Built to treat runoff from the surrounding urbanizing area near Zellwood, Jones Avenue Stormwater Treatment Area consists of a 17-acre detention pond and a 20-acre wetland.
On the outer part of the park, the detention pond collects stormwater. The man-made wetland on the west side of the park filters it.
As this water is released, it flows into the Lake Level Canal and into Lake Apopka. This site is part of the Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area.
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Location: Mount Dora
Length: 0.8 mile loop
Address: 2990 Lake Level Canal Rd, Mount Dora FL
Trailhead: 28.730071, -81.624378
Land manager: St. Johns River Water Management District
Sunrise to sunset daily. Leashed dogs allowed. Bicycles permitted, but the nature trail is a very grassy berm around the wetlands and may be overgrown if not mowed recently.
Cyclists should follow the rules of the road: do not enter and ride Wildlife Drive from this gate since it is a one-way road exiting at this point.
There is a separate pedestrian entrance to this park to the left of the gate. Don’t walk or ride through the vehicle gate if it is open after a car leaves, since it could close and hurt you.
Do not drive into the park through the gate: it is a one-way exit from the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Instead, park on the right in the small lot next to the canal.
From the parking area, walk through the gap in the fence and up to the kiosk.
You’ll find an aerial photo of the stormwater park on one side of the kiosk, and a map of Lake Apopka North Shore on the other.
We didn’t find any markings to lead you down the nature trail at Jones Avenue STA, but the mowed path was obvious. Refer to the aerial photo on the kiosk.
It simply follows the berm between the outer pond and the inner wetlands area that adjoins Wildlife Drive, making a loop around the inner wetlands.
A prominent osprey nest sits atop a power pole to the left. Walking up to the berm above the detention pond, survey the view. Alligators may be hidden in the dense vegetation below.
Follow the berm to the right. The pond has a great deal of wetlands vegetation around its edges as well as open water, so birding opportunities are good here.
At a curve in the berm, the trail crosses a metal plate over a culvert where waters from the pond are released into the wetlands.
The berm traces the sinuous outline of the inner forested wetland with its willow marshes. The pond remains on your left. You cross another culvert halfway through the hike.
When you get to a T intersection, turn right. From here, you can look across the Lake Apopka Restoration Area to the south.
As it reaches Wildlife Drive, the berm turns right and heads north, affording views across the forested wetlands on your right.
The nature trail loop ends as you come off the berm and down to the kiosk to exit.
Lake Apopka North Shore
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
A dedicated driving route through vast wetlands along the Lake Apopka North Shore, Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is one of Florida’s best birding locations
Discover the wild heart of Central Florida on a ride along the Lake Apopka Loop Trail, an arc spanning two counties along the lake’s north shore
A 1.3-mile nature trail at Trimble Park near Mount Dora offers a family-friendly outdoor adventure beneath ancient oaks and cypresses along the shorelines of two lakes