Photo Credit: Florida DEP - Visit Florida

2024 Guide to Wekiwa Springs & Wekiva Island, Florida

The Encore Resort Blog
April 23, 2024
April 23, 2024

In Central Florida, locals have their favorite places to grab some fresh air, spend the day outside and cool off from the heat; those places are Wekiwa Springs State Park and Wekiva Island. Located adjacent to each other, they are 20 minutes north of Orlando and happen to boast some of the best in outdoor activities throughout the entire state of Florida.

Take a look at these insider tips and get the most out of your time at Wekiwa Springs State Park and Wekiva Island.

Wekiwa Springs State Park Things to Do

Photo Credit: Florida DEC - Visit Florida

Wekiwa Springs State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting a plethora of activities set against the backdrop of Florida’s stunning natural landscape. Here’s what you need to know to dive into your adventure:

  • Trail Bliss: Traverse 13 miles of trails by foot, bike, or horseback, winding through lush landscapes that promise awe at every turn.
  • Paddle Paradise: The Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run invite kayakers and canoers to explore 16 miles of scenic waterways. Remember, rentals are popular, so arrive early to secure your vessel.
  • Dive into the Springs: The crystal-clear waters of Wekiwa Springs are perfect for snorkeling, offering a refreshing respite from the Florida heat.
  • Beyond the Basics: With options for camping, geo-seeking, birding, and more, every visit can offer a new experience. Just be sure to check the latest park operations for any updates.
  • Camping: Pitch your tent and spend the night among the stars. Remember to reserve your campsite in advance, especially during the high season.
  • Birding: Keep a look out for the park’s rich bird population, which includes bald eagles, woodpeckers, and migrant birds.

Know Before You Go

  • Early Arrival: The park opens at 8 AM, but can reach capacity quickly. Plan to arrive early to ensure entry.
  • Rentals and Fees: Canoe, kayak, and SUP rentals start at $25 per hour. Check the park’s official site for the most current pricing and availability.
  • Stay Safe: While the park offers endless fun, remember there are no lifeguards on duty.
  • Be Prepared: Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, appropriate shoes, and lots of drink, particularly during the hot summer months.
  • Respect Wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from animals and avoid feeding them. Be wary of bears and obey park guidelines when encountering wildlife.
  • Park Hours: The park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year.

Wekiva Island: An Eco-Friendly Escape Things to Do

Adjacent to the state park, Wekiva Island offers a unique blend of relaxation and recreation. Here’s what awaits:

  • Waterfront Leisure: From kayaking to simply lounging in an Adirondack chair by the river, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the water.
  • The Tooting Otter: This craft beer and wine bar is the heart of Wekiva Island’s social scene. Enjoy a refreshing drink and tasty snacks while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.
  • Events and Activities: With a calendar full of events like paint nights and wine tastings, there’s always something happening on the island.
  • Fishing: Given the river’s abundance of aquatic life, fishermen can enjoy casting their lines from boats, canoes, kayaks, or paddleboards. Shore fishing is prohibited due to the high level of human activity so you must go on boat.
Girl kayaking on a river in Florida

Know Before You Go

  • Weekend Planning: A $1 entrance fee (cash only) applies on weekends and holidays. Check the island’s website for the latest event schedule and rules.
  • River Bana Rentals: Book online in advance to secure your spot, especially during the busy season from March to September.
  • No Live Guard On Duty: Because there are no lifeguards on duty, diving is not permitted from anywhere along the boardwalk.
  • Hours of Operation: The island is open from 8 AM to 7 PM on Sundays through Thursdays, and 8 AM to 11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, providing plenty of time for exploration and relaxation.

Plan Your Stay at Encore Resort

Large family enjoying their private cabana at the Encore Resort Water Park

After a day of adventuring, Encore Resort at Reunion welcomes you to unwind in comfort and luxury. Our resort features modern all-inclusive vacation homes vacation homes ranging from 4 to 13 bedrooms, complete with backyard pools and resort-style amenities. Whether you’re cooling down in the Water Park or exploring the area with our concierge services, your stay promises to be as relaxing as it is exciting.

So, don’t wait to plan your upcoming Orlando vacation at Encore Resort.

Embrace the Adventure

Wekiwa Springs State Park and Wekiva Island offer a unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and relaxation. Whether you’re paddling through serene waters, exploring trails, or enjoying a cold drink by the river, these destinations are sure to create lasting memories. Remember to respect the natural environment during your visit, helping to preserve these treasures for generations to come. Book your vacation getaway with Encore and explore these amazing parks!

Max Luna in a swim suit and Sammy the Surfer T-shirt

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