Canoeing Kings Landing Florida with Kids

I have no idea how places like this go unnoticed & not talked about. It is about an hour or so from Orlando, located in central Florida. This is an amazing hidden gem for families traveling in Florida. 

The Wekiwa river goes into springs, this post is specifically for Kings Lands & Kelly Park area along Rock Springs Run. The spring is absolutely breathtaking with emerald & blue hues. As if that wasn't enough, the water is completely crystal clear. Each area of the water features a different hue in different places & brighter or deeper in color depending on the sun hitting it! It is a perfect place to kayak, canoe or tube!

First, let's start off on how to get your footing on the area, because it's kind of confusing.

Kings Landing Canoe

Kelly Park

Kelly park is the actual park that features a free-flowing natural spring (68 degrees year-round)
This park you pay admission, it has a playground, pavilions, picnic tables & has a swimming area with several ways to get into the spring. This post is about Canoeing Kings Landing, but it's important to know the difference between the two because they are just down the street from one another & often get confused. We even did, & I KNEW the difference. {you CAN canoe at Kelly Park at their Camp Joy}

           Click HERE for all info on Kelly Park           

Kelly Park Swimming Area

Kelly Park Swimming Area

Kings Landing

Kings Landing is NOT the spring itself, it is an access point to the spring where you rent canoes/kayaks. It is about 2 miles from the mouth of Rock Spring.  The area where you launch & Kelly park where you swim is what is called Rock Springs Run. 

You will pass Kelly Park {mentioned above} on your right, & then come to a dead-end of the road where you park.

Things to Know

Do not bring anything glass or styrofoam. They have up signs that any bags are subject to be searched before you get into one of their boats.

Always remember not to ever throw away any trash, bottles, plastic, etc while out enjoying the run & make sure you never harass the wildlife.

When you arrive make sure you grab a free drink from the cooler! 😉

Address for GPS:

5722 Baptist Rd.
Apopka, FL 32712

No, I do not want to talk about my husbands choice in sunglasses in this photo.

What do you do?

Canoe/Kayak Swim option

This is what we did. This is more for leisure to enjoy your time type of thing to do. Great for families or couples that aren't avid canoe/kayakers but want to enjoy the beautiful water.
There is plenty of swimming holes for you to get out swim in, they also have rope swings throughout the run. You can take all the time you need to explore the Emerald Cut. It is a straight shot back and forth, as you are going to Emerald Cut{the area before the "bridge" where the prettiest photos I have on here were taken} you are paddling upstream. It's a workout. Like whoa, arms burning, but on the way back the stream seriously pushes you back itself. You only need to steer a little. It is so relaxing coming back & taking everything in.

You simply launch at the landing then spend as much time are you want, but have to be back by 5PM.

There are no reservations needed.

River Run Adventure option

There are other options to do the entire run from Kings Landing to Wekiva Island & be returned by their shuttle. This is the River Run Adventure. I don't necessarily recommend this if your family are not avid kayak/canoers or with young ones unless they are used to doing this. It's beautiful, of course, but long. It is 8.5 miles long and generally takes about 4.5 hours. You must plan on being in the water not later than 11 AM. This also the more expensive option.

When are they open?

Open 7 days a week from 8 am - 5 pm

How much does it cost?

Canoe:  $30
Ganoe: {we needed this because all 4 of us wanted in it} we paid $50
Kayak; 1 Person $40 2 Person $50
These prices are for all-day til 5 PM.
They include the paddles & flotation devices.

NOTE: they only take CASH as payment

When is the best time to go?

I can't say this one for sure as we have only gone once, but I can say what I have heard & researched myself. We went in February, this is for sure a lighter crowd time. We saw about 7 other people on the river but went long passes without seeing anybody. We felt like we were the only ones out there! However, the weather started quite chilly so I am sure that had a lot to do with it, as well. Luckily, as I mentioned above the water is quite warm. Summer, expect it to be very packed. From what I have seen it can get extremely crowded. Remember, you sharing the run with people tubbing, entered at various areas & Kelly Park. So it's not just Kings Landing customers.

As with just about all places, getting there early is always a good idea to beat crowds.
It will guarantee you are boat {or whatever you choose} & let people on the water at first.


Being this place being so beautiful, the amount of wildlife we saw was amazing!
You can see all sorts of fish since the water is crystal clear you really get a good look at the different kinds. There are also turtles everywhere. We were able to see deer in the brush, storks & herons & wading in the water taking a drink.
Other animals have seen are otters, exotic birds, possibly monkeys, bears & extremely rarely bobcats!

What about alligators?

I think that is the number one question everyone had for me. & here's the thing, if there is a body of water in Florida there is ALWAYS a potential of gators. Did we see any on our trip? No. Have others? Yes.

What if I don't want to Canoe/Kayak?

No problem, you can still enjoy the spring!
As mentioned above Kelly Park is a great way to go & swim to enjoy. I have all my tips & info about going there HERE.
You can also tube! I think this would be so fun. I don't think, based off me doing a tubing trip in Indiana on a river, that taking younger kids would be your best option. I think maybe my 9-year-old could have but for sure not my 7-year-old. However, you know your child best.
There is tubes to rent, that is already inflated just up the road {you would have passed it getting to Kelly Park / Kings Landing area. It is called Rock Springs Bar & Grill. The tubes are only $7 for the day! You can also bring your own tube but it must be less than 5 feet in length. 

Extra Tip

More than likely you are going to be pretty hungry afterward! I highly recommend this BBQ resturaunt right by Rock Springs Bar, called HOG & DOG BBQ. The food was outstanding. All southern BBQ food & sides & the the service was amazing! The portions were huge so we got plenty to replenish us!

Here is a great video going over the area!