Founded in the 1850s, Apopka experienced its first period of significant development during the 1880’s with a boom in citrus farming and the development of railroad lines to Central Florida. Present-day Apopka is a fast-growing city expanding in all directions. Conveniently located 13 miles northwest of Orlando, all of Central Florida is easily drivable while still maintaining its small town atmosphere and family-oriented community. Apopka’s rich agricultural history still shines through to this day, as the city is even known as the “Indoor Foliage Capital of the World.”
ENJOYING THE OUTDOORS IN APOPKA
Apopka’s location affords residents some of Florida’s best natural recreation. Located at the headwaters of the Wekiva River, Wekiwa Springs State Park offers countless year-round recreational activities. Throughout the park over 13 miles of trails allow for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding, through the natural Florida foliage. The Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run also provide opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. The most popular attraction of the state park is the Wekiwa Springs that the park is named for. With approximately 42 million gallons of crystal clear water naturally pumped into the main spring each day, the water is always a refreshing 72 degrees and is surrounded by the perfect grassy area for spreading out a blanket and having a picnic.
EXPERIENCING THE WILDLIFE IN APOPKA
Along the southwest city border lies Lake Apopka and the 20-thousand-acre Lake Apopka North Water Management District with endless opportunities for recreation in the marsh and Florida wetlands. Popular activities along the over 15 miles of trails include hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. Bird diversity in the area is extraordinarily high, including over 362 species, 16 of which are exotics. One of the more unique features is the 11-mile Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive that meanders through the eastern portion of the area.
GREAT GOLF IN APOPKA
Another popular outdoor pastime among residents in the area is golf. With two courses there are over thirteen thousand yards of green grass to play on. If you like a challenge, the Sweetwater Country Club golf course is one of the larger courses in Central Florida. Often compared to an “old school” golf course in that the holes are more challenging to complete and it can be a long course. At the Errol Estate Country Club the course has an exquisite layout and has elevations and landscapes unlike surrounding Orlando courses that are predominantly flat.
HITTING THE TRAILS
A feature in Apopka loved by families and active residents of all ages is the West Orange Trail. This multi-use trail passes through downtown Oakland, Winter Garden, and Apopka with most of its 22-mile length built on old railroad alignments. At the southern trailhead Killarney Station is a modern take on an old-time train depot with bike rentals, restrooms, and water. Traveling from the southern trail head towards Apopka, riders pass stations and outposts with basketball courts, benches, butterfly gardens, picnic areas, restrooms, tennis courts, water fountains, and other recreational activities. The trail is open to bicyclists, skaters, walkers, and pets.
THE FLORIDA HOSPITAL IN APOPKA IS EXPANDING
With Apopka growing and projecting a population of 84,000 by 2020, Florida Hospital Apopka has recognized the need to expand its current facilities. Originally opening their doors in 1975, Florida Hospital Apopka has recently begun construction of a brand new medical campus that is expected to be an economic catalyst. The new hospital will feature 120 private patient rooms, advanced surgical suites, a diagnostic cath lab, and other high-demand services. Plans also include an expanded Women’s Center, outpatient rehab, ICU, and medical services. The project also project the creation of up to 300 new jobs for registered nurses, pharmacists, and other clinical professionals. The hospital is slated to open in 2017.