Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
2nd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

Rock Springs
Orange County
Summary of Features
  • Scale -2nd magnitude
  • Scenery -Excellent
  • How Pristine? -path/boardwalk near spring, in county park
  • Swimming -more wading than swimming at spring, fine swimming downstream;fine tubing and snorkeling
  • Protection -excellent
  • Crowds -heavy on warm weekends
  • Access -excellent
  • Facilities -fine
  • Safety -excellent
  • Scuba -no
  • Cost -$1 per person; children under 6 are free

Directions
From Apopka, at intersection of U.S. 441 and State Road 435, drivenorth on SR 435 for about 6 miles. Bear right onto Kelly Park Road anddrive less than a mile to the county park, following signs for the park.Follow sidewalk and boardwalk to the spring from the main park drive. Alternatively, from Interstate 4, take State Road 436 west until it mergeswith U.S. 441.  Continue west on U.S. 441 to Park Avenue.  Gonorth on Park Avenue for 6 miles, and then turn right onto Kelly Park Roadand follow signs to the park and spring.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satelliteimagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditionsat this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database"web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
Water flows strongly from a grotto/half-submerged cave entrance toform the spring and Rock Creek. The grotto has exposed limestone and createsan overhang/bluff/cave mouth more than 15 feet high. The rock overhangis luxuriantly covered in vegetation. Water flowing from the cavern openingis clear and forms a powerful flow. There is another vent in the creekbottom about 10 feet downstream of the cave; this vent also produces aprominent boil. The creek bottom is rocky, with some sand and vegetationin the run. There are also rocky outcrops and shelves near the spring.The run is 15-25 feet wide, shallow, and winds SE 8 miles before joiningthe Wekiva River, itself a spring run from Wekiwa Spring. About 100 yardsbelow the spring is a widened swim area created by diverting water fromthe spring run into an area with concrete retaining walls and a wier tomaintain water depth. The spring and run are in an area of lush subtropicalvegetation.

Use/Access

  • The spring is in a county park offering picnic facilities, restrooms, trails,swimming, tubing, and snorkeling.  It is open every day, but getsso crowded on some days that the park turns visitors away.
  • A boardwalk goes down from the road to the spring, and there is a footbridgeover the run. The paths provide excellent access as well as protect thes ite from erosion.
  • The spring source is cordened off, but one may enter the water just a fewfeet away. One may snorkel between the large rocks and under the footbridge ju st be low the spring. The bottom soon turns sandy and in places just deepenough to snorkel.
  • The run is popular with tubers who can float for about 1.5 miles on RockCreek. Tubes can be rented from concessionaires located outside the park.
  • Kelly Park borders a preserve of more than eight thousand acres. WekiwaSprings is on the southern border of the preserve. The park brochure saysthat bears roam the preserve.
  • Personal Impressions
    With its striking cave mouth, lush flora, powerful flow, and crystal-clearwateróand all protected in a well-maintained park settingóRock Creek isone of the most attractive and appealing springs in Florida. Its boardwalkalso makes it accessible. Unlike most springs, which are silent, Rock Springscreates a very audible and pleasant rush of water at its headwaters. Itis best to visit on a weekday to avoid crowds, which can be rowdy.

    Nearby Springs
    Apopka Spring, Blue Spring, Camp La No Che Spring, Clifton Spring,Gemini Springs, Health Spring, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring,Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring, Wekiwa Spring

    Other Nearby Natural Features
    Wekiwa Springs State Park
    Rock Springs Run State Preserve
    Blue Spring State Park
    Hontoon Island State Park
    Ocala National Forest

    Contact information:
    Kelly Park
    400 E. Kelly Park Road
    Apopka, FL 32712
    407-889-4179