Orlando Wetlands Park Review With Photos & Video
What is the Orlando Wetlands Park?
I've lived in Orlando since 1996, and I really have come to appreciate all the city has to offer. From our "real" downtown, to our theme parks, resorts, water parks and splash pads, we have a lot of things to do in this city.
Sometimes you need a bit of a break from the ordinary, and in the case of Orlando, the ordinary usually means a busy tourist attraction.
Orlando Wetlands Park is a Man-Made Reclaimed Water System
While the park may look very natural, it's actually a man-made wetlands park. Water in the park enters as it comes out of the waste water treatment plants in Orlando. The photo you see is actually one of the inflows of water on the far west side of the park.
Water enters on one side of the park and, over the course of 40 days, makes a west-to-east journey across the park, filtering as it goes. On the far east side, the naturally filtered water re-enters the natural habitat.
You can read the full history of the park and the role it plays in the waste water treatment process, here.
Where is the Orlando Wetlands Park located?
The Orlando Wetlands Park, located approximately 40 minutes east of downtown Orlando, is one of my favorite places to go that isn't run by a certain mouse or one of their competitors. Below is the vital information for the location of the park, or you can use the map here to navigate as well.
25155 Wheeler Rd
Christmas, FL 32709
Phone: (407) 568-1706
Hours of Operation: sunrise to sunset
Orlando Wetlands Park - a welcome change from the theme parks and city hustle.
Orlando Wetlands Park is definitely different than most of what you'd experience in the Orlando area. It's a park, but the list of characteristics it shares with the other (theme) parks in the area is very short. Here's a quick compare and contrast:
- No long lines at Orlando Wetlands Park
- Lots of photo opportunities
- Lots of trails to walk and bike
- No vendors to sell you stuff
- No thrill rides (except the tram)
- No guard rails to keep the animals at bay
- There's no admission charge to get in (but donations are accepted)
That list is really just the start of some of the aspects of this park that set it apart from others in the area. If you're looking to get out and see nature, but you don't necessarily have time to drive to the Everglades in south Florida, then the Orlando Wetlands Park is a great place to go.
One of my personal favorite things to do when I first arrive is to sign and review the guest list. There's a small podium when you first arrive with a guest book. You don't have to sign in, but many people do. I always love seeing people from other states, and many times other countries enjoying the park.
Orlando Wetlands Park FAQ
Meh. It's okay, but not the greatest. If you're a skilled mountain biker, you'd be bored with this park. If you're just starting out, it's a great place to ride bikes. The downside is that you can only ride your bike on the gravel paths. Bikes are not allowed on the hiking trails. Those are for foot traffic only.
The park has restrooms, a covered picnic area with lots of tables and an exhibit area that shows some of the types of wildlife you may encounter at the park. There's a good amount of parking that's not paved, with more parking located just across from the main entrance as well.