Welcome to the St. Johns River Water Management District’s
Donations for the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
Like all District properties, the Lake Apopka North Shore, including the Wildlife Drive, is free to visit. However, we often receive questions from individuals interested in contributing directly to the drive’s upkeep.
The District welcomes online donations to support sanitation, recreational maintenance, security, and visitor brochures and maps. If you choose to give, thank you!
See you out on the drive!
- Stop 1 - Entrance
- Stop 2 - Bird population (Lust Road)
- Stop 3 - Historic pump house
- Stop 4 - Water quality history
- Stop 5 - Alligator population
- Stop 6 - Agricultural history
- Stop 7 - Restoration projects
- Stop 8 - Additional restoration information
- Stop 9 - Land management activities
- Stop 10 - Water quality
- Stop 11 - Exit
This audio tour gives you an overview of the district’s work on the Lake Apopka North Shore to restore the lake and its wetlands, as well as to enhance wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.
To access the audio tour, click or tap on the name of a tour stop below. Each stop will stream individually. Look for signs along the drive that indicate the location that is described for that audio tour number.
This property is a one of the premier locations to observe birds in the southeastern United State, with more than 360 species observed on the property. Learn about our feathered friends in this segment.
Historic pump house
The pump house at this location was used when the property was farmland and the district has used the pumps to help maintain water levels in the wetlands. This segment provides details on the events that led to the lake becoming Florida’s most polluted large lake and subsequent restoration.
Water quality history
Restoration work has included several strategies and projects on surrounding land. This segment is an overview of those strategies.
Alligators are at the top of the food chain on Lake Apopka and you will see many throughout the property. Remember, these are wild animals and you should not feed or approach any of the wildlife. This segment provides an overview of the diverse wildlife found here.
Much of Lake Apopka’s North Shore was drained in the early 1940s for farming to support the war effort during World War II. Learn about the role farmers played in the history of the area.
When residual pesticides resulted in an avian mortality in the late 1980s, the St. Johns River Water Management District conducted research to better understand the accumulation of pesticide residue through the food chain. This segment provides an overview of that work.
Additional restoration information
Restoration at Lake Apopka has included a variety of projects. One project has been the harvest of gizzard shad to remove the phosphorus contained in the bodies of the fish, and a soil inversion process to bury residual pesticides.
Land management activities
A team of land managers used site-specific management techniques to preserve and restore conservation lands. In addition to protecting the water resources of the property, the district’s work protects many plant and animal species found within those public lands. This segment provides an overview of two management techniques.
In addition to large-scale water quality improvement projects such as the one at Lake Apopka, neighborhood stormwater ponds aid in the big picture work to protect Florida’s water. Hear an overview of water quality projects in this segment.
Thank you for visiting the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Lake Apopka North Shore and Wildlife Drive.