Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Weekend plans: how about a Sunday drive through Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive? The 11-mile wildlife drive opened in May 2015 and winds through the Lake Apopka North Shore property. This lush place offers ample wildlife viewing and quiet spots perfect for watching storms roll in or simply catching your breath for a while.

Too hot to hike? Let’s cruise.

Wildlife drives are an excellent option for enjoying Florida’s nature during the steamy months. At any given time from June through October you’ll likely find me cruising through wildlife drives in my car with the A/C on full blast and the windows open. It’s not practical at all, but it’s fun.

Well, hello there Lake Apopka. You’re looking good…

Local officials have invested in cleaning up and restoring Lake Apopka since the 1980s, and in 1996 as part of the restoration, the Florida legislature provided additional funds and mandates to acquire farmland north of the lake, which is now where the wildlife drive is.

When you visit, it’s clear that the restoration is still actively in progress, and you’ll see remnants of the farming that used to happen there. There are more good things to come, but even now it’s a lovely place.

Huge alligators live here.

On my visit I enjoyed seeing wildflowers, butterflies, turtles, beautiful birds and a whole lot of alligators. Seriously, this is THE place to go if you want to see a big alligator up close (and not on a golf course!).

Sunsets and rainstorms.

As I was driving through, a big thunderstorm moved in, but it turned out to be a good thing. There are pullouts, so I parked and watched nature do its thing. The scene looks amazing when a storm is rolling in over the land. And of course after the storm, the wildlife activity picked up, too.

The wildlife drive is managed by St. Johns River Water Management District and is free to enjoy. The entrance gate closes one hour before sunset.

So, pack a lunch, make a relaxing playlist, and go check out this gem! It’s the perfect lazy-day thing to do. Psst … don’t forget your camera (or your bug repellent)!

Plan your visit by clicking >> HERE.

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Laura is a blogger and part of the marketing team for | She has spent most of her life in the Sunshine State and does her best thinking at the beach with a perfect cup of coffee. Outside of work, Laura loves adventurous road trips, gardening, and spending time with her husband and pets in their little bungalow in the Conway area of Orlando.
  • This looks like a lot of fun.

    • Laura Knight says:

      Hey Chris,
      It was a lot of fun. Enjoy!

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