Friday December 17, 2004 - 08:15 PM
Central Florida - Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs State Reserve, Lower Wekiwa River Preserve
Central Florida - Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs State Reserve, Lower Wekiwa River Preserve
Central Florida - Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs State Reserve, Lower Wekiwa River Preserve
Central Florida - Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs State Reserve, Lower Wekiwa River Preserve
Central Florida - Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs State Reserve, Lower Wekiwa River Preserve
Central Florida - Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs State Reserve, Lower Wekiwa River Preserve
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Rock Springs State Reserve
Rock Springs Run State Reserve is approximately 14,000 acres of a variety of plant communities typically found throughout central Florida's landscape. The reserve is located approximately 30 miles north of Orlando and easily located off of I-4 at exit 51; then follow SR 46 west for almost 10 miles. The property was purchased in March 1983 for habitat preservation, for watershed protection and to provide recreational opportunities in the central Florida area. Additional purchases in 1991 and 1995 have formed a vast wilderness in Orange and Lake Counties.

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INDIAN MOUNDS
Native American Indians also valued the abundance of wildlife. Many mounds are known to exist along the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run. These Native Americans lived before the arrival of the Spanish in 1513, but within 200 years after they were eliminated from their native land. The mounds or "kitchen middens" are the only visible remains of their former presence on the reserve and are protected for future archaeological investigations. Florida statutes prohibit the destruction or removal of artifacts from these sites.

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WILDLIFE
The plant communities at Rock Springs Run State Reserve include sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, bayheads, hammocks and swamps. A unique natural feature of this reserve is the spring run/river system which surrounds most of the ’sreserve perimeter. This system is formed from the discharge of several artesian springs together with the tanic runoff from the surrounding watershed, creating one of the most scenic canoe trails in central Florida. To access this canoe trail, please call 407/884-2008 for further information.

The wetlands and uplands provide habitat for a variety of rare and endangered species native to Florida. The Florida black bear, Florida scrub-jay, wood stork, Florida sandhill crane, indigo snake and a variety of more common species are often seen throughout the reserve.

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RECREATION
The reserve is open to a variety of recreation activities including hiking, primitive horseback camping, nature study, picnicking, horseback riding, biking and limited hunting. Vehicle access into the reserve is limited.

HORSEBACK CAMPING
Horseback camping is available through the Rock Springs Run Riding Stables. Showers, bathrooms, and running water (no potable water) are available at the barn. Stalls are available after dark on a first come first serve basis. The fee for camping is $5.00 per horse per night, $3.00 per adult per night and $2.00 per child per night (under age 18), tax included. Proof of negative Coggins test must accompany all horses. Pets and firearms are not allowed in the camping area. You are responsible for your horses. At night they must be on a picket line or stalled (no portable fences). Neither Rock Springs Riding Stables nor the Florida Park Service will be held responsible for loose or lost horses. Registered campers will be given the gate combination. Campfires are allowed in designated fire pits only. Collection of firewood is prohibited. Please remain on designated horse trails and follow the multi-use trail philosophy. Respect others using the trail. To make reservations please call 352/735-6266.

 

HORSEBACK RIDING
Rock Springs Run State Reserve offers a 9-mile loop trail which takes the rider through a variety of plant communities. The trail begins in the desert-like sandpine scrub community, home to many species of lizards and snakes, the beautiful Florida scrub jay and the gopher tortoise. The scrub serves as a favorite feeding place for the Florida black bear each fall, when the oaks are full of acorns. The trail continues through many acres of pine flatwoods and on to the hardwood swamp that borders Rock Springs Run. Riders may view the beautiful tannic-colored water of Rock Springs Run by tying their horses to the hitching post and walking to the west bank. Keep an eye out for the red-shouldered hawks that live in the floodplain forest. Florida black bear use the reserve year round. However, bears are shy and you will see their footprints more frequently than the bears themselves. Remember that all plants and animals are protected and collecting is prohibited.

Please keep your horse on the designated horse trail. The trail was designed to provide a stable terrain for horses. We prefer that horses walk through the reserve and not be allowed to run, and that groups of riders be kept to no more than seven (7) at a time. Please be courteous to hikers, joggers and others using the Reserve. Proof of negative Coggins test is required.

The trail may be closed temporarily on days when the reserve staff are conducting prescribed burns. The reserve is closed to equestrians during the nine weekends of special hunts each fall. Be sure to bring sufficient water for yourself, especially in the summer months. Thank you for cooperation and have a wonderful ride. If you have any questions please feel free to call 407/884-2009.



Should you need assistance to enable your full participation, please contact Wekiwa Springs State Park at 407/884-2008.

For further information:
Rock Springs Run State Reserve
c/o Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, Florida 32712

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Wekiva Wilderness Trust, Inc.
1800 Wekiwa Circle | Apopka, Florida  32712
Phone: 407.263.8030  - Fax: 407.772.8779
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