You have 2 trips in progress. See all
The Drive, which opened in May 2015, is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and most federal holidays (will be posted here).It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Lake Apopka Wildlife Trail and many more Apopka attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Apopka tour itinerary planning app.
In emergencies where Law enforcement is needed, call the Fish and Wildlife Commission at 888-404-FWCC (3922). For all other matters call the District's Bureau of Land Resources (formerly land management) at 386-329-4404 Monday through Friday. If the gate does not operate, call the number posted there.
The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is an 11 mile one-way drive that is managed by the St. Johns Water Management District. The drive has a 10mph speed limit and is free of charge. It allows a tremendously unique opportunity to get extremely close to Florida Wildlife in their natural habitat from the comfort of your own car. Over 360 bird species have been documented over the years to have visited this site. This world-class birding location is home to many year-round species while the immense marshes attract multitudes of migrating birds on the Atlantic Flyway on their way to South America or for their return trip to the northeast or Canada. In addition, the area supports habitat for many alligators, bobcats, fox, snakes, frogs, butterflies and many other animal species.
These lands were actually former lake-bottom and shallow marshes of Lake Apopka. In the 1940's the army corp of engineers created a dike system to section off these lands allowing them to be drained. While most of Florida is sandy and not good for farming, the rich & fertile lake bottom (muck) soils were used for commercial farming to feed our ever expanding nation.
While the farms were very productive the farm discharge from the fields was pumped back in to the Lake. Fertilizers in that discharge created a massive algae bloom that killed about all of the aquatic vegetation and sport bass fish that once made Lake Apopka one of the premier bass fishing locations in the nation.
In the early 1990's a concerned group of locals formed the Friends of Lake Apopka (FOLA). This group began a campaign to restore this once healthy ecosystem to it's former beauty. FOLA's efforts were successful and culminated in then Florida Governor Lawton Chiles signing the Lake Apopka Restoration Act in 1996 authorizing the buyout and closing of all commercial farming practices on this land.
The St. Johns Water Management District has been charged with overseeing efforts to restore this gem of Central Florida. Although much work still needs to be done, several large restoration projects have been successful in beginning to improve the lake's water quality. The former farm lands surrounding the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive continue to be restored today.
Sometimes birds just need a lucky break. The 20,000 acre North Shore provides habitat for wetland birds all year. Other species that breed farther north are here in winter, other species breed here but go farther south in the winter, and many species pass through in fall and spring migration. The variety is astounding and allows one to feel you can always discover new birds.
The wildlife viewing opportunities are unparalleled by any of the multitude of attractions in the Central Florida area......AND IT'S FREE!!! Only a 20 minute drive from many tourist areas, it is easily reachable from SR 429 or other area highways. Be sure to plan your trip there today!
Create a full itinerary - for free!
Lake Apopka Wildlife Trail reviews
Visited in August 22 and it was HOT. This is a really nice way to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks. It's only open a couple of days a week, so make sure you check before...
Visited in August 22 and it was HOT. This is a really nice way to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks. It's only open a couple of days a week, so make sure you check before... more »
Just love Lake Apopka wildlife drive. There is just so much to see ,it’s different each time . Where else can a visitor see so much wildlife . Love the stopping points to just soak it all in and...
Just love Lake Apopka wildlife drive. There is just so much to see ,it’s different each time . Where else can a visitor see so much wildlife . Love the stopping points to just soak it all in and... more »
It was an amazing drive. Its a bit tricky to get to - my older GPS had a bit of trouble finding it and had to backtrack. First half was better for viewing - the right side of the car is where the...
It was an amazing drive. Its a bit tricky to get to - my older GPS had a bit of trouble finding it and had to backtrack. First half was better for viewing - the right side of the car is where the... more »
Plan your trip to Apopka
Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
See all ›
Side trips from Apopka
Hidden gems in Apopka
Golf in Apopka
Nearby attractions in Apopka
30 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM KUWAIT Magic Kingdom Park Universal's Islands of Adventure Orlando Outlet Marketplace 16 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Walt Disney World Resort Room Escape Games Universal Orlando Resort 30 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES Universal's Islands of Adventure Walt Disney World Resort Museum Of Illusions Orlando 60 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Walt Disney World Resort Orlando StarFlyer Universal Orlando Resort 18 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM INDIA Universal's Islands of Adventure Walt Disney World Resort Room Escape Games 1 day in Mount Dora BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Lake Dora Lake Apopka Wildlife Trail Kelly Park 21 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Universal's Islands of Adventure Walt Disney World Resort Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park 23 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Magic Kingdom Park Universal's Islands of Adventure Museum Of Illusions Orlando 58 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Myrtle Beach Charleston Hilton Head 2 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Lake Apopka Wildlife Trail West Orange Trail Museum Of Illusions Orlando 17 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM KUWAIT Walt Disney World Resort Museum Of Illusions Orlando Universal Orlando Resort 20 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA Universal's Islands of Adventure Clearwater Beach Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe
Are you the owner of this business?