|Blue Spring State Park|
In Chilly winter months, federally-listed endangered manatees leave the cold waters of the St. Johns River to take refuge in this first magnitude spring. Fifty-five thousand gallons of water per minute flow 2,200 feet to the river through Blue Springs Run. Magnificent subtropical hardwood fores...
Wekiwa Springs State Park
|Description: Twenty-one miles of foot and horse trails meander through eight plant communities. Canoes may be rented to float the lovely, spring-fed Wekiwa River. Some of the finest longleaf pine sandhills in Florida survive here; Wekiwa is also a stronghold for seldom-seen black bears and many other species.|
Wildlife to Watch: American alligators, aquatic turtles, river otters, raccoons, limpkins, white ibis, herons, and egrets thrive along the river and its creeks and swamp. Bald eagles, ospreys, and belted kingfishers are also present. Barred owls and pileated woodpeckers are common in cabbage palmoak hammocks near the river. In the rolling sandhills, look for fox squirrels and gopher tortoise among the longleaf pines and turkey oak. The presence of small, burrowing southeastern pocket gophers in indicated by scattered mounds of dry sand, through the animals themselves are rarely seen. Around the Sand Lake picnic area, explore the sand pine scrub community, home to a number of Florida rarities, including the Florida muse, Florida worm lizard, and crowned snakes. White-tailed deer are seen from the high sandhills and scrub down through the flatwoods to the hammocks and swamps. Gray fox, bobcat, raccoon, opossum, and black bear range across the entire parks.
Other Activities: Thirteen miles of trails with two backpacking campsites. VERY POPULAR IN SUMMER AND EARLY FALL; COME EARLY TO SEE WILDLIFE.
Ownership: Department of Environmental Protection
Size: 6900 acres
Closest Town: Apopka
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: