Explore Untouched Wilderness in Orlando’s Natural Oasis
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Find inner peace and catch a glimpse of wildlife with a visit to Seminole County, Orlando’s Natural Oasis. With acres of wilderness areas, preserves and pristine waterways, it’s the perfect place to relax, paddle downriver or enjoy an authentic Florida vacation.
Whether you’re canoeing crystal-clear rivers or hiking on scenic trails, you’ll experience spectacular views only Mother Nature can provide. Seminole County is home to some of Florida’s best natural attractions, including the Wekiva River, one of only two National & Wild Scenic Rivers in the entire state of Florida, the St. Johns River, Wekiva Springs State Park and ZOOm Air Adventure Park at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, to name just a few. With more than 30 parks and preserves, the area is a favorite destination for hiking, biking, bird watching, wildlife study, nature photography and more. There’s something for everyone whether you are a nature lover or adventure seeker.
The Geneva Wilderness Area, a 180-acre property south of Geneva, features a beautiful variety of flatwoods, ponds and lake systems all supporting an equally diverse collection of wildlife. A hike through various habitats at this site can offer visitors with sighting white-tailed deer, gopher tortoise, wild turkey, grey fox and snakes. Visitors can also be rewarded with a view of the remains of the original railroad tracks that opened Florida to tourism over a century ago. Hikers can follow the red blazes marked on the trees to experience a quick hike, or take a leisure walk and stop at the chapel and enjoy a view of the lake. Other trails mark off more challenging routes depending on the visitor's preference.
Located on the property, the Ed Yarborough Nature Center features exhibits and special programs that highlight the diverse ecology of Central Florida.
The Florida National Scenic Trail, a 1,300-mile trail that runs from the panhandle to the Everglades, offers visitors a perfect bird-watching location. It runs across several Seminole County wilderness areas, giving visitors the chance to experience some of the world's most enchanting birds. The trail is mostly unpaved except in Lake Mary, where it follows roadways and existing trails to cross the Seminole Wekiva Trail and the Cross Seminole Trail. These two trails have been designated as Seminole County Showcase Trails because of their length, scenic views and accommodation of many users.
Those looking for an extra dose of adventure can enjoy a kayak trip down the Wekiva River. The river—nationally known and federally protected for its scenery, recreation, geology and wildlife—is one of the area’s most popular attractions. Visitors can paddle the 15-mile trail of the gentle Wekiva River between riverbanks framed with sabal palms or go horseback riding at Wekiva Springs State Park.
Park-goers can enjoy the 6,397-acre compound that includes activities from swimming, picnics, boardwalks, nature and horseback-riding trails. With almost 6,900 acres of wild scenery, the park allows visitors to see how central Florida looked when the Timicuan Indians speared fish in the spring-fed creeks and stalked deer in the uplands. Lake Jesup, another county favorite, is famed for having the highest alligator lake population in all of North America. Made up of swampy, grassy marshes, nothing beats seeing wildlife in their natural environment. Animal lovers wishing to get a deeper glance at wild life can visit the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Sanford.
A trip to the zoo allows visitors to get up close and personal with over 400 animals including the Southeast’s largest collection of venomous snakes and non-venomous reptiles. The zoo’s most recent additions are a giraffe exhibit, in which visitors may hand feed the giraffes, and a leopard exhibit.
Also at the zoo is ZOOm Air Adventures, a unique adventure course that allows guests to explore perfect natural habitats from an animal’s perspective—in the air. Traveling from tree to tree by zip lines and suspended rope bridges.
Seminole County offers nature lovers, families and adventurous travelers a fun and cool getaway for a reasonable rate. Whether you are looking for an exhilarating escapade or soothing break, Do Orlando North, Seminole County–the ultimate travel destination this summer.
About Orlando North, Seminole County: Teeming with old Florida charm and young Florida vibrancy, Orlando North, Seminole County offers visitors nature-based attractions, eclectic dining, an emerging micro brew scene, plus a year round calendar of festivals and events. With over 2,000 waterways, you’ll discover a wide array of thrilling outdoor activities from paddling in clear freshwater springs and rivers to airboating among alligators, or zooming through an aerial zip line course. It also features an array of sports and training facilities for amateur tournament play, including the 102-acre Boombah Sports Complex at Seminole County. And getting here is easy via Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando International Airport (MCO), aboard the Amtrak Auto Train, or via auto on I-95 and I-4; and you’ll save 30% on accommodations over Orlando hotels. All this and it’s just a short drive to area theme parks and beaches too. 1-800-800-7832 or 407-665-2900 or visit: www.DoOrlandoNorth.com