located about 8 miles south of sanford on US17-92 is big tree park. at the park is the "senator" one of the oldest and largest cypress trees in north america. this tree is over 3,500 years old. the land for the park was donated by senator m.o. overstreet and the park was dedicated by president calvin coolidge in 1929. there is a nice waking platform to the tree and the park also offers a picnic area. from sanford take US17-92 south towards longwood. turn right on general hutchison parkway. the park is about a half mile on the left. sadly this historic tree was burned down by a drug influenced woman in 2012. big tree park is still open but all that remains of the "senator" is the base of the tree.
wilson's landing is a small county park on the wekiwa river. the park offers a nice picnic area and a dock on the wekiwa river. nearby is wekiwa falls marina were you can rent canoes for a trip down this scenic river. from sanford take SR46 west about 6 miles to wilson's landing park. the entrance is on the left. the entrance to the park maybe confusing in that it shares the entrance to a gated residental community. do not go to the gate, just keep right of gate and follow the narrow road to the park.
located about 10 miles west of sanford is the rock springs run state reserve. this is a wildlife management area that offers hiking, equestrian trails, and camping. horses can be rented at the park. to reserve horses call 352-735-6266. this area has one of the largest black bear populations in central florida. the high fence around the park is to protect bears from the heavy traffic on SR46. from sanford take SR46 west about 10 miles, the sign for the park is on the left. please note: you can not get to rock springs from here. rock springs is a orange county park located near apopka florida. see my apopka pages for info about rock springs.
How about those little gheckles (sp?) They used to make me crazy when I lived in Florida. They jump around everywhere changing colors and they are totally irreverent when it comes to scaring ladies in their gardens. :-) I couldn't resist including a pic of one.
Of course there are zillions of wonderful plants and flowers everywhere. The Magnolias were just finishing their bloom when I was there...but then there are the Bougenvillias (sp?) I'm killing the spelling on these things, I'm sure. come...help me here.