Soon the temperatures will begin to ease from summer’s heat and cool breezes will blow down from the hills and mountains. Before long, the urge to dress in bright orange will become irresistible. No, not for Halloween – for a great getaway to the wilderness! It’s nearly time to gather your buddies and take to the woods for hunting, fishing, and laughs. Combine the all-time favorite activities of fishing, hunting, and hiking that makes Wekiva Falls a premier destination for hunters.
While we don’t offer hunting on the Wekiva Falls property, guests love to use our resort as a base camp for their hunting activities! So If you are looking for the prime hunting spots in Florida, you are going to want to pay close attention to the wildlife management areas that have been established by the state. These areas have been created to manage quotas and keep track of animal populations and harvest numbers so that Florida can always know how well its population control efforts are going. Luckily, the best places to hunt in Florida are also close to some great locales, allowing outdoorsmen to enjoy the state to the fullest.
Here are just a few locations to get you started.
If you are new to Florida, visiting for a short period of time, or just generally have no idea where to go for a good hunting experience, then Roberts Ranch isn’t a bad place to start. Located in Palatka – which is less than an hour’s drive east of Gainesville – Roberts Ranch offers a three-day guided hunting experience that includes wild hogs, turkey, and some of the biggest whitetail deer in the state.
Apalachicola National Forest
If you thought Florida was all beaches and swampland, this WMA will change your mind. Covering a massive swath of land just shy of 600,000 acres in size, the Apalachicola National Forest is a vast forest area located in Florida’s panhandle and crisscrossed by easily navigated road systems. The forest plays host to both regular rifle-and-bow hunters and deer dogs – a popular hunting sport in Florida – and is the perfect place to go if you are looking to lose yourself in nature and find a few deer along the way.
Ocala National Forest
The last of the “big 3” hunting forests in Florida, Ocala is made up of 385,000 acres in the north-central region of the state. The hunting isn’t quite as good as in Apalachicola and Big Cypress, but resourceful hunters will easily be able to find more than a few ace spots.
Hunters in the Orlando area will love Green Swamp – located west of the city – for its free-for-all no quota hunting. You will need to get a day pass from a park ranger to hunt the area, but a day of hunting in Green Swamp will make the momentary hassle worth it. This place is crawling with deer, and you can take as many as you can bring down in a day.
Camping and biking go hand in hand, but not every campground makes it easy for guests to enjoy a bike ride. If you want to enjoy a full day of pedaling before roasting your s’mores, you will love Wekiva Falls. With a path that winds throughout the resort, you’ll want to get out for a leisurely ride every day.
Early in the morning or around sunset is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the fresh air. What’s more, bicycling has many health benefits— no need to be restricted to the gym to exercise. Bicycling engages your legs, but it’s also easy on your joints. Not to mention how biking reduces stress in the body and in the mind.
According to medical professionals, a relaxing bike ride burns more calories than a brisk walk. Sometimes up to 281 calories per hour! You can even challenge yourself by pedaling a little faster for short sprints before returning to a leisurely pace. It’s a great way to supplement your relaxing daylight exercise.
Whether you’re recovering from a light injury, looking for light activity, or need a way to get active without running on cement, cycling is the smart choice because it gets your legs moving and your heart pumping without pounding your joints. Running takes a toll on the body. Biking, on the other hand, is far lower impact and engages the muscles in the legs without as much force coming down on the knees. So long as you keep your legs pumping on your bike, it ends up being a much smoother, lower risk form of cardio, especially if you’re recovering from an injury.
Even if you’re in amazing shape now, even weightlifters want to get outside. One of the best things about bicycling is that it mixes things up so your gym time stays fresh. Many lifters lift for years and spend their weeks being too stiff or too sore to enjoy other activities. The great thing about biking is you can do it day after day for the rest of your life.
Biking is a great way to explore and really get to know the area around you better. Most never really get to know the area around us because we’re always in cars. Even if you run outdoors, we rarely mix up our routes so you’re not getting close to the range of exploration that you can experience on your bike. Even if you decide to bike in areas you usually drive by, you might be surprised by what you notice and appreciate being outside taking it all in.
Oh, and the kids love it. The moment a child learns to ride a bike is an exciting moment. Do you remember when biking was your means of freedom in those earlier years? There’s so much to see and do as you bike through the campground of Wekiva Falls- from the wildlife to the fun and freedom.
Take in the great outdoors like a kid again and enjoy a leisurely bike ride through Wekiva Falls.
Florida summers are a time for heading to the beach, vacations, and being cool as much as possible! Those unaccustomed to the heat may be taken aback about the intense July mornings, but there are plenty of relaxing oasis’ out of the city temperature.
One of the more popular spots is the Wekiva River, located at Wekiva Springs State Park. The spring is fed by three different resources: Rock Springs, Wekiva Springs, and the spring lagoon at Wekiva Falls.
The Wekiva River is one of Florida’s two National Wild and Scenic Rivers, with Rock Springs Run and Blackwater being two major tributaries for the river. Paddling down all three rivers is easily possible. Those looking to paddle directly from the Wekiva River can rent kayaks or canoes at the Wekiva Springs State Park. Access is also available near Wekiva Island and Wekiva Falls RV Resort. Kayaks and canoe rentals are offered at both locations with an option to launch out on your on boat for a fee.
If you’re interested in something a little more active, the Seminole-Wekiva Trail at the Wekiva River Basin is a 14-mile ride from Sanford south to Altamonte Springs. Hikers, off-road bicyclists, and equestrians can explore the thousand of acres built on an abandoned railroad bed. Seminole State Forest, Rock Springs Run State Reserve, and Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park are all accessible from State Road 46, west of Stanford. Rock Springs Run State Park offers 17 miles of trails for equestrians, but for those without a horse, guests can saddle up at Captain Jack’s Trail Rides by a barn on site. 25 miles of open road and trails are available for bikers in the forest with 20 miles open for hikers in the Lower Wekiva River State Park.
The Wekiva River Basin has several public and private campgrounds, including Wekiwa State Park, Kelly Park/ Rock Spring, and Wekiva Falls. RV and tent accommodations are offered at all locations, with Wekiva Falls providing almost 800 sites.