Lake Apopka

Lake Apopka hosts a myriad of bird and other wildlife. The new wildlife drive is awesome!

Photography Advice

Take your longest lens for the birds and wildlife. Don't forget a wide angle for scenic shots of the lake shore! Consider checking eBird for rare bird sightings before you go. Finish your day with sunset at Magnolia Park (the adjacent boat ramp is always open).

Website

http://www.sjrwmd.com/recreationguide/lakeapopka/

Hours

The wildlife drive is only open Friday through Sunday and federal holidays.


Lake Apopka Blog Archives

  • An Unexpected Encounter

    An Unexpected Encounter

    A pair of Blue-winged Teals surprised me when they mated on a cold morning in January. I guess spring is on the way!
  • Another Beautiful Sunset over Lake Apopka

    Another Beautiful Sunset over Lake Apopka

    Another evening of sunset photography at Lake Apopka. The sky was on fire and the sunset was beautiful!
  • Cold and Breezy Morning at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Cold and Breezy Morning at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    A cold breezy morning was still good for photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive - Drake Canvasback, Yellow Warbler, and American Bittern
  • Another Beautiful Sunset over Lake Apopka

    Another Beautiful Sunset over Lake Apopka

    Photos of a beautiful winter sunset over Lake Apopka
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher Up Close at Lust Road

    Ash-throated Flycatcher Up Close at Lust Road

    An Ash-throated Flycatcher, several kinds of sparrows, and a Painted Bunting posed for my camera at Lust Road
  • Winter Sunset over Lake Apopka

    Winter Sunset over Lake Apopka

    A quick photography expedition to Magnolia Park to photograph a winter sunset over Lake Apopka
  • Gray January Morning at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Gray January Morning at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    A cloudy winter morning of bird photography at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Morning yielded my lifer Gray-headed Swamphen along with several good Northern Harrier fly-bys
  • Ducks and a Fish out of Water at LAWD

    Ducks and a Fish out of Water at LAWD

    A November photography trip to Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive yielded wintering ducks, a cooperative Belted Kingfisher, and fish for breakfast!
  • Carpe Camera! Chasing Warblers at LAWD

    Carpe Camera! Chasing Warblers at LAWD

    A morning of bird photography at Lake Apopka Wildife Drive where the Crazy U was busy with warblers. Yellow Warblers, Northern Waterthrush
  • Black-necked Stilt Family at LAWD

    Black-necked Stilt Family at LAWD

    A family of Black-necked Stilts posed nice and close at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
  • Summer Day at LAWD

    Summer Day at LAWD

    A summer day at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive (LAWD) yielded a wading bird feeding frenzy, lots of Green Herons, begging Barn Swallows, and a singing Indigo Bunting
  • A Rainy Morning and an Unexpected Lifer at LAWD

    A Rainy Morning and an Unexpected Lifer at LAWD

    Gray skies, moisture-filled air...but the Gray Kingbird put on a good show for me, as did the begging juvenile Barn Swallows and the tiny Black-necked Stilt babies.
  • Springtime Nature Therapy at LAWD

    Springtime Nature Therapy at LAWD

    Nature therapy at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive included migrating Bobolinks and nesting residents like Common Gallinules, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Black-necked Stilts
  • Spring is in the Air

    Spring is in the Air

    Both springtime and Red-Winged Blackbirds are in the air at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive! Nesting is underway as birds molt into their breeding plumage
  • Good Birds and Good Friends at Lust Road

    Good Birds and Good Friends at Lust Road

    You can spend a whole morning photographing birds at Lust Road. Yesterday's highlights included Ash-throated Flycatcher and Western Kingbird
  • Another Beautiful Morning of LAWD Photography

    Another Beautiful Morning of LAWD Photography

    Beautiful January morning of photography at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, where Painted Buntings and Northern Harriers charmed my lens and the Pied-billed Grebes are already courting
  • Glorious Day at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Glorious Day at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Fantastic photography at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive (LAWD) on a sunny winter morning. Ash-throated Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Horned Grebe, and more!
  • Cold and Fog at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Cold and Fog at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    A cold, overcast day still turned up some good birds at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
  • Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Reopens in Time for Christmas!

    Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Reopens in Time for Christmas!

    The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive reopened just before Christmas. Even a foggy day there is a good day, complete with Merlin, Gadwall, American Wigeon, and a Vermilion Flycatcher!
  • Chasing Warblers at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Chasing Warblers at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    A Labor Day photo outing at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive yielded fall migrants: Yellow Warblers, Prairie Warblers, and the entertaining Belted Kingfisher
  • Another Morning at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Another Morning at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    A slow morning of photography at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive made perfect by one juvenile Barn Swallow :)
  • Feeding Frenzy at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Feeding Frenzy at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Alligators, wading birds, and Ospreys all vied for fish in a feeding frenzy at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive pump house pond
  • Another Magnolia Park Summer Sunset

    Another Magnolia Park Summer Sunset

    Another summer sunset at Magnolia Park. Always a fun place to photograph, even when the colors are just average!
  • A Third Pied-Billed Grebe Nest at Lake Apopka

    A Third Pied-Billed Grebe Nest at Lake Apopka

    I photographed a third Pied-Billed Grebe nest far off in the marsh at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in early July. Four little babies hatched! :)
  • Beware the Red-winged Blackbirds! at LAWD

    Beware the Red-winged Blackbirds! at LAWD

    Red-winged Blackbirds were attacking Swallow-tailed Kites who hunted insects over the fields, right over the blackbirds' nest.
  • The First Sign of Fall at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    The First Sign of Fall at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    My dad and I spotted our first-of-fall Belted Kingfisher at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive on July 16. Fall migration is underway!
  • Osprey with Fish! at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Osprey with Fish! at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    A morning of exciting action and flight photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive...and so many Osprey with Fish!
  • Lazy Summer Morning at Lake Apopka

    Lazy Summer Morning at Lake Apopka

    More summer photography from the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Lots of juveniles-Pied-billed Grebe, Green Heron, Least Bittern, Purple Martins
  • Another Summer Morning on LAWD

    Another Summer Morning on LAWD

    Another fun morning of photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive (LAWD) - Green Herons, Common Gallinule, Least Bittern, White-winged Dove
  • Feeding Time for the Barn Swallows at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Feeding Time for the Barn Swallows at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    I photographed not one, not two, but fourteen bugs that Mom brought in to feed her baby Barn Swallows at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
  • Mississippi Kites

    Mississippi Kites

    It's been fun photographing a few Mississippi Kites mixed in with the Swallow-tailed Kites at Lake Apopka Wildlife Refuge this summer
  • Let’s Go Fly a Kite! at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Let’s Go Fly a Kite! at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Hundreds of Swallow-tailed Kites kettling overhead makes for a happy bird photographer...especially when the birds start feeding on the wing
  • Nature’s Fireworks at Magnolia Park

    Nature’s Fireworks at Magnolia Park

    Over the 4th of July weekend I photographed some of nature's fireworks. The sunset was spectacular that evening at Magnolia Park!
  • July 4th at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    July 4th at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    July 4th bird photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive: Osprey with Fish, yawning Least Bittern, swallows, and Swallow-tailed Kites!
  • More Summer Fun at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    More Summer Fun at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    The photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is awesome this summer! Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Blue Grosbeak, Loggerhead Shrike, Indigo Bunting
  • Another Pied-Billed Grebe Family at Lake Apopka!

    Another Pied-Billed Grebe Family at Lake Apopka!

    Photos of a Pied-billed Grebe family with two small chicks. They rode on Mom's back and struggled to eat fish for breakfast.
  • July 4 Weekend at Lake Apopka

    July 4 Weekend at Lake Apopka

    I kicked off my July 4 weekend with a Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive visit and photographed all sorts of fun birds
  • Red-winged Blackbirds at Nest

    Red-winged Blackbirds at Nest

    I found a Red-winged Blackbird nest at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, complete with two fledglings and a dad who fed them
  • Eyes to the Skies at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Eyes to the Skies at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Another fun morning of bird photography at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, where my eyes were in the skies with flight shots galore!
  • Baby Purple Gallinules at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Baby Purple Gallinules at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Baby Purple Gallinules and their parents posed for my camera at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
  • Forky the Pig

    Forky the Pig

    Fork-tailed Flycatcher in action - catching the bug, losing the bug, regaining the bug, and eating the bug!
  • Two Cuckoos on a Quest at Lake Apopka

    Two Cuckoos on a Quest at Lake Apopka

    The photographer-cuckoos met the bird-cuckoo at Lake Apopka. We also saw Pied-billed Grebe babies, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, and our lifer Mississippi Kite! :)
  • Baby Pied-billed Grebes! at Lake Apopka

    Baby Pied-billed Grebes! at Lake Apopka

    I got to photograph baby Pied-billed Grebes at their nest at Lake Apopka. They are so cute with their stripes and orange spots!
  • A Morning of Possibilities at Lake Apopka

    A Morning of Possibilities at Lake Apopka

    A beautiful sunrise was just the start of a great morning of photography at Lake Apopka. Bitterns and grebes, oh my!
  • Addicted to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Addicted to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive continues to yield great birds, including American White Pelicans and Red-breasted Merganser - in June!
  • The Fun Continues at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    The Fun Continues at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive has been such fun this month!  Highlights of this visit include baby Killdeer, a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, a Roseate Spoonbill, and the ever-present baby aliens (Common Gallinules).
  • Rare Fork-tailed Flycatcher at Lake Apopka

    Rare Fork-tailed Flycatcher at Lake Apopka

    A rare (to the US) Fork-tailed Flycatcher has been hanging out at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. What a fun bird! Such a tail!
  • Last But Not Least (Bittern) – Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Last But Not Least (Bittern) – Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Least Bitterns are usually secretive, but apparently they like to come out on rainy days! Photos taken at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
  • First Afternoon Visit to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    First Afternoon Visit to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    My first afternoon visit to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, in search of the rare White-faced Ibis and Fork-tailed Flycatcher. Lots of great birds!
  • Baby Barn Swallows at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Baby Barn Swallows at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Baby Barn Swallows are adorably cute as they beg for Mom to feed them. Photographs from the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.
  • Snakes Make Bad Necklaces for Birds!

    Snakes Make Bad Necklaces for Birds!

    I came across this snake wrapped around a Pied-billed Grebe's neck. Snakes make bad necklaces for birds!
  • Another Great Magnolia Park Sunset

    Another Great Magnolia Park Sunset

    The sky was on fire at Magnolia Park as the setting sun bathed the clouds in color
  • Sunset at Magnolia Park

    Sunset at Magnolia Park

    Last Friday after work, I looked at the sunset forecast and saw that Florida was all red – the best sunset forecast this year!  So I asked Rich if we could take a picnic dinner up to Magnolia Park.  I’ve seen sunset photographs over Lake Apopka many times, and Magnolia Park is only 15 minutes from our house, but I’d never gone before.  Well, I’ll definitely be going back!  The sunset was nice.  Maybe it’s time for a new sunset project! Rich and I weren’t the only ones there to enjoy the sunset.  This couple was taking pictures with their iPhones.  I loved how the light shone between them. The clouds were just right to add to the beautiful glow of sunset.  The brilliant orange and yellow colors reflected in the lake.  It was gorgeous. Often the best colors of sunset are after the sun actually goes down.  The clouds starting to glow with a fiery orange.  I loved the diagonal lines across the sky. A few minutes later, the clouds were glowing pink and it was time to go.  A great end to a long work week!
  • Why Do the Best Birds Like Ugly Fences? at Lust Road

    Why Do the Best Birds Like Ugly Fences? at Lust Road

    A cloudy morning on Lust Road yielded most of the specialty birds, most of whom posed on fences! Silly birds...
  • I Found My Nemesis Bird: Merlin!

    I Found My Nemesis Bird: Merlin!

    A nice morning at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive yielded my lifer Merlin and a Vesper Sparrow
  • Lifer Grasshopper Sparrow at Lust Road

    Lifer Grasshopper Sparrow at Lust Road

    Lust Road turned out to be great for uncommon birds, including Grasshopper Sparrow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Blue Grosbeak
  • Odd Couple at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Odd Couple at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    A Hooded Merganser and Bufflehead were the Odd Couple at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
  • Early May at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Early May at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    An early May photography expedition to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive yielded Osprey, Red-winged Blackbirds, a surprise Sora, Common Gallinule chicks, and a cooperative Barn Swallow
  • Black Friday at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Black Friday at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive was more peaceful than the malls on this Black Friday! Little birds all over posed for my camera
  • Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

    There was lots of activity along the new Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, including nesting Red-winged Blackbirds and newly fledged Barn Swallows
  • Search for the Groove-billed Ani

    Search for the Groove-billed Ani

    My first lifer of 2015 was a Groove-billed Ani at the Lake Apopka Restoration Area. A foggy silly morning with friends... :)