Wekiwa Springs State Park

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Wekiwa Springs State Park a 7,000-acre park located at 1800 Wekiwa Circle in Apopka. Have a picnic on one of the tables or rent a pavilion. Walk along the wooden boardwalk to the concession store where canoes and kayaks are for rent. Bring a bathing suit and swim in the springs or sunbathe on the shore.

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Stop at the interpretive exhibit and read about The Red-Eared Slider a semiaquatic turtle, Hydrilla an aquatic plant and The Sailfin Catfish all alien invaders. Pollution a serious threat to the springs at another interpretive exhibit. A 3-legged tortoise lost his leg in a fight with a dog explained by a volunteer at the nature center. View the mounted Florida Black Bear, Barred Owl, Sherman Fox Squirrel and Great Blue Heron encased in glass. All of these animals reside throughout the park.

Bring a bicycle and ride the 7.75-mile trail. Pick up a trail map and walk the Sand Lake and East-West trails both under 2 miles. Bring along a hat and bug spray. Admission and hours of operation located on the website.

 

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Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

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Kanapaha Botanical Gardens situated on sixty-two acres located at 4700 SW 58th Drive in Gainesville. Stop and read a memory brick then look up at one of the tall bamboo trees along the walkway to the entrance garden. Bring your lunch and eat in the picnic area or on one of the tables on the wrap-around porch. pict1249

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pict1320Stroll along the 1-mile East Garden loop or the Native Woodlands Trail. Walk through the labyrinth, stand alongside the different ponds and admire the many garden statues. Numerous gazebos surrounded by beauty.

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Stand on a bridge and listen to the sound of a waterfall and the water that runs through the rocks underneath the bridge. Four waterfalls encompass the Water Feature Gardens a ½-mile area.

Twenty specialty gardens throughout Kanapaha, I can’t list them all. I recommend a return visit. Hours, fees and rental space for weddings and other events available on the website.