Exploring Orlando’s Kelly Springs Park

Kelly Park (or Rock Springs Run) is one of the best places to get outside and enjoy the best of what Florida has to offer.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Kelly Park is one of the parks managed by the Orange County Parks and Recreation department.  It is NOT a state park!
  • You do have to pay to get in – $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people; $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people; and $1 for additional person/walk-ins/motorcycles/bikes.
  • The highlight of the park is the free-flowing natural spring that is always at a chilly temperature of 68 degrees.
  • You can bring in a tube to take down the springs. We rented tubes from Ron’s – which is just down the street from the park.  You cannot get a tube once you are inside the park.  You can bring your own!  And you will want one!  Ron’s tubes are $3 – cash only! And you need to leave an ID with him – so bring your YMCA card – something other than your drivers license.  You can also get tubes from KING, which is right next to the park entrance.  They are $5 each.
  • GET THERE EARLY!!! We left our house around 7:15 – making it to Apopka around 8am.  We stopped at Ron’s and rented our tubes and went to the park.  We waited in line to get into the gate for ONE HOUR!!!! It was crazy slow.  The park itself opened at 8am, so I was surprised at the wait.  However, once we got inside, we easily found a parking place and then found a place to drop our stuff and we were off.  The park does close when it hits capacity.  And it did the day we were there.  And while it was closed, the park never really felt that crowded- which is great if you are on the inside!!
  • You will want your tube if you are going to go down the spring run.  The top of the run is full of rocks.  It’s beautiful to look at but hard to walk on.  May want to bring some water shoes.
  • There aren’t a lot of fish!! I saw some minnows and other small fish.  I even saw a turtle swimming! But for someone like me, who hates to swim with fish, this place was perfect.  The water is so clear – we have some great GoPro video!
  • There is a concession stand with pretty good food! You can also pretty much bring in any food – but don’t even try to bring in alcohol! Orange County Sheriff’s officers are in full force looking for alcohol and will bust you.
  • If you want to go down the spring run, you take your tube and climb some stairs and walk about 10 minutes to the spring head.  The head itself is blocked off, but you can jump into a big hole and then it shoots you down the run.  This is where it’s really rocky.  The run lasts for about 15 minutes and then you end up in the pool/splash area of the springs.  From here, you can continue down the run for another 10-15 minutes.  This last stretch is super relaxing and the bottom is all sandy. Once you reach the end, you get out and walk back to the pool area.  OR, you can just turn around in the run and walk your way back against the current.  We did this because the water temperature was just so enjoyable!

There are also a number of hiking trails you can do in the area! So check it out and let me know what you think!