

  4. The tortoise is absolutely beautiful!

  5. I'm taking a class in the park on Tuesdays (Uplands module of the Florida Master Naturalist Program). Might have to stop by and say hi!

  6. Another very nice site:) Glad you were able to leave your kayaks at the ready:) Great short post:)

  7. We really liked that park, too. The first time we went we were surprised by how close it was to subdivisions of nice homes.

  8. We absolutely loved Wekiwa SP -- it was one of our favorites, with such beautiful kayaking and hiking and biking available in the park. We also stayed in the loop that you're in and liked it the best. I'm bummed that the park will be closed next winter for renovations. :-( Great idea to leave your kayaks down at the launch!

  9. Beautiful turtle! Glad to see your new home. Looking forward to the kayak trips! I hate how the list of needed repairs keeps growing and growing, it is a good thing that David is so handy!! Your dashboard crew is growing!

  10. Can't wait to hear all about this park!! Great idea to head out kayaking first things each morning...you'll have the place to yourself:o))

  11. Isn't it amazing that fire, which we usually think is so destructive is a major player keeping the forests in health? Here at Thurmond Lake, the rangers also conduct burns to ensure the continued good health of the beautiful forests surrounding the lake. In just a few days after a burn, new growth can be seen pooping out everywhere on the forest floor.

    1. I really meant "popping", but once again I've done a crappy job of commenting with my fat fingers... ;c)

  12. Gopher tortoises always look so old to me. OMG only 13 pics! ;)

  13. Fascinating textures and patterns on that tortoise!

  14. What a cool looking tortoise she'll. Nature's designs are the best:)

  15. Lovely tortoise!! Perfect 'I'm not happy about this' face from Dad right there :)


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