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March 9: Guided Wekiva River Paddle


March 9: Guided Wekiva River Paddle

Members of Friends of the Wekiva River will lead a paddle from Kings Landing to Kelly Park via Emerald Cut. This is a beautiful section of river that you may not have experienced. This is an advanced beginner paddle. We paddle up stream first. There are a few trees/logs to negotiate although not too difficult. Also, if you choose, you may continue downstream past Kings Landing and paddle back up.

The number of participants will be limited to 20, so you must pre-register by calling Weegie at 407-788-2619 or emailing

Saturday, March 9, 8:30 am

Location: Kings Landing

5722 Baptist Camp Rd.

Apopka, FL 32712


Cost:  ***CASH ONLY***

Launch Fee: $10, (with a shuttle return from Wekiva Island $20)

Canoe Rental: $30 (seats 3 adults)

Kayak Rental: 1 person  $40

2 person  $50   (prices include paddles and flotation devices.)

Bring: water, hat, bug spray, sunscreen, snacks and/or a picnic lunch, shoes/sandals that can get wet…strapped on is best.

Phone/camera in a waterproof container.  Dry bags are good!



March 7 — Free film viewing: Hidden Secrets of Florida Springs


March 7 — Free film viewing: Hidden Secrets of Florida Springs

Friends of the Wekiva River invites you to a special free viewing of a compelling film that explores the mystique and malaise of Florida springs.

Film producers include Emmy award-winning producer Bob Gugiere and Bill Belleville, an award-winning environmental writer, documentary filmmaker and lecturer. Gugiere will be present to answer questions.

Thursday March 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Markham Woods Church located at 505 Markham Woods Road in Longwood. Call 407-788-2619 with any questions.

Feb. 9 – A scrub and scrub-jay journey with an expert


Feb. 9 — A scrub and scrub-jay journey with an expert

Join Florida scrub jay biologist Ralph Risch on a guided walk through Seminole State Forest for a chance to spot this threatened species, which is the one bird found only in Florida – just about 6,000 left down from an estimated 100,000 in the 1920s. The forest is home to about 100. You’ll learn about its scrub habitat and controlled burns, visit some rare and unique plant locations and stop to see some of the bird territories. You’ll also see other habitats, search for other bird species and hopefully see some other wildlife.

Meet at the Bear Pound parking area north of SR46 at 8:00 AM.  Bring a camera, binoculars, and your favorite field guides.  Also, bring a packed lunch if you wish to eat with us after the hike. Wear closed toed shoes, no sandals or flip-flops, please.

Park entry fee: $2:00

This trip is limited to 20 people. A waiting list will be taken. 

The hiking on this trip is classified as easy. 

Email for reservations and for more information call 407-788-2619.

Saturday, Jan. 5: Wekiva story walk


Saturday, Jan. 5 WEKIVA STORY WALK
Led by popular storyteller Eddie Williford, learn little-known tales about the fascinating history of Wekiva Springs State Park during an easy hike around the park’s spring area. Bring a picnic lunch; shared grill available. Jan. 5. Meet 10 a.m. at the kiosk near the concession building. Free but $6 park admission applies. 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka. 407-788-2619

Oct. 6 – Sleuthing for Spiders


Oct. 6 — Sleuthing for Spiders

Do you think spiders are cool or scary? Either way, prepare to be fascinated or frightened on a night walk through Wekiva Springs State Park with a spider expert who will reveal all their secrets. Meet at the park’s campground ampitheater at 6 pm, Saturday, October 6. Cost: $6.00 park entry fee and the ranger will provide directions to the site. After a 30-minute slide presentation on spiders, we will hike in the Sand Hill area of the park to find spiders and their intricate webs. Degree of difficulty: moderately easy. Paths are uneven and sandy. What to bring/wear: Closed-toed shoes, long pants and long-sleeve shirt suggested, flash light (preferably head lamp), insect repellent, water, camera. For any questions, call 407-788-2619 or email

June 3 — In Search of Secret Springs


June 3- In Search of Secret Springs

Join us Sunday, June 3, on a journey to discover the hidden springs of Seminole State Forest. We will explore several small springs that occupy distinctive habitats in the flatwoods and sandhills near Blackwater Creek. We will evaluate the unique attributes of these springs and discuss how their fragility is indicative of the importance of protecting the springshed for all the ground- and surface-waters in the Wekiva basin.

We will meet at the Bear Pond Trailhead at the southern entrance of Seminole State Forest at 9:00 AM. The entrance to the park is less than 1/2 mile west of the Wekiva River and north of State Road 46. We plan to spend three hours exploring these hidden springs and will end the morning with a picnic lunch. If you can stay for the picnic, please bring your own food and drink. If you need to leave at noon, you will be able to go back to your car at the parking lot at Bear Pond.

It is extremely wet at Seminole State Forest and we will be hiking through shallow water at several times during the day. Please be sure to bring shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Mosquitoes will be relatively abundant at times so dress accordingly. Fee: $25 payable at Use the Donate with PayPal button and write Seminole Springs in the notes section. For more information, email or call 407-788-2619.

May 29 — What happens after the flush


May 29 -- What happens after the flush? Septics 101 for springs

What happens to your waste after you flush can impact the quality of our ground and surface water. Join presenters from the University of Florida as they explain the basics of septic system function and maintenance. Learn about new advanced septic system technologies designed for enhanced removal of pollutants. Event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Deltona Regional Library Auditorium, 2150 Eustace Avenue, Deltona. For more info, visit or call 386-736-5927

April 15 — Guided canoe/kayak trip


FULL -- May 19 - Guided canoe trip

Join us for a guided canoe/kayak ride that will be the most informative you will ever take! Our expert ecologist will lead a float down Rock Springs Run on April 15. This is an unbeatable voyage into a wild, scenic and biologically distinct river run that offers idyllic vistas and a serene experience through protected natural lands.

We will leave from Kings Landing at 8 a.m. but please be there at 7:30. We'll float the 8.5 mile stretch to Wekiva Island. We have concluded that it will be easiest for most of us to use the shuttle service provided by Kings Landing. The costs for the guided trip is $25 plus the following fees. Fees are paid only in cash at Kings Landing:

  1. If you have your own canoe or kayak and don’t need a shuttle: $10 launching fee,
  2. with your own canoe or kayak and you use the shuttle service: $20,
  3. rent a kayak, with shuttle: $30,
  4. rent a canoe, with shuttle: $40, and
  5. rent a double kayak, with shuttle: $50.

You cannot bring glass or Styrofoam on the river. Bring your own water, snacks, sunscreen, etc.

This stretch of the river boasts unique features, including subtle changes in the canopy vegetation as you move across mixed floodplain swamp, bald cypress swamp, live oak hammock and loblolly pine forest communities adjacent to the river. The Run itself varies from a narrow passage between forested communities with little vegetation in the channel to broader sections with islands of floating vegetation. The changes in habitat on the banks of the river and the correlated shift in aquatic habitat influence dominant plants and  the wildlife that lives there.

For questions and to reserve your spot, email or call 407-788-2619.

Secrets of the Woods Walk


Feb. 18 -- Secrets of the Woods Walk

Do you know what animals live in scrub? Can you distinguish a sandhill from flatwoods? Well come on out & get your Florida on! Join us Feb. 18th, 9 a.m. to noon at Rock Springs Run State Reserve for a walk with our ecology expert who will dazzle you with up-close experiences in Florida habitats. You'll view scrub, sandhill, flatwoods and wetlands habitats and learn about each of these communities' plants, animals, soils, waters and fire needs. Cost is $25 and space is filling first come, first served. You'll walk a mile or two so wear shoes that are comfortable for hiking; bring water, a hat and sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothes for traversing through some potentially dense habitat. Exciting eh? We'll mee...t at the entrance to the Reserve. (For those of you who haven’t been there, this is not where Rock Springs is.) The entrance is south of SR 46, a little less than 2.5 miles west of the Wekiva River and 0.2 mile east of the traffic light at SR 46A. Google maps says: 30601 County Road 433, Sorrento, FL 32776. For questions and to reserve your spot, email or call 407-788-2619. You can also visit our website and pay through our PayPal button, noting that it's for the ecology walk. Hope to see you there!


In Search of Bats Walk


Friday, Feb. 9 -- In Search of Bats Walk

In search of bats -- come with us on Friday, Feb. 9 on an evening walk to spot bats! This is a great follow-up for those who attended our recent bat talk or to catch up on what you might have missed. FREE for everyone. You'll be led by bat expert Shari Blissett-Clark, president of the Florida Bat Conservancy. At 6 p.m., meet at Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park, 8300 W. SR 46 in Sanford 32771. If you need more info, or call 407-415-0705.