Typical view [?]
NOTE: Saw none but I'm sure they are there once you hit some shady spots in summer.
LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Wekiwa springs state park is two things - 1) a very popular swimming spring close to Orlando that is so popular in summer that the entire park closes by the afternoon. 2) I think it's over 30 miles of trails. We haven't visited in winter so all I can saw is it starts out hot and exposed though promoising as far as diversity and wildlife.
At the spring head if you go when there are not a ton of people you can see herons/egrets with interesting bold behavior at and near the spring head. In the forest itself - from what we saw seemed promising as a wild forest and what goes with that.
Wekiwa is connected to a lot of forest - go north and you're at Rock Springs which has plenty of bears for example. I'd assume ample dear, gopher tortoise, etc.
Everything a popular state park should have though mostly by the swimming area.
The trails we started were at the parking area for Sand Lake - walk west west from the parking area and you'll be generally heading towards Big Fork camp. Did very little because it was very hot and exposed (summer).
I wouldn't want your job in August.
Just checking out the spring I'd give it 20 minutes. If it's busy it's pretty hard to get in the zone to enjoy nature. The trails themselves - they start out hot and exposed (summer) - I don't know how long it takes for (or if) that changes - see below.
Our first stop here we arrive before dusk and there were almost no swimmers. Water felt great but we mostly walked around taking pictures of the egrets and herons boldly stalking fish along the spring. The spring head is a round cement pool type structure above water but it opens up into the river.
Our second time we drove up the road inside the park and did a bit of hiking. I believe it was the white trail near Big Fork camp. It's hard to nail down just what we saw. There were ponds her and there. There were patches of pine, cabbage palm, and live oak. There was scrub and sanding trail - it was sort of like Lake Wales Ridge trails with some species like Florida Pennyroyal that like that environment. But - it does turn into non-sandy forest. If we do more of these trails we'll update this.
The takeaways were that 1) it does not start out shaded - so not good for summer and 2) It does have the feel of a diverse forest connected to more forest - so it should be a good hike.
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