One of the prettier place to pitch a tent in the region, Magnolia Park offers both shade and sun, depending on which side of the park you choose.
Cyclists flock here for access to the Lake Apopka Loop Trail. Boaters have a boat ramp for launching into Lake Apopka. And families can picnic under the ancient live oaks.
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Address: 2929 S Binion Rd, Apopka FL 32703
Trailhead: 28.634023, -81.549971
Fees: free except during events, then $4 per person
Restroom: near the parking areas
Land Manager: Orange County Parks
Open sunrise to sunset. Leashed pets permitted. Alcohol is prohibited.
From the junction of SR 429 (Toll) with US 441 in Apopka, follow SR 437 (Binion Rd) south. Drive 3 miles, passing the entrance to Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive en route.
The first park entrance on the right is for the Lake Apopka Loop Trail and a lakeside playground. The main entrance is on the left, followed by the boat ramp access on the right.
Spanning 56 acres, located on the north shore of Lake Apopka, this county park has always been a compelling destination for its beautiful live oaks.
Established in the early 1960s, the park owes its existence to these oaks, which caught the eye of an Orange County commissioner, Clif Freeman, who lobbied to purchase the land.
The lakefront side of the park has two separate entrances. The southern entrance is where the boat ramp into Lake Apopka and the fishing pier are located. It is open 24 hours.
It is one of the few places where you can launch a kayak or canoe directly into Lake Apopka.
Be aware of weather conditions before boating or paddling on this large lake, as whitecaps can come up suddenly.
The northern lakefront entrance provides a small picnic area and the official eastern trailhead for the Lake Apopka Loop Trail, which starts here as a paved bike path. It closes at 6 PM.
Across the highway between these two lakefront entrances is the main entrance to the park, leading into the oak hammock.
A half-mile one-way road circles a large pond in the heart of the park. Picnic tables with grills sit on the forested slopes. Three picnic pavilions can be rented for large groups.
Camping at Magnolia Park
Sites in the Magnolia Park campground sit beneath the deep shade of the ancient oaks. Campsite reservations can be made up to 45 days in advance.
In this 18 space campground, both tent campers and trailers are welcome. A few of the sites are only suitable for tents.
Each campsite has a fire ring, picnic table and grill, water and electric. Registered campers may use the dump station. An accessible bathhouse is shared with the group camping area.
Campsites are for the use of one household or up to six campers. Capacity is two tents and two vehicles, or a tent, a camper, and a car.
Pets are permitted in the campground but must be registered when you pay for your campsite. No more than two pets may be at one campsite.
For 2020, campsite rates are $18 for Orange County residents and $23 for non-residents. Discounts are available for active military and ages 55 and up.
Two group sites are available for organized groups of 20 or more tent campers. These do not include electric. Rates start at $60 for the group campsite.
Bears have been seen in the park, so food must be stored in your car or camper.
Festivals and Events
As the park is home to many small events and several large special events annually, plan ahead when visiting. Parking is limited and an entrance fee applies during park events.
The biggest event of the year is the Annual Magnolia Park Bluegrass and Country Music Festival each May.
For families, October means Pumpkin Fest, with hayrides and other not-so-scary Halloween-themed fun. In December, Santa arrives by airboat.
Interpretive programs are offered year-round, including physical education classes for homeschooled children. Call for details. The park features both volleyball and basketball courts.
Lake Apopka North Shore
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Tubing down Rock Springs Run is why most folks show up at Kelly Park, but the Kelly Loop Trail is a nice dry way to see the waterway and wildlife.