Monday, January 20, 2020

Wekiwa Springs to Sand Lake

Wekiwa Springs State Park
Orange Co.

Hiking Trails:
Wet to Dry Nature Trail
Champion Sand Pine Trail (Orange blaze)
Sand Lake Trail

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 Miles

Pros: Scenic area
Cons: No elevation gain, parking fee

I was in Orlando for a short vacation, and decided to get away from all the people and tourists for a quiet spot in the subtropical Florida forest. I did a Google search and found Wekiwa Springs, a large state park with many trails and quiet areas.

Luckily the weather was cooler than usual, in the lower 60's, but still bright and sunny. This was ideal for hiking in short sleeves, but kept the crowds away from the spring and swimming area which can make this area very busy. Wekiwa Spring is a natural spring for fresh, crystal clear water that is ideal for swimming and boating. It was very quiet when we came, on a relatively cool weekday.

I parked in the main parking area, and took the Wet to Dry Nature Trail at the spring over boardwalk planks through a saw palmetto forest. I then took this short trail to the Champion Sand Pine Trail, going through different types of forest and flora. I took this to the Sand Lake Trail, which loops around a small Florida pond with warning signs of alligators present. I looked out for alligators but did not see any present. I took the same route back to my car in the parking area on the return route.

Map of the Route

Entrance to the Hiking Trail

On the Trail down to the Spring

Wekiwa Springs

Wet to Dry Trail Boardwalk

Me on the Wet to Dry Trail Boardwalk

Champion Sand Mine Trail

Me on the Champion Sand Mine Trail

Alligator Caution Sign by Sand Lake

Me at the Alligator Caution Sign by Sand Lake

Sand Lake with Alligator Warning

Sand Lake

Me at Sand Lake

Another View of Sand Lake

Interesting Flora Along the Champion Sand Mine Trail

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