Wet or dry: those are your choices for exploring Lower Wekiva River Preserve, either from a launch point at the old Katie’s Landing along the Wekiva River, or from the southern trailhead along SR 46.
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome
This preserve is much larger than it looks from the highway, protecting lands along the Wekiva River as it flows into the St. Johns. Most folks head for the Sandhills Nature Trail, an easy loop through a longleaf pine and wiregrass forest carpeted with colorful blooms in spring and fall.
But there are 18 miles of unmarked trails on old roads through the preserve, and it’s here that equestrians can do some serious exploration, including an overnight at a primitive campsite. Access is through the northern trailhead.
Mountain bikes are also permitted for day rides, but the combination of soft sand, wet flatwoods, and squishy ground around bayheads makes this trail system a challenge.
Use of GPS or map and compass is highly recommended along the unmarked trails. Many people have gotten lost in these woods, including folks who know the river floodplain well.
Explore the park
- Lower Wekiva River Preserve Sandhills Trail- The Sandhills Nature Trail at Lower Wekiva Preserve State Park has been destroyed by clearcutting of the forest by DOT for the Wekiva Parkway.