Today we’re sharing everything you need to know about visiting the GORGEOUS Kelly Park at Rock Springs in Florida!
Kelly Park at Rock Springs is a beautiful natural oasis located in Apopka, Florida. The park is renowned for its crystal-clear natural springs, which attract visitors from all over the world. The park is a perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature.
The park offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. You can swim in the cool, refreshing waters of Rock Springs, go tubing down the river, or take a leisurely stroll through the park’s scenic trails. There are also picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal with family and friends, as well as playgrounds and volleyball courts for those who want to be active.
Overall, Kelly Park at Rock Springs is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Florida. Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind or get active and explore, the park has something for everyone.
So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to experience the magic of Kelly Park at Rock Springs!
Where Is Kelly Park?
Kelly Park at Rock Springs is located in Apopka, Florida, just 30 minutes northwest of Orlando. The park sits on 248 acres of lush greenery and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The park is situated on the banks of Rock Springs Run, a natural spring that flows into the Wekiva River. The water in the spring is a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit, providing a refreshing escape from Florida’s hot and humid climate.
Kelly Park is surrounded by a variety of habitats, including hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, and sand pine scrub. These habitats provide a home to a diverse array of wildlife, including river otters, alligators, turtles, and a variety of bird species.
The park is open year-round and offers a range of recreational activities, including swimming, tubing, hiking, and picnicking. The park also features a playground, volleyball court, and a concession stand.
How To Get To Kelly Springs
Kelly Park at Rock Springs is located at 400 East Kelly Park Road, Apopka, Florida, 32712. From Orlando, take State Road 429 North to Exit 30 for Seidel Road. Turn left onto Seidel Road and continue for 2 miles. Turn right onto Kelly Park Road and continue for 1.5 miles. The park entrance will be on your left. Visitors are encouraged to use GPS or online maps for accurate directions. Parking is available on-site.
We recommend arriving early, especially on weekends and holidays, as the park can reach capacity quickly. Once the park reaches capacity, no additional vehicles or visitors will be allowed in until space becomes available. Additionally, visitors are reminded to respect the park’s rules and regulations, including no alcohol, no smoking, and no pets (with the exception of service animals).
The park charges a nominal fee of $3 per vehicle for up to 8 people. Additional passengers will be charged $5 each. Pedestrians and bicyclists are charged $1 per person. Cash, debit cards, and credit cards are accepted at the entrance. Annual passes are also available for purchase.
Kelly Park and Rock Springs do not allow dogs or alcohol, so keep this in mind while planning your visit!
Kelly Park at Rock Springs is open 365 days a year from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Please note that the last car is allowed in at 7:30 PM.
Visitors are encouraged to check the park’s website or call ahead to confirm hours of operation as they are subject to change due to weather conditions or other factors.
Only 280 cars are permitted to visit Kelly Park and Rock Springs every day. You will not be able to re-enter if you go, and you will have to wait at the back of the queue.
If you are serious about tubing Rock Springs and visiting Kelly Park, you must arrive extremely early.
What Is Kelly Park At Rock Springs?
The gorgeous Rock Spring, located in Kelly Park in Apopka, Florida, is a second-magnitude freshwater spring that flows thousands of gallons of water from the face of stunning limestone rock.
Inflatable tubes are suggested to be brought (or rented) for a calm, picturesque stroll through natural Florida. White-tailed deer peer out from the trees as swimmers and tubers pass, and otters are often spotted amid the spring’s large flat rocks.
The public can access about three-quarters of a mile of the run, which flows toward the Wekiva River, classified as a National Wild and Scenic River.
The run opens out into a large pool around the halfway mark, flanked by a sandy beach and picnic area. This location is also walkable from the parking lot, and it has a food stand and public facilities.
In addition to tubing in Rock Springs, Kelly Springs is a popular place for hiking, picnics, and camping.
Rock Springs’ Temperature
Rock Springs has a year-round average temperature of 68℉. It is one of the few springs in the state where the water temperature is 68℉, rather than the customary 72℉.
Compared to other springs in Florida, this one is 4 degrees colder. Whatever the season or weather, Rock Springs/Kelly Park’s water temperature is consistently 68℉, so it’s best to visit when it’s pretty hot out.
Twenty-six thousand gallons of crystal clean water are pumped from the depths every minute. That is why tubing Rock Springs in Florida is the ideal natural lazy river.
Best Things To Do In Kelly Park At Rock Springs:
Kelly Park Tubing
The fantastic tube run is perhaps Kelly Park’s most significant drawcard. But you need to bring your own tube – there aren’t any for rent once you get inside.
A tube rental office is about 3 minutes down the road, where you can rent tubes for $7 per day or bring your tube. You can also purchase tubes at the local Walmart throughout the summer.
Tubes are limited to a maximum height of 5 feet.
The State Park does not have an air pump. You’ll need to fill up your tubes at a service station before entering. You definitely want to be 100% ready before arriving!
Once you have your tube, head to the tube run. It is about 0.75 miles, and it is one of the shortest tubing trips in Florida, so you can complete the tube run numerous times! Most people will do the run 3-4 times.
The Rock Springs Run at Kelly Park is relatively shallow for the most part, so you can touch the bottom.
Wear a life jacket if you aren’t confident in the water, but don’t worry; it’s a laid-back tube run. Nothing crazy here!
There are several shady spots throughout the Rock Springs tube run, which adds to its magical allure. It’s the ideal Florida getaway because you’re protected from the sun by the trees, yet there’s still enough light to keep you warm as you exit the chilly water.
At the end of the Rock Springs run you’ll find a sandy beach. This is literally one of the best spots for gentle tubing in all of Florida!
Kelly Park has several hiking trails that wind through the park’s natural landscape. The trails range in difficulty from easy to moderate, making them suitable for hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, you’ll see a variety of plants and wildlife, including wildflowers, butterflies, and birds.
Whether you’re looking for a place to cool off on a hot day, enjoy a picnic with family and friends, or explore the natural beauty of Florida, Kelly Park at Rock Springs has something for everyone.
The Kelly Park Loop Trail, located along this lovely canal, offers 2.4 miles of easy hiking and various animal watching possibilities.
Keep your eyes out for fox squirrels, deer, Luna moths, and even black bears along this path. The Kelly Park Loop provides a beautiful spring view and takes you through a highland hammock with oaks, pines, and ferns.
Because this is spring country, the path includes a few fun ups and downs attributable to the aquifer’s geological structures under the surface.
Kayaking or Canoeing
Visitors to the park can launch their kayaks and canoes at Camp Joy, but they’ll have to make a short portage from the parking area.
Camping at Camp Joy provides kayakers access to Rock Springs Run, a scenic river that flows under Kelly Park. Unless you have your shuttle to take you downstream or make arrangements at nearby Kings Landing, you’ll have to paddle out and paddle back. An out-and-back paddle is achievable because of the gentle currents.
On Monday and Tuesday, Kings Landing is closed, and there is only one shuttle returning from Wekiva Island at 4 p.m. on weekdays. Shuttles operate on the weekends and holidays at 2:30 and 4 p.m. Unless you have a private shuttle, the final boat should depart no later than 11 a.m.
Although the whole 8.5-mile journey takes around four hours, it would be extended if you’re in a canoe or prefer to stop to watch or photograph animals.
It costs $3 for up to two individuals to launch a kayak at Kelly Park’s Camp Joy and $5 for three to eight people. The Rock Springs tube run has a different drop-off position.
Kelly Park has several picnic areas available for visitors to use. Each area has a picnic table and a grill, making it easy to enjoy a meal with family and friends. The picnic areas are shaded by trees, providing a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the scenery. There is a small concession stand, though most people bring their own food.
Kelly Park at Rock Springs is known for its natural spring that flows through the park, creating a refreshing oasis for visitors. You can take a dip in the crystal-clear water and enjoy the cool temperature, which remains constant throughout the year.
The swimming area is well-maintained and offers a shallow end for children and a deeper end for adults. Lifeguards are on duty during peak season for added safety.
Wildlife At Rock Springs Florida:
There are a lot of wildlife and animals to be seen in and near Kelly Park and Rock Springs Florida!
As you explore Kelly Park at Rock Springs, you will undoubtedly come across a variety of wildlife. This natural oasis is home to a diverse range of creatures, both big and small. Keep your eyes peeled and you may spot some of the following animals during your visit:
Manatees: These gentle giants can often be seen swimming in the springs during the winter months when the water temperature drops. They are a protected species, so it’s important to keep a safe distance and not disturb them.
Alligators: As with any natural Florida waterway, alligators are a common sight at Kelly Park. They typically keep to themselves and are not aggressive unless provoked, so it’s important to give them plenty of space.
Turtles: Several species of turtles call Kelly Park home, including the Florida softshell turtle, the red-eared slider, and the peninsula cooter. You may see them basking in the sun on rocks or logs.
Birds: Over 170 species of birds have been spotted at Kelly Park, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers. Look for wading birds like great blue herons and little blue herons, as well as songbirds like the painted bunting and the northern cardinal.
Fish: The clear waters of Rock Springs Florida are home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, bluegill, and sunfish. You may also see schools of mullet swimming in the deeper parts of the springs.
Remember, when encountering wildlife at Kelly Park, it’s important to respect their space and observe them from a safe distance. Never feed or attempt to touch any animals, and be sure to dispose of any trash properly to help keep the park clean and protect the wildlife.
It’s hard-packed shell rock, perfect for RVs, but most of the 26 sites have softer shoulders for tents to rest on.
All the campsites are organized around a well-kept bathroom in the center.
A picnic table, campfire ring, water, and electricity are all provided at each site, allowing for two sleeping units (such as an RV and a tent) to accommodate a maximum of six people.
You can accommodate up to four camping units if you have two RVs in your party and choose Site No. 17, a pull-through, double site with room for 12 people. Group camping is also an option.
For RVs, it’s good to choose a site where your rig can face away from the campground’s approach road, even if all of the sites are large. The vast majority of them are located outside the concentric circle that defines the area of the map in question.
Prices for non-county residents at Kelly Park range from $23 for non-residents to $17.25 for seniors. Discounts of $18, $36, and $13.50 are available to Orange County residents.
Kelly Loop Trail has two rustic campsites where tenters can stay for $15 per site or $11.25 for seniors.
Each bed at a Camp Joy lodge costs $5, with a per-bunk room costing $60.
Hotels and Resorts
There are several hotels near Kelly Park at Rock Springs that tend to be on the bduget side. Some of the best options include:
Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando-Apopka: This hotel is located just a few miles from Kelly Park and offers comfortable rooms, a complimentary breakfast, and an outdoor pool.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orlando – Apopka: This hotel is also located near Kelly Park and offers modern rooms, a fitness center, and a complimentary breakfast.
Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Apopka: This hotel is located a little further from Kelly Park, but still within a short drive. It offers spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center.
Quality Inn Apopka: This budget-friendly hotel is located about 10 minutes from Kelly Park and offers comfortable rooms, a complimentary breakfast, and an outdoor pool.
Park Plaza Hotel: This charming boutique hotel is located in nearby Winter Park and offers elegant rooms, a restaurant, and a rooftop terrace with views of the city. While it’s a bit further from Kelly Park, it’s still within a reasonable driving distance.
You can also check out VRBO for local rentals which tends to be better if you’re not a fan of budget hotels.
Do you feel tired and hungry and want to eat something? What are the finest restaurants in the Rock Springs area near Kelly Park?
You can go to The Hog & Dog BBQ, adjacent to Kelly Park. The restaurant has a welcoming and pleasant environment to relax and dine. They provide lovely American cuisine and beverages to request. This restaurant’s brisket beef, pulled pork, and mac & cheese are highly praised.
Rock Springs Bar & Grill is another option. It is pretty popular at night, and the late-night meals are fantastic. Beer and coffee are available. Also, you can have a good time here with fun bar games, a pool table, and karaoke.
Antojitos La Mexicana is a restaurant that serves traditional Mexican cuisine. It’s a yummy and hearty place to stop.
A convenience shop and fuel station are located just outside the campsite entrance at Kelly Park Road and Rock Springs Road but do not stop there if you seek camping goods – the selection is extremely limited.
The Ace Hardware shop in neighboring Apopka carries a limited assortment of camping supplies, including mantles and propane tanks. In Apopka, take Rock Springs Road south and cross US 441. The business is on the right, about a block beyond 441.
A Publix supermarket on Rock Springs Road, at the intersection with Welch Road, is about 2 miles from the campsite. This is the best place to stock up on food.
You can purchase a stack of hardwood outside the park at the Rock Springs Bar & Grill, an interesting dive bar at the crossroads of Kelly Park Road and Rock Springs Road. The bar is a vibrant saloon with food and drink and a great source of knowledge of the area. The cuisine is also delicious, and it’s kind of a cool/interesting place to stop. You can also rent tubes here.
What Should You Bring?
For a day in Kelly Park, we suggest bringing the following items:
- Beach Towel
- Beach Chairs
- Large Beach Blanket
- Tube Air Compressor
- Snorkel & Flippers
- Picnic Basket
- BBQ Tongs
- Boho Picnic Rug
- Waterproof Dry Bag
- Ball (For Volleyball)
- Lots of snacks to keep you going!
Things To Know Before Visiting Kelly Park And Rock Springs
There are a few things you should know or keep in mind before you go!
- Kelly Park and the Rock Springs are no-go zones for alcohol consumption. Ginnie Springs is one of a few Florida springs that permit alcohol consumption, and as a result, it has earned the moniker “party spring.
- Bring a tube with you if you intend on tubing before entering the park. Inside Kelly Park, there are no tubes to rent.
- If you want to guarantee entrance to Rock Springs, arrive early. When we arrived at 8 a.m., there were already 100 automobiles parked along the road. Kelly Park can only accommodate 280 cars in a single day. Be aware that it might shut as early as 9 a.m. during peak season.
- You will not be able to re-enter the park, so bring everything you want to eat and drink throughout the day. A BBQ picnic lunch proved to be a popular choice.
- While you’re swimming, cover your picnic meal. If you don’t, your kindness will be exploited by hungry squirrels and vultures.
- Fill up your tube before going into Kelly Park. There is no air to fill your tubes after you enter the park.
- Don’t forget to tidy up after yourself and toss out the rubbish! We want to leave Kelly Park and Rock Springs better than we found them. Please don’t leave any trash behind, and be mindful to properly dispose of anything you don’t want to take with you.
FAQs About Visiting Kelly Park at Rock Springs Florida:
Can visitors bring their own food and drinks to Kelly Park?
Yes, visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drinks to Kelly Park. The park has picnic tables and grills available for use, as well as a concession stand that sells snacks and drinks.
Are there any restrictions on swimming at Kelly Park?
Yes, there are some restrictions on swimming at Kelly Park. Visitors are not allowed to use any flotation devices, such as rafts or tubes, in the swimming area. Additionally, visitors are not allowed to jump or dive from the rocks or trees surrounding the springs.
Is Kelly Park open year-round?
Yes, Kelly Park is open year-round. However, the park may close temporarily due to weather conditions, such as lightning or flooding. It is recommended to check the park’s website or social media pages for updates before visiting.
What is the best time of year to visit Kelly Park at Rock Springs?
The best time of year to visit Kelly Park Florida depends on personal preferences and weather conditions. The park is open year-round, but the water temperature remains a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Many visitors prefer to visit during the summer months when the air temperature is warmer, and the water provides a refreshing escape from the heat.
However, summer is also the park’s busiest season, and crowds can be significant. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting during the fall or winter months when the park is less crowded and the weather is cooler.
Enjoy Kelly Park at Rock Springs while you’re in Florida! It’s one of the most gorgeous spots in the state.