While you have endless choices of man-made lazy rivers at hotels and amusement parks, there’s a natural lazy river right here in Orlando that’s perfect for escaping the Florida heat.
Kelly Park is a 248 acre park built around one of Apopka’s crystal clear springs. It features a free-flowing natural spring (Rock Spring) that is a chilly – but refreshing – 68 degrees Farenheit year round. A great way to find refuge from the oppressive Central Florida heat and humidity. Along with the swift moving run, there are swimming areas and shallow wading areas to enjoy. Beneath the shade of mature oak and palm trees, natural rocky “cliffs” and lush, green foliage surround shimmering pools of aqua and sapphire blue. The water is some of the clearest and bluest that you’ll find in Florida.
The wildlife in and around the park is abundant. Below the surface the water is alive with fish and plant life living in and around the beautiful rock formations. Pack your goggles as the water makes this fresh water habitat worth exploring. Don’t be surprised to see deer grazing the trails, turtles or otters playing in the water.
The park features a full-service concession, picnic pavilions and playground. Tent and RV camping are also available at this park.
This park fills up quickly on summer weekends, and closes when it reaches maximum capacity, so plan to arrive early. There is no re-entry so pack a cooler and make it a day trip. If you plan to float down the river, bring your own, or rent tubes from private outfitters located just outside the park.
This is one of the many great options that Florida has to offer when you want to take a break from the busy Orlando theme parks. Check out all our Beyond the park articles for many more experiences.
- Hiking/Nature Trails
The address for Kelly Park and Rock Springs Run is 400 E Kelly Park Rd, Apopka, FL 32712.
Hours for the park are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday during the summer, unless the park reaches capacity. The waterfront closes one hour prior to the park closing. There is a park admission fee of $3 for 1-2 people and $5 for 3-8 people and $1 for additional person.