Now that you have heard my complaints about Wekvia Springs State park. Let me now tell you about hiking in Wekvia Springs State Park, two words “I’M OBSESSED.” Over the last month I have hiked a little over thirty miles in the Wekvia Springs State Park with my dog Tinsel. This is one of the most incredible Florida State Parks that I have ever hiked, which was very surprising, since I despised canoeing to Wekvia Springs.
There is a $6 entrance fee into the park per car and it is well worth the price. Make a left on the main road after checking in and drive all the way down to the parking lot next to the equestrian hiking trail loop. The drive takes about 5-10 minutes, because it loops in and out of the forest. To your left and right you can see vast views of Florida plains. Several mornings I have encountered deer walking across the road. Park in the small hikers loop past the restrooms and get ready for the hike of your life!
Now unpack your gear, leash up your pup and let’s get going! Starting off on the Equestrian Trail head I followed the large 8 mile loop around Wekvia Springs. For those of you with pups that might be nervous or fearful of dogs/people there are seldom times when I have actually ran into another hiker on the trail. During my hikes I have seen bald eagles, fox squirrels and deer just to name a few. Now the terrain on the trail is just sand, which can be hard to trek in, just be warned you will be sore tomorrow!
Wild flowers, sweeping views and huge oak trees cover the trail. Here you can see coopers hawks, bald eagles, fox squirrels and deer. Always make sure you get to a hike as early as possible, the later in the day means more hikers have been on the trail possibly scaring off wildlife (not to mention the weather is better). For the experienced hikers, after finishing the 8 mile loop you can head straight for another 5 miles of trails that still loop around to the parking lot. The longest hike I have done in this State Park was for a little over 12 miles and I was EXHAUSTED.
A side note for Florida Locals, there is an app called “Meetup.” For those of you who would like to hike with a tour guide, a group or find hikers with dogs this app will introduce you to tons of like minded, wanderlust people in Florida! The app will introduce you to local festivals, hikes and even overnight backpacking trips! Hikers are about the nicest people you will encounter, so never hesitate to ask questions when you see one on the trail! They might have some great advice! On a second hiking trip in Wekvia with my friend Andrea and Tinsel, we ran into a group of hikers (20 or so) with about five other dogs. I was surprised to see anyone on the trail at all, let alone this group of hikers. They meet up every other week with their dogs and hike 13+ miles at Wekvia Springs State Park. The app is definitely a go-to for me, to meet up with other hikers and dog walkers.