Sunday, June 3, 2012

Perfect Weekends - Wekiwa Springs State Park

By Lauren Day

Ever find yourself sitting at home wishing you could just get outdoors and do something…and then check your bank account and discover that you are older than the amount of money you have? Well sigh no more people of Aiguille. I’m here to give you a solution. Fun weekend getaways that won’t break the bank are closer than you thought!

For this month, let’s stick close to home. Many people don’t realize that right in our own backyard Florida has more to offer up than rush hour traffic and fast food. Beyond that lies a world waiting to be explored, just as peaceful and desolate as one would expect to find off a backwoods trail somewhere in a National Park. Wekiwa Springs State Park is only 9 miles from Aiguille meaning that you’ll only spend about $1.50 on gas. You can’t beat that with these high gas prices!

When you arrive at the park, you will pay $5 per car to gain entrance to the park unless you are camping overnight. Kayaking is a must if you head to Wekiwa. Start by heading over to the Wekiwa Springs State Park Nature Adventures building located in the park. For $60 per person, your rental gear (kayak, etc.) and camping fees will be covered for a 2 day, 1 night stay in the park. Don’t have any camping gear? No worries. For $132 per person, they will include everything else you need to camp (tent, cooler, sleeping bag, lantern, etc.). All you need to bring is food and water! (Keep in mind that the campsites are “primitive” so there is no drinking water available. Bring what you need.)

From this point, paddle about 3 hours up Rock Springs Run until you reach Otter Camp, one of the kayak only primitive campsites. Chill out and roast some hot dogs over the campfire, or take a short hike on one of the many surrounding hiking trails that will lead you through the backwoods of the park. Look for bears, deer, herons, and alligators as you walk the trails. Take a look up at night also and see stars brighter than you have ever seen them before! If you arrive back at the marina before dusk the next day, take a dip in the springs and cool off from that hot Florida sun.

Minimal gear and no experience is necessary for this little weekend getaway, and with $60 and then probably another $10-$15 in food and whatnot, this is a perfect close to home weekend getaway.

Since this is a new column, let us know what you think in the comments below!
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  1. Can you swim in any of the rivers leading up to the camp grounds?

  2. I believe you can, but I am not 100% sure.