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Kelly Park Rock Springs: Tubing, Camping and Complete Guide

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Have you ever dreamed of a place where you can kick back, soak in crystal-clear waters and breathe in the fresh, crisp air of a natural wonder?

Well, dream no more because I’m about to let you in on one of Florida’s best-kept secretsKelly Park Rock Springs. Nestled in the heart of Apopka, this gem is a serene oasis that calls out to those who desire an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The moment you set foot in Kelly Park Rock Springs, you’re enveloped by a tranquil canopy of verdant trees and foliage, a sight that’ll make your nature-loving heart skip a beat.

Kelly Park Rock Springs Things To Do
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Listen closely, and you’ll hear the gentle rustle of leaves, the melodious songs of the local birds, and if you’re lucky, the soft scurry of a squirrel or two. This verdant paradise is as alive as it is serene, a living testament to Mother Nature’s wonders.

But the heart of the park – the piece de resistance, if you will – is the mesmerizing Rock Springs. With a near-constant temperature of 68 degrees, this natural spring runs a beautiful course through the park, creating a natural lazy river.

From its source, it gushes forth, the water crystal-clear and pure, inviting visitors for a refreshing dip. The sight of it, so clear that you can easily spot fishes swimming, is enough to enchant anyone into a state of awe and wonder.

Kelly Park Rock Springs Diving River
Phillip Simmons

But wait, there’s more! The geological aspects of the park are a sight to behold. Among the trees, you’ll find natural karst formations. These are types of landscapes formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks – a fascinating bit of geology right in the middle of the park.

Fun Activities in Kelly Park Rock Springs

At this point, you might be thinking, “Sure, this place is a natural beauty, but what is there to actually do?”

Snorkeling

Who said you need to go to the beach to snorkel? The crystal-clear waters of the spring run provide a window into an underwater world. Slip on your snorkel gear and explore the springs, where you might see fishes, turtles, and other aquatic life in their natural habitat.

Tubing Down the Rock Springs Run

First up, the all-time favorite: tubing down the Rock Springs Run. Imagine floating down a crystal-clear natural lazy river, surrounded by trees, under the warm Florida sun.

You can rent a tube or bring your own, then just kick back and let the gentle currents carry you downstream. It’s relaxation and fun all rolled into one.

Experiencing Wildlife

For the animal lovers out there, this place is a sanctuary for a variety of wildlife. With some patience and a keen eye, you might spot turtles, fishes, birds, and even the occasional otter! Just remember, they are wild creatures, so respect their space and admire from a distance.

Hiking

Need to stretch your legs? Kelly Park Rock Springs offers well-maintained hiking trails that wind through its lush landscapes. These trails vary in length and difficulty, making them suitable for hikers of all levels. Remember to wear sturdy shoes, and keep your camera ready for the stunning views along the way.

  • The Oakhill Trail: This trail winds through beautiful oak forest, offering hikers an opportunity to experience Florida’s native flora and fauna up close. Moderate in difficulty, the Oakhill Trail is perfect for those looking for a bit of adventure.
  • The Prairie Lake Trail: This is an easier, family-friendly trail that loops around the stunning Prairie Lake. This trail is perfect for a gentle stroll or a casual bird-watching expedition.

Picnicking Amidst Nature’s Wonders

Fancy a picnic amidst the wonders of nature? The park has numerous picnic pavilions available for rent, or you can just throw down a blanket on a grassy spot. Unpack your picnic basket, share a meal with your loved ones, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. There’s nothing quite like eating al fresco in a beautiful park!

Kayaking, Canoeing, and Paddleboarding

In addition to tubing, here is also offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. These activities provide a more hands-on approach to exploring the park’s waterways.

Kelly Park Rock Springs Kayaking
Rich Steven
Kelly Park Rock Springs Fun Moments
Nancy Grassley

Essential Tips for First-Time Visitors

Taking a trip to here for the first time can be a truly thrilling experience. But like any adventure, it pays to be prepared! Here are some insider tips to ensure that your visit to this splendid park is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Planning Your Trip: Best Times to Visit

While the park is open year-round, spring and summer are particularly popular times to visit. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities, and the clear spring waters offer a refreshing respite from the Florida heat.

However, keep in mind that weekends and holidays can be busy. For a more peaceful experience, consider visiting on a weekday.

What to Pack for Kelly Park Rock Springs

Here’s what you should consider packing: swimwear and towels for a dip in the springs, comfortable shoes for hiking, sunblock and a hat for protection against the Florida sun, a picnic blanket and snacks for that perfect picnic, and don’t forget a waterproof bag to keep your belongings dry during your tubing adventure.

Kelly Park Rock Springs Swimming
Jason Parker

If you plan on snorkeling, bring your gear! Last but not least, a camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful memories you’ll create.

The park is well-signposted, but it’s always a good idea to grab a map at the entrance or download one onto your phone. The main spring and tube launch are easy to find, but there are also hiking trails, picnic areas, and camping sites to explore.

Camping at Kelly Park Rock Springs

For those who crave a deeper connection with nature, there’s nothing quite like spending a night under the stars. The park offers an unforgettable camping experience, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in this natural haven. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect.

Kelly Park Rock Springs Camping
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Imagine falling asleep to the gentle sounds of nature, then waking up to a stunning sunrise over the park’s lush landscapes. You can experience just that. The park’s campgrounds provide a peaceful retreat where you can connect with nature, enjoy the company of fellow campers, and sleep under the stars.

Camping Amenities and Facilities

Camping isn’t just about pitching a tent and calling it a day. The park offers a host of facilities and amenities to ensure your camping experience is comfortable and convenient. Here’s what you can expect:

  • A selection of well-maintained campsites, suitable for both RVs and tents.
  • Electrical hook-ups for RVs, for all your power needs.
  • Each campsite equipped with a picnic table and a grill, perfect for outdoor meals and socializing.
  • Clean and easily accessible restrooms and shower facilities.
  • Drinking water availability throughout the campgrounds.
  • A dedicated campsite for group camping.
Kelly Park Rock Springs Where Is
Roberto Mezquia Jr

Tips for an Unforgettable Camping Experience

Now that you know what to expect, here are some tips to help you make the most of your camping adventure:

  • Always reserve your campsite in advance, especially during peak season.
  • Pack essentials such as a tent, sleeping bags, cooler for food and drinks, and cooking equipment.
  • Include a first-aid kit in your packing list. Better safe than sorry!
  • Bring a flashlight or headlamp for those nighttime strolls to the restroom or around the campsite.
  • Adhere to the park’s rules and regulations. This includes observing quiet hours and adhering to the “leave no trace” policy.
  • Don’t forget to pack warm clothing. Even in Florida, nights can get chilly!

FAQs

Are there alligators in Rock Springs Kelly Park?

While alligators are native to Florida and can be found in many natural waterways, sightings at Kelly Park Rock Springs are very rare. The cool temperature of the springs is not ideal for alligators.

Are there bears in Kelly Park?

Black bears are native to Florida, but they typically keep to more secluded areas. There have been no reports of bear sightings within Kelly Park Rock Springs.

How long is the tube run at Kelly Park?

The tube run at Kelly Park is approximately 0.75 miles long, and the gentle current allows for a leisurely float that lasts about 25-30 minutes from start to finish.

How to get to Kelly Park Rock Springs?

Getting here is a fairly straightforward process, but of course, the route will depend on your starting point. For our purposes, let’s take Orlando, one of Florida’s major cities, as the starting point.

Driving from Orlando

Kelly Park Rock Springs is located in Apopka, Florida, approximately 30 miles northwest of Orlando. Here’s a simple route to get you there:

  1. Take FL-408 W from downtown Orlando.
  2. Continue on FL-408 W. Take FL-429 N to FL-435 N in Apopka.
  3. Take exit 29 from FL-429 N.
  4. Continue on FL-435 N and then take a left onto Rock Springs Road. Kelly Park will be on your right.

Keep in mind that Florida has toll roads, so be prepared with either cash or a SunPass.

Public Transport from Orlando

If you prefer not to drive, you can reach Kelly Park Rock Springs using public transportation, but it will take longer:

  1. Take the SunRail to the Maitland station.
  2. From Maitland, take Bus 102 to Altamonte Springs.
  3. From Altamonte Springs, take Bus 103 to Apopka.
  4. In Apopka, you can take a taxi or a ride-hail service to Kelly Park.

Remember, always check the latest train and bus schedules to ensure a smooth journey.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the ultimate guide to Kelly Park Rock Springs. From tubing down the lazy river to camping under the stars, snorkeling in crystal clear waters to hiking through lush landscapes, there’s something for everyone at this natural paradise.

Remember, the best memories are often born from the simplest joys of life, like floating down a natural spring run or waking up to the sounds of nature in a cozy tent. Let the adventure begin!