50° is not the type of weather for swimming, however, it’s warm enough to get outside and go canoeing at the Wekiwa Springs State Park. Only a few minutes from Orlando is where this spring is located. An $6 entrance fee gets you into this state park. My friend (Katy) and I parked then walked through the trails and wooden walkways that led to an open grass space and the spring. First viewing the turquoise blue spring fed water hole you will notice the water(so clear) that you can see the bottom. The spring leads out to the Wekiva river.
The park didn’t have many people; there were a few families and a couple people in the water. Although the temperature was chilly, the sun felt nice enough to keep us warm.
$19.50 is what it costs to rent a canoe for 2 hours. Split between two people; that’s not bad. We paid the fee, grabbed some snacks from the shop then headed down the zigzagged path declining down a small hill to grab our canoe.I’ve only been in a canoe a couple times in the past but hadn’t actually been out canoeing like this before. Katy assured me it wasn’t hard. As we loaded up to go out a couple started a conversation with us from land. They joked about the water being dangerous when Katy asked them, “Did you hear about the lady that had her arm bit off?” She then looked at me and said, “yeah, I didn’t mention that to you, did I?”
I was actually kind of excited to see an alligator regardless of that unfortunate mishap. The only place I had seen one in the past was at a zoo. We had a hard time going down the river so I didn’t really get to enjoy it at first. I didn’t realize how bad I was at canoeing until I watched Katy struggle to keep us going straight while I also struggled equally hard from the back not understanding what I was doing wrong. The canoe zigzagged down the river and even into the lillypads that many alligators call home.
We only went a mile down the river to Wekiva Island but in that time I was able to finally see a baby gator, multiple turtles sunbathing, and a variety of birds. We tied up our canoe long enough to snack, talk, and soak up some sun. Feels nice after leaving Michigan’s brutal winter.
We began to head back with the same struggle to keep the canoe straight. It wasn’t until halfway back that another guy on his canoe told us we had ours backwards and my side was actually the front. It was kind of embarrassing but I never go on canoes. Plus I assumed that since they just kind of send you out without help they would be faced the correct direction on shore.
Once we had the correct end forward the ride was much more smooth. We even passed another couple that had made the same mistake as us and hadn’t even realized it until we pointed it out. It made us feel better that we weren’t the only ones.
We were actually able to enjoy the way back and even managed to get a few photos along the way.Even though I wasn’t on the water long I still had fun and would suggest this to anyone who may be in the area. The only thing I would have done different is spend more time out there. It would be the prefect place for a day trip if you brought along food and rented the kayak for a half day.