Episode 70 – What to know about Central Florida State Parks

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What’s up this week?

Here at the Florida Travel Pod, we talk a lot, and I mean A. LOT. about Florida State Parks. There are 175 state parks in Florida. We have decided to focus on the regions of Florida State Park. This week, we will visit the Central Florida State Parks. Listen in to learn all there is to know about the Central Florida State Parks.

Listen here:

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Product and Locations Mentions

Central Florida attracts a lot of visitors to the theme parks, but if you’re at the theme parks and want to get out and see the “Real Florida” these are all an easy drive from the Disney and Orlando area.

Lake Louisa is located in Clermont, FL. With 20 miles of trails, horseback riding, kayaks, and camping. They have recently added glamping tents along with cabin rentals. They also have races throughout the year.

Wekiwa Springs State Park with a W – but flows into the Wekiva river with a V. They have a swimming area that spans just over half an acre. They also have snorkeling, trails, swimming, kayak, camping, and equestrian areas.

Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park has a kayak launch at Katie’s landing. Wild and Scenic Wekiva River from its confluence with the St. Johns River to Wekiwa Springs. Rock Springs Run from its headwaters at Rock Springs to the confluence with the Wekiva Springs Run. Black Water Creek from the outflow from Lake Norris to the confluence with the Wekiva River.

Blue Spring State Park Keep going north and you’ll hit Blue Spring State Park in Deland. This is a popular spot to see Manatees, swim, kayak, and experience historical structures.

Hontoon Island State Park  is located in DeLand accessible only by private boat or ferry. Lots of history and archeological history to be experienced at this park. Research indicates that the Mayaca lived along the river for well over 12,000 years before Spanish explorers encountered them in the late 16th century.

De Leon Springs State Park has an infamous restaurant in Old Sugar Mill Restaurant where you make your own pancakes at your table. You can experience an eco-trail heritage boat tour, and experience their humongous swimming hole with a beautiful grassy picnic area surrounding the water. Discover the Native American Heritage Trail. You can get a 36 page Hertitage Trail Guidebook.

Lake Griffin is Located in northern Lake County and has the second-largest live Oak Tree at approximately 4oo years old. Take a guided kayak or pontoon boat tour.

Fort Cooper is located in Inverness, FL, and provides an opportunity for both seeing the park and learning its history. As you walk a 1.5-mile roundtrip path, four interpretive kiosks tell the story of the Seminole people and the trials they faced. Be sure to check out their living history demonstrations and ranger programs.

Crystal River Preserve State Park is a true mosaic. Within its borders are more than 27,500 acres of scrub, pinewoods, hardwood forests, salt marshes, and mangrove islands. Much of the property is still untouched, allowing visitors a glimpse of what this area of Florida looked like centuries ago. t’s a year-round destination for hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding and bird-watching. The preserve’s wetlands play an important role in refreshing Florida’s aquifer, making the area essential for Florida’s wildlife and human communities. Listed on the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.

Crystal River Archaeological Park is a National Historic Landmark. It is a 61-acre, pre-Columbian site that has burial mounds, temple/platform mounds, a plaza area, and a substantial midden. The six-mound complex is one of the longest continuously occupied sites in Florida.

Homosassa Spring is well-known for its manatees and wildlife park. Take a boat to visit this well-preserved nature park.

If you ever want to dive into Old Florida, this is the place to do it. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is the epitome of Old Florida complete with mermaids.

Take a lazy day in the lazy river at Rock Springs Run State Park, but be sure to get there early. There is not as much capacity at this park as some of the others.

Florida Product of the Week

And now it’s time for our Featured Florida Product of the week. Each Week we share our favorite Florida products from small businesses throughout the state.

This week we are talking about Action Water Sports located in Auburndale, FL. This large family-owned kayak shop with over 13,000 sq feet is packed with Kayaks and Gear for your Paddlesport Adventures!  They even have a paddling pool to try your gear!

Homeschool moment of the week

A midden is a dunghill or refuse heap.

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