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

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
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 -$3 per vehicle with 1-2 people; $5 for vehicle with 3-8 people

Directions (address and phone: 400 E Kelly Park Road, Apopka, FL 32712, 407-254-1902)
From Apopka, at intersection of U.S. 441 and State Road 435, drive north on SR 435 about 6 miles. Bear right onto Kelly Park Road and drive 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. From Interstate 4, take State Road 436 west until it merges with U.S. 441.  Continue west on U.S. 441 to Park Avenue.  Go north on Park Avenue for 6 miles, and then turn right onto Kelly Park Road and follow signs to the park and spring. Google Maps link: www.google.com/maps/place/Kelly+Park/@28.7590062,-81.4953784,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x9f26f06851816773!8m2!3d28.7590062!4d-81.4953784

Spring Description
Water flows strongly from a grotto/half-submerged cave entrance to form the spring and Rock Creek. The grotto has exposed limestone and creates an overhang/bluff/cave mouth more than 15 feet high. The rock overhang is luxuriantly covered in vegetation. Water flowing from the cavern opening is clear and forms a powerful flow. There is another vent in the creek bottom about 10 feet downstream of the cave; this vent also produces a prominent boil. The creek bottom is rocky, with some sand and vegetation in 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 joining the Wekiva River, itself a spring run from Wekiwa Spring. About 100 yards below the spring is a widened swim area created by diverting water from the spring run into an area with concrete retaining walls and a wier to maintain water depth. The spring and run are in an area of lush subtropical vegetation.

Use/Access

  • The spring is in a county park (http://www.ocfl.net/cultureparks/parks.aspx?m=dtlvw&d=22#.WZZBCOmQzIV) offering picnic facilities, restrooms, trails, swimming, tubing, and snorkeling.  It is open every day, but gets so crowded on some days that the park turns visitors away.
  • A boardwalk goes down from the road to the spring, and there is a footbridg eover the run. The paths provide excellent access as well as protect the site from erosion.
  • The spring source is cordened off, but one may enter the water just a few feet away. One may snorkel between the large rocks and under the footbridge just below the spring. The bottom soon turns sandy and in places just deep enough to snorkel.
  • The run is popular with tubers who can float for about 1.5 miles on Rock Creek. Tubes can be rented from concessionaires located outside the park.
  • The 245-acre Kelly Park borders a preserve of more than 8,000 acres. Wekiwa Springs is on the southern border of the preserve. The park brochure says that bears roam the preserve.
  • Personal Impressions
    With its striking cave mouth, lush flora, powerful flow, and crystal-clearwater--and all protected in a well-maintained park setting--Rock Creek is one of the most attractive and appealing springs in Florida. Its boardwalk also makes it accessible. Unlike most springs, which are silent, Rock Springs creates a very audible and pleasant rush of water at its headwaters. It is 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