|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.
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.
WILDLIFEThe 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.
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 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.
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
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