Dubai 3rd April – Named 2017’s Best City for Recreation by WalletHub, Orlando offers unique outdoor adventures that will get your blood pumping and your spirit soaring. Whether you prefer to soar through the air, to skim through the water or to keep your feet on solid ground, you’ll find plenty of outdoor recreation options in Orlando. Orlando’s varied landscape offers breathtaking vistas of green grass, lakes, rivers and natural springs, tall native palm trees and untouched forests, just a few of the sights you will enjoy as you take in Central Florida’s natural beauty.
MILD OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS
Cypress Canopy Cycle, located at Forever Florida Ziplines & Adventures in the Wild, features reclining bicycles suspended from a network of high-tension cables, 25 feet (7.6 meters) above the ground.
Showcase of Citrus, a 2,500-acre working citrus and cattle ranch, produces more than 50 seasonal varieties of citrus, ripe for the picking. Enjoy a Swamp Safari & Eco Tour with zebra, Ankole-Watusi, alligators, exotic native birds & more.
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, located on Lake Osceola, offers hour-long, guided cruises through three of the seven lakes and two narrow man-made canals on the tranquil Winter Park chain. On any given tour, participants may observe large cranes swooping waterside to snag a large fish or a lazy alligator languishing on a nearby bank, while also learning a brief history of Winter Park, Central Florida’s oldest community originally founded by wealthy Easterners in the 1800’s.
SPRINGS NEAR ORLANDO
Blue Spring State Park is the home to the largest spring on the St. Johns River, making it a designated refuge for the manatee population. The spring’s warm waters make it a popular spot for swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers.
De Leon Springs State Park offers a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking trails and narrated boat tours to swimming, canoeing and bird-watching, this state park offers endless opportunities to experience natural Florida. Kids will enjoy making their own pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant.
Kelly Park features a free-flowing natural spring and Rock Springs, a clear, swift creek perfect for tubing. The park offers a full-service concession, picnic pavilions, a playground and tent and RV camping spots.
Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka offers 7,800 acres (3,157 hectares) with a natural spring for swimming, canoes for rent and an opportunity to experience the natural environment of the area’s Timacuan Indians.
ORLANDO NATURE TRAILS AND PARKS
At Forever Florida Ziplines & Adventures in the Wild’s horseback trail ride, guests make their way through a historic trail and ass through Bull Creek. A knowledgeable guide will provide insight and commentary about encounters along the way.
Lake Eola Park is a 43-acre recreational area in the heart of downtown Orlando. Visitors can picnic along the shore, enjoy one of the many free concerts at the amphitheater, feed the resident swans or stop by the farmer’s market on Sundays. Swan boat rentals are a fun family activity and available for a nominal fee. Every Sunday, the park host the Eola Sunday Market, which features local fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, an assortment of local cuisines, beer, wine and a variety of artwork and entertainment.
The Nature Conservatory’s Disney Wilderness Preserve sends guests through 12,000 acres of protected natural habitat to see conservation in action. Home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, The Disney Wilderness Preserve is an essential part of the Everglades ecosystem and contains 3,500 acres of restored wetlands.
West Orange Trail in Winter Garden is Orlando’s longest paved bicycle trail, 19 miles (30.5 kilometers) through fields, forest canopies and the towns of Winter Garden and Apopka, part of the nationwide Rails to Trails program. Bicycles and rollerblades are available for rent.
Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, located in Polk County, offers horseback riding adventures along the miles of unspoiled beauty at the resort. One-hour trail rides are led by our experienced wranglers, where even beginners learn the ropes. If one hour isn’t near enough time to bond with your horse and nature, extended rides are also available.
– Wildlife and Bird-watching in Orlando
The Gatorland Bird Rookery was created in 1991 as an alligator breeding marsh and has grown into one of the largest and most accessible wading bird rookeries in Florida. Today, this area provides protected nesting, foraging, and roosting area to over 20 different species of birds, many of which are listed as Endangered or Species of Special Concern. From February 2 through June 11, photographers and birding enthusiasts can enter the park at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturdayand Sunday, and stay until dusk every Saturday.
Lake Apopka is a magnet for nesting and migrating birds, lured by the lake’s acres of undeveloped shoreline. More than 360 different species of birds, from Bald Eagles to Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets and Anhingas, have been identified in the Lake Apopka North Shore, more than any inland site in the state of Florida.
The Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza, held each winter, is a celebration of the rich diversity of birds and other wildlife that make their home on the north shore of Lake Apopka, Florida’s fourth-largest lake. The event offers free bird and nature tours, live entertainment, food and Florida artisans. True bird-lovers won’t want to miss this event.
Great Florida Birding Trail (GFBT) is a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, supported in part by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Wildlife Foundation of Florida. Orlando has many spots that are part of the trail, including Gatorland, Brevard Zoo and Orlando’s Wetlands Park.
– Zoos, Gardens and Water Adventures in Orlando
BK Adventure offers multiple kayaking packages for a fun guided outdoor experience, including a tour at night, a monkey tour and a sunset package. Some tours even include a picnic lunch and hotel pick-up/drop-off from the Disney and I-Drive areas.
The Brevard Zoo is the only zoo in the country to offer a guided kayak tour around an animal exhibit. As you move through Expedition Africa in your kayak, you can see a variety of animals including giraffes, Southern White Rhinos and Grevy’s Zebras. Visitors can also enjoy Florida’s weather in a shaded boardwalk, surrounded by untouched wildlife, or with a kid-friendly play lagoon. Through an enriched learning environment, animal enthusiasts will spend their visit alongside more than 880 animals.
Grande Lakes Orlando’s Adventure Experiences features interpretive eco-tours offer guided canoe or kayak tours where guests can learn about the history of Shingle Creek and observe the native species such as alligators, bald eagles, osprey and barred owls in their natural habitat.
Maui B’s Paddleboarding offers paddleboard lessons, rentals, yoga classes, and fitness and eco tours throughout Central Florida, including Orlando, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach and Cocoa Beach.
Peace of Mind Kayak Tours offers a variety of kayaking tours throughout Central Florida. The Winter Park Chain of Lakes tour sends visitors through the beauty of towering cypress trees with views of million-dollar homes along the shores of Winter Park.