Kelly Park – Rock Springs

pics_2_017While visiting in Florida, we took a day to visit Kelly Park in Apopka, FL. If you are ever in the area during the spring or summer, this park is a must-see.

The main feature of the park is Rock Springs, a clear, cold freshwater spring that comes up from a break in a rock outcropping. The spring becomes a stream that visitors can lazily float down on inner tubes, and it eventually empties into a pool where they can swim before continuing on a little further. Lifeguards are stationed along the stream and around the pool. The park has a well-build boardwalk to follow as you enter or exit the stream, and there’s also a sandy beach where small children can play.

Although the floats aren’t provided, you can rent a tube from $3 – $5 per day from nearby businesses, or you can bring your own. We did some of both — took a few floats we had on hand and rented a couple more, but the kids also enjoyed swimming down the stream with no inner tube at all.

Our other favorite activity to do at the park is search for shark teeth. When we reach the end of the first part of the stream, everyone hops out of their floats, reaches down to the bottom, and pulls up handfuls of shells and rocks. We carefully search through them, looking for very small shark teeth or some other treasure. This past trip, we found a different kind of tooth, which we believe to have once belonged to an alligator.

You’ll also find playgrounds, pavilions, and picnic tables at the park, along with a couple of bath houses and a concession booth. Entrance to the park was just $1 per person or $5 for a carload of eight. All in all, it was a great way to spend the day. It was also the impetus of a new homeschooling investigation: Just where do all those shark teeth come from?

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