Florida State Parks are in various stages of accessibility, and are working to improve access to services and facilities. Should you need assistance to enable your full participation, please contact the individual park office as soon as possible. Sometimes as many as ten days may be needed to schedule a particular accommodation.

Management & Protection
Florida State Parks are managed as natural systems. All plant and animal life is protected in state parks. Hunting, livestock grazing and timber removal are not permitted. Do not remove, deface, mutilate or molest any natural resources. For your safety, do not feed any animals. Intoxicants and firearms are prohibited.

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Pets are not allowed in camping areas, on bathing beaches, in concession areas and may be restricted in other designated areas of the park. Where pets are allowed, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and well-behaved at all times. Service dogs are welcome in all areas of the parks.

State Park Guide
To discover and experience all of the Real Florida at Florida's 145 state parks, ask a Park Ranger where you can pick up a copy of the Florida State Park Guide, or call 850/488-9872.


The preserve is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreations and Parks. Management of the plant communities is designed to restore them to a natural condition. This restoration involves the elimination of exotic (non-native) species, prescribed burning and the elimination of man-caused disturbances, which are not compatible with management goals.

Non-consumptive recreational uses that are compatible with preservation of the preserve’s natural and cultural resources are permitted. Recreational activities include canoeing, hiking, nature study, horseback riding, camping and backpacking camping available in specified areas.

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Lower Wekiva River State Preserve is comprised of almost 18,000 acres of environmentally significant land bordering six miles of the St. Johns River and the lower four miles of the Wekiva River and Black Water Creek. Almost 5,000 acres of the preserve was purchased by the state of Florida in 1976 to protect portions of the Lower Wekiva River while allowing recreational use. Additional purchases in 1994 and 1995 have formed a wildlife corridor along the Wekiva and St. Johns Rivers connecting to the Ocala National Forest.


The preserve has a variety of plant communities that maintain a high species diversity and biological richness. They range from the high, dry sandhills and sandpine scrub to river swamp. The unique natural feature of the preserve is the system of blackwater streams and their associated wetlands which provide superb habitat for a variety of rare and endangered animals. The Florida black bear, river otter, American alligator, wood stork, sandhill crane, indigo snake and a variety of more common native species may be observed while canoeing through or hiking in the preserve.


Native American Indians also valued the abundance of wildlife. They lived here before the arrival of the Spanish in 1513. Many mounds are located along the Wekiva River. The mounds or “kitchen middens” are the only visible remains of the Indians’ former presence on the preserve and are protected for future archaeological investigations.


The self-guided Sandhill Nature Trail offers a leisurely 50-minute walk.

Primitive Camping

Primitive camping at Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park is only available to those camping with horses. Please see additional information under "Horse Camping" .

Horse Camping

Primitive Horse camping is available inside the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park entrance off of SR 44.

Fees are dependent upon the ratio of campers to horses, so please call the Ranger Station at Wekiwa Springs State Park at 407-884-2008 for exact fee information. Reservations are required and can be made no more than 60 days in advance. Call 407/884-2008 to make reservations. An accurate count of campers and horses is required for all reservations. All reservations made by phone can be held with a Visa, Master Card, Discover, or American Express, or if paying by check, it must be received no later than 10 days from the date the reservations are made. At least one member of the camping party must be 18 years of age. Pack in all food, water and firewood and pack out all trash. A bathhouse/restroom facility is available for campers. Ground grills are provided and fires are only permitted in these grills. Tents are permitted and must be pitched in designated camping areas only. The collection of fire wood is prohibited. RV and trailer parking are on a first-come first-serve basis. Horse stalls and corrals are also on a first come-first serve basis. Posts for tethers are available, but temporary fencing of any kind is not permitted. Non-potable water is available for the horses and there are troughs in several locations.

Proof of negative Coggins must be carried at all times.

Lower Wekiva River State Preserve is located nine miles west of Sanford on S.R.

46.For more information, contact:
Lower Wekiva River
c/o Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, FL 32712
(407) 884-2008

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