Hiking and Tubing Kelly Park

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You might think that spring and summer are the only good seasons for tubing Kelly Park, but after a recent visit in late October, I’d disagree.

Home of Rock Springs, a natural spring with 26,000 gallons of fresh water pumped out each minute, Kelly Park is jammed in the summer. In fact, it’s usually at capacity by 10am on weekends.

And for good reason.

This is a wonderful state park, located an easy, 25-minute drive from Orlando. Inside you’ll not only find the famed waters, where giddy tubers float along in the gentle current, but you’ll also find miles of well-maintained hiking trails, picnic spots and open grills. And admission is just $3 for couples!

But you’re thinking it’s too cold? Nonsense. The water in Rock Springs is always 68 degrees, regardless of the air temperatures. So, when the afternoon temperatures in October, November, even December, reach the high 70s to mid 80s (which they often do), the water actually feels fantastic. Not cold at all!

Besides, if you spend the morning working up a good sweat on the hiking trails, the spring will be a perfect way to cool down. So, whether you're tubing Kelly Park or heading out on its trails, this is an ideal spot for an outdoor day date that's awfully easy on the wallet.

Kelly Park is located in Northwest Orange County. From 441 (Orange Blossom Trail) in Apopka travel North on Park Avenue (Rock Springs Road) 6 miles to Kelly Park Road. Turn right on Kelly Park Road, curve to the left and entrance is on the right.

400 East Kelly Park Rd.
Apopka, Florida 32712

Feature image credit: All Trails.com

kelly park hours
Kelly Park admission is $3 for a car of 1-2 people and $5 for a car with 3-8 passengers.
Kelly park - spring shot
The 26,000 gallons of water being cranked out of the spring each minute creates a light current and crystal clear water.
kelly park tube run 2
The entire tube run is 3⁄4-mile-long run but you can get out earlier in the spring's main pool. No need to worry about gators. Only little ones travel this far up the spring and they're too scared to go near humans.
kelly park tube size
You can rent a float outside of the park for $3-$5 (there's a place right at the park's entrance, you can't miss it) or bring your own… as long as its not longer than 5 feet.
kelly park walkway
The walk back to the spring head is a mix of paved sidewalk and boardwalk. Avoid getting a sliver. Wear water shoes.
swimming hole
The tube run floats past this huge swimming hole.
hiking trails
Kelly Park sits on more than 300 acres, and you can explore much of it via hiking trails. But if you want to tackle an easy jaunt, head out on either the Kelly Loop Trail (1.5 miles), Oakhill Trail (1.8 miles), Prairie Lake Trail (1.5 miles), or the Bears Den Trail (.2 miles). Maps are given with admission.
kelly park concessions
During the fall and winter months, the concession is only open on weekends. You can pack your own lunch from home or hit the Subway right before you turn into the park.

Want more hiking ideas? Check out this guide to the 50 Best Long Distance Hiking Trails In The USA.

2 Responses to “Hiking and Tubing Kelly Park”

  1. Ashley Casey

    What a cool spot! Large beautiful park with pavilions for parties, concession stand, bathrooms, playground and hiking trails. All this in addition to the best part, tubing in the springs.

    We bought tubes at a walmart about 15 miles away as that was cheaper than renting. Even in March it was packed on a Saturday. By the time we left they had closed it for the day based on capacity so go early.

    It’s an easy walk to the beginning of the springs and then you float down to the end. You can walk back up on a trail or walk back part way in the water and do it all again.

    There are grassy areas to leave your towels and such while you float. Excellent day, so glad we went


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