Kelly Park - Janet Bellacera

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     Who knew that a simple "park" could be so much more?  The minute you enter Kelly Park in Apopka FL, you immediately feel like you have entered a natural wonderland.  Kelly Park is part of the Orange County Park Department and features a gorgeous free-flowing natural spring called Rock Spring.  With a year around water temperature of only 68-degrees you are sure to find this park packed on the hot summer days.  Nearby vendors rent tubes so you can ride down the spring or you are free to bring your own as long as it does not exceed 5ft long or wide.  Be warned, that during the peak summer season, the park will fill up quickly and typically the park will close by mid morning.  This park sees over 1,350 visitors daily and parking is limited to the first 280 cars.  So get up, get dress, and get out there early.          

     Dr. Howard A Kelly donated the 355-acre Kelly Park to the city in 1927, with the intention of the land being used as a public park, wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary.  The turquoise, clear waters of Rock Springs runs through Kelly Park and is the perfect place for swimming, snorkeling or tubing.   As Rock Springs makes it's way downstream 9 miles to the Wekiva River it passes some of the most beautiful, and lush forest in the area.   With over 5 miles of hiking trails in and around the park, you are free to enjoy nature at your own pace.  What make these trails extra special is that you will find some pretty bridges along the away, you will even find a bench or two to sit and relax.  While on this hike, my husband and I saw several woodpeckers high in the pine trees keeping busy trying to find the tiny bugs that live in the tree.  Take a look at the wonderful tail map provided by the county.  Map         

This park offers camping for Rv's or tents.  Check out the campsite map, here.

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