LOWER WEKIVA RIVER STATE RESERVE
Central Florida nature exists in its purest form along four miles of the Wekiva River and Blackwater Creek. For thousands of years, Native Americans valued the abundance of wildlife in this area. This system of blackwater streams and wetlands provides habitat for black bears, river otters, alligators, wood storks, and sandhill cranes. Visitors can stroll along the Sand Hill Nature Trail for a self guided tour of the native Florida plants and wildlife found at the park. Canoeists can paddle through the park on the Wekiva River. Equestrian camping is available in designated areas and can be reserved by calling Wekiwa Springs State Park. Horse stalls and corrals are available for equestrian campers. Located nine miles west of Sanford on State Road 46.
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year. The park office hours are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Florida black bear, river otter, American alligator, sandhill crane, indigo snake and a variety of more common native species may be observed while horse-back riding, hiking, bicycling or canoeing through the Preserve.
Native American Indians valued the abundance of wildlife in this area. These Native Americans lived here before the arrival of the Spanish in 1513, but within 200 years they were eliminated from their native land. Many mounds, or kitchen middens, are known to exist along the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run. The mounds are the only visible remains of their presence on the reserve and are protected for future archaeological investigations. Florida statutes prohibit the destruction or removal of artifacts from these sites.
Primitive Horse camping is available inside the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park entrance off of SR 44.
Fees are dependent upon the ratio of campers to horses, so please call the Ranger Station at Wekiwa Springs State Park at 407-884-2008 for exact fee information. Reservations are required and can be made no more than 60 days in advance. Call 407/884-2008 to make reservations. An accurate count of campers and horses is required for all reservations. All reservations made by phone can be held with a Visa, Master Card, Discover, or American Express, or if paying by check, it must be received no later than 10 days from the date the reservations are made.
At least one member of the camping party must be 18 years of age. Pack in all food, water and firewood and pack out all trash. A bathhouse/restroom facility is available for campers. Ground grills are provided and fires are only permitted in these grills. Tents are permitted and must be pitched in designated camping areas only. The collection of fire wood is prohibited.
RV and trailer parking are on a first-come first-serve basis. Horse stalls and corrals are also on a first come-first serve basis. Posts for tethers are available, but temporary fencing of any kind is not permitted. Non-potable water is available for the horses and there are troughs in several locations.
Proof of negative Coggins must be carried at all times.
Primitive camping at Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park is only available to those camping with horses. Please see additional information under "Horse Camping" .
Cyclists of all levels can find a challenging and enjoyable ride in the Preserve. Bicycling is permitted on the Nature Trail located at the Southern entrance of the preserve (trail is approximately 2.5 miles). The 18 miles of trails located at the Northern entrance of the preserve are multi-use trails and bicyclists are welcome. Because the trails are multi-use, be prepared to meet the occasional hiker, horseback rider, or park vehicle. Please stay on designated trails, ride responsibly, and respect the park and wildlife. The park closes at sundown and you must exit the park at that time, so please plan your ride accordingly.
Persons under the age of 16 are required by State Law to wear a helmet while bicycling.
The trails are located in a wilderness area.
Please take water, a compass and a map when utilizing them.
The self-guided Sand Hill Nature Trail offers a leisurely 50-minute walk (approximately 2.5 miles). Visitors can access this trail through the southern entrance of the preserve off of S.R. 46.
There are 18 miles of multi-use trails for hiking accessible at the Northern entrance of the Preserve off S.R. 44. Because these trails are multi-use, be prepared to meet the occasional bicyclist, horseback rider, or park vehicle.
Please stay on designated trails, hike responsibly, and respect the park and wildlife. The park closes at sundown and you must exit the park at that time, so please plan your hike accordingly.
The trails are located in a wilderness area.Please take water, a compass and a map when utilizing them.
Their are 18 miles of horse trails accessible through the Northern entrance of the Preserve.
Horses and riders are required to stay on the designated horse trails.
Because the trails are multi-use, be prepared to meet the occasional hiker, bicyclist, or park vehicle. Please ride responsibly, and respect the park and wildlife. The park closes at sundown and you must exit the park at that time, so please plan your ride accordingly.
Proof of Negative Coggins is required.
Canoe and kayak launching only is available at the area formerly known as "Katie's Landing" off of SR 46 in Sorrento. This is the only launch area in the preserve.
Lower Wekiva River Preserve does not have launch facilities for your canoes. You can travel through the Preserve via the Wekiva River, however you must launch from outside locations.