Most weekends when we are at out home base here in Florida, we like to take what we refer to as “Day Trips” to various parts of Florida that we can get to/from within a day. I wanted to document one that we went to recently that was really cool. It was also free. Another RVer recommended it to us.
The Lake Apopka Wilderness Drive is a one way 11 mile / 10 MPH – drive in your own vehicle (25 ft or less) trail.
Lake Apopka is at the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River and at 48.4 square miles, the fourth largest lake in Florida. The St. Johns River Management District has been working to clean up this area from agriculture (farming) or other contamination for a number of years. It is working. This area was teaming with wildlife – birds, fish, alligators, snakes, bobcats, panthers, etc. We did not we any bobcats or panthers on our visit.
We generally like to get an early start on these excursions. This usually includes a stop at a local restaurant for some breakfast fuel. We stopped in at Papa’s Diner in Clermont, Florida. We give it an 8 out of 10 for its solid breakfast fare. A Bonus was that they were one of the sponsors of a classic car show right outside the restaurant. A quick look at some classics cars, and then back to the Jeep to get to our destination.
We were blown away with the amount of wildlife on the drive. One note, you will see more wildlife in the first half of the drive – as it seems this area’s restoration is more complete. We saw equipment and restoration efforts underway at the back.
Some other important notes:
- The Trail is only open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays between sunrise and sunset.
- There are a couple of places to use the restroom. The main one is at the old pump house.
- There are a couple of different spurs you can take.
- I would give yourself an hour to an hour and a half for the drive.
- There is an audio tour that you can play that gives background and additional information. https://www.sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/lake-apopka/wildlife-drive
- Address: 2803 Lust Road, Apopka, FL 32704
- Did I mention it was free? I enjoyed this more than many zoos that I paid to see.
Thanks for stopping by, and Safe Travels!!