When someone says “lazy river” people generally think of a man-made floating lane that winds through an upscale resort or theme park.  Kelly Park will have you thinking something very different.

Apopka is home to the Orange County owned Dr. Howard A. Kelly Park, or Kelly Park as it is commonly known.  Kelly Park is home to 245 acres of camping, picnic tables and playgrounds, but it may be most famously known for its natural “lazy river”.

Rock Springs Run travels right through Kelly Park creating a perfectly wonderful outdoor Florida experience.  At 68 degrees year round, this free-flowing natural spring is a great place to cool off in the summer for kids and adults alike.  Along the path, you can see several different wild animals. When we were there we saw large and small turtles swimming alongside us as well as many species of birds and even a playful otter got in the mix.  The much-feared alligator is close by, but when I asked the lifeguard said that they don’t tend to come in that specific part of the springs because of all the people.  There are “no swimming” zones past the final exit point and we did see a small gator in that area. There are lifeguards and park rangers watching for any unwanted animals surrounding the swimming area.

The park does not rent tubes but just outside the park gate is a local rental company.  You can bring your own but the park does not allow any tubes over 5′ in length.

Park Admission is $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people; $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people; and $1 for additional person/walk-ins/motorcycles/bikes.

Park hours in the summer are 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. and in the winter are 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. (seven days a week) but you might want to plan to arrive early because frequently the park is filled to capacity by mid-morning (280 vehicles allowed each morning and an additional 50 vehicles enter as other visitors depart throughout the day) and unfortunately guests must be turned away at the entry. We visited midweek in early June and were able to go for a lunch picnic with no problem but that could have been unusual.


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