Rock Springs Run State Reserve
Along Rock Springs Run on Rock Springs Run State Reserve
Contained on the 14,000 acres of Rock Springs Run State Reserve are several ancient mounds left from the days of the Mound Builder civilization. The property is a mix of sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, bayheads and swamps, watered by numerous artesian springs, creeks and rivers. Rock Springs Run and the Wekiva River also offer 12 miles of shoreline around three sides of the property for anglers and hikers. Rock Springs Run State Reserve is a designated location on the Great Florida Birding Trail. The reserve is part of a larger patchwork of public lands that make up a substantial wildlife corridor for the support of the endangered Florida black bear, Florida scrub jay, eastern indigo snake, gopher frog, Sherman's fox squirrel, gopher tortoise and other rare, threatened and endangered species.
Horseback riders and bicyclists will find 17 miles of marked and maintained trails on the property. Horse rentals and guided trail rides are available. Sections of the reserve are closed each year in the fall for hunting purposes. Horse owners are required to have proof of a negative Coggins test for all their horses before unloading them on state property. Riders under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet at all times when mounted on a horse.
Rock Springs Run State Reserve is open for day use from 8 am until 6 pm every day of the year. The park office is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. The park office is at Wekiwa Springs State Park. Most of the camping allowed on the property is of the primitive equestrian sort, you can make reservations and deal with the fees involved by calling the park in advance. There are two primitive campsites along Rock Springs Run, accessible by boat only.
To get there: exit from Interstate 4 at exit 101C and go west on State Road 46 for about ten miles to the park entrance. The entrance is also located about three miles west of the bridge over the Wekiva River. The park entrance is marked by a very tall chain link fence. The entry road is unmarked but is County Road 433.
Most of Rock Springs Run State Reserve is also cooperatively managed by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission as Rock Springs Run Wildlife Management Area.
A check point for hunters: Rock Springs Run Wildlife Management Area
Rock Springs Run State Reserve map
Lower photo courtesy of Wikipedia userid Ebyabe, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License
Other photos courtesy of Florida State Parks
Map courtesy of Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission