Wilsons Landing Park

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West of historic Wilson Corner and a mile north of where the Sanford and Lake Eustis Railway once crossed the Wekiva River, Wilsons Landing is a postage stamp of a county park.

Its main draw is as a lovely waterfront on the Wekiva River and a large green space suitable for family activities.

Wekiva River waterfront at Wilsons Landing

Resources

Resources for exploring the area

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Overview

Location: SanfordLength: 0.3 mile round-trip and loopTrailhead: 28.80932, -81.41475Address: 379 Malekean Trail, SanfordFees: FreeRestroom: Near the parking areaLand manager: Seminole CountyPhone: 407-665-2180

Open 8 AM to dusk. Dogs are NOT permitted. No camping or alcohol.

Trails and restrooms are accessible. Be cautious of wildlife, especially near the river.

Directions

 Driving west on SR 46 from Interstate 4 exit 101, Sanford, you reach a series of traffic circles. Stay on SR 46 at each one. After 5.2 miles there is a circle under the Wekiva Parkway with Wekiva Park Dr on the right. Continue around the circle without getting on the parkway bridge over the river and take the right onto Malekean Trail. Bear right at the subdivision gate towards the park sign to follow the narrow half mile entrance road into Wilson Landing Park.

About the Park

From a large flat area edged with pines and magnolias, a grassy slope sweeps down formerly wooded bluffs to the Wekiva River.

Starting at the parking area, a paved path leads under the shade of large hardwoods past restrooms and around a very large picnic pavilion to a descent towards the water.

Picnic pavilion

Along the descent, the landscape has been crafted into terraced wetlands to filter rainwater.

As the path jogs downslope, an access point for paddlers to launch is on the left at a small spring-fed basin.

Boardwalk to river level

The path meets a boardwalk and follows the outflow of the basin to the Wekiva River.

It makes a sharp right and follows the riverbank to afford spectacular views. A round-trip to the end of the boardwalk from the parking area is a quarter mile.

The riverfront is largely floodplain

Connecting Trails

Wilsons Landing Park serves as a take-out and put-in for paddlers on the Wekiva River Paddling Trail.

A narrow run adjoining the park’s riverfront boardwalk connects to a small basin with a hand launch.

Hand launch and basin

If you paddle out-and-back from Wilson’s Landing, it’s nearly a four-mile round-trip to Katie’s Landing, with a strong current to push against on the return trip.

A 10-mile round-trip upriver provides a rest break at the Buffalo Tram primitive campsite as a turn-around point.

Map of paddle routes on kiosk at park

Follow park signage to drive closer to the launch than the park’s main parking area, passing the trailers and watercraft of an on-site outfitter.

Wekiva Outfitters offers canoe and kayak rentals as well as guided trips. Call 407-902-4324 regards current rental hours and reservations needed.

Canoe launch sign

Built in 1887 but not entirely abandoned until 1980, the former rail corridor for the Sanford and Lake Eustis Railroad now hosts the northernmost miles of the Seminole Wekiva Trail.

There is no direct connection by land between the trail’s grassy terminus at the Wekiva River and this park because of subdivisions reaching to the river’s bluffs.

Along the Wekiva River at Wilsons Landing

However, cyclists can follow the sidepath along Longwood-Markham Rd to SR 46 west to access Wilsons Landing Park, a half mile along Malekean Trl from SR 46.

Those paved sidepaths are also blazed for backpackers following the Florida National Scenic Trail through the Orlando metro.

Park entrance sign visible from SR 46 eastbound

Trail Map

Explore More!

Learn more about the Wekiva River Paddling Trail

Wekiva River Paddling Trail

A leisurely float downriver from Wekiwa Springs provides paddlers an immersion in the beauty of a Wild and Scenic River teeming with wildlife.

Slideshow

See our photos of Wilsons Landing Park

Click to View

Nearby Adventures

More worth exploring while you’re in this area.

Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park

Paddle, hike, or ride your horse within this massive riverine preserve on the edge of the Orlando metro, where the Wekiva River and St. Johns River mingle.

Seminole State Forest

With nearly 50 miles of trails and roads for hiking, biking, and equestrian use, Seminole State Forest offers surprising panoramas and bubbling springs north of Orlando.

Rock Springs Run Reserve State Park

You have a better-than-average chance of spotting a Florida black bear at Rock Springs Run State Reserve, a vast wilderness area in the Wekiva River basin. This is the one park where we’ve seen the most evidence of our native Florida black bear.

Black Bear Wilderness Area

North of Orlando, Black Bear Wilderness Area in Sanford offers some of the best wildlife watching in the region on its loop along the St. Johns River.

 

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