7 Adrenaline Pumping Orlando Outdoor Activities For Curious Explorers

Orlando Outdoor Activities

Central Florida might be best known for its excellent theme parks, but there are plenty of other adventures waiting to be had if you know where to look. There are numerous outdoor attractions just a short drive from downtown Orlando. Some can even be found within the city itself.

If you’re looking for outdoor things to do that don’t involve waiting in line for the newest roller coaster, we’re here to help. Join us on a virtual tour of outdoor activities in Orlando and choose the ones your group will enjoy most.

Our Guide To The Best Orlando Outdoor Activities

In addition to the suggestions we’ve listed here, we would strongly recommend embarking on one of our kayaking adventures.

We’ll help you navigate the local hiking trails and local springs while pointing out the exotic animals and other native wildlife. 

On our kayaking tours, you can experience the wilder side of Florida from a unique perspective. Visit our home page, where you can gather the information you’ll need to begin. 

Now, let’s discover the most exhilarating outdoor activities in Orlando that are perfect for adventurous explorers.

1) Visit The Manatees At Blue Spring State Park

During the winter months, manatees migrate to the warmer waters of central Florida and the surrounding areas. There are numerous places to view them, but Blue Spring State Park is one of our favorites. 

Remember not to get too close – while the manatees look gentle, it’s never a good idea to interfere with animals in their natural habitat.

If you want to see the creatures up close, consider booking our Manatee Discovery Tour.

For a deeper understanding of manatees and where to spot them, delve into our other article to uncover even more fascinating information about these gentle giant creatures.

2) Fly Through The Wetlands With Airboat Adventures

If you’re looking for an exciting way to explore the natural wonders near Orlando in Central Florida, consider booking an airboat adventure tour. Not only will you get to experience the exhilaration of speed, but you’ll also have the opportunity to appreciate the stunning beauty of nature.

The boat ride itself would be amazing – a rapid glide through the Central Florida Everglades, piloted by an expert guide. But you’ll also have the opportunity to view tons of local wildlife. On your tour, you may spot alligators, turtles, snakes, wading birds, and much more.

One final note: If you enjoy your time here, consider taking another airboat tour of Lake Jesup, a bit farther north. It’s also convenient to the Orlando area and teeming with birds and alligators.

Explore other stunning lakes near Orlando for an unforgettable airboat experience:

  • Lake Tohopekaliga

  • Lake Monroe

  • Lake Apopka

  • Lake Harris

3) Float Down Rock Springs Run At Kelly Park

Just 45 minutes from Orlando International Airport, you’ll find one of the most gorgeous natural springs in the state of Florida. Rock Springs Run meanders through Kelly Park and is a huge draw for outdoor enthusiasts.

It’s easy to enjoy Rock Springs Run. Just bring or rent an inner tube (no more than 5 feet in diameter), plop it in the water, and drift along until you reach the terminus, which is clearly marked by a wooden bridge. The flow is so gentle that you might have to paddle along with your hands from time to time.

While the park can be enjoyed by the entire family, Rock Springs Run is reserved for swimmers and tubers only, so make sure your tots are comfortable in the water before you plan your adventures. Water shoes are also recommended, as there are some sharp rocks at the beginning of the run.

4) Stroll Along The Orlando Urban Trail

This scenic trail provides a perfect opportunity to stay active while exploring the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and beautiful parks. Offers a variety of outdoor activities for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

The Orlando Urban Trail is located right near downtown Orlando and is ideal for walking, jogging, and biking. It measures three miles long and 12 feet wide, running from Lake Highland to Mead Garden in Winter Park.

The trail includes connections to Orlando Cultural Park and the Gaston Edwards Trail, as well as six area lakes. Along the way, you’ll pass through Loch Haven Park and the neighborhoods of Lake Formosa and Orwin Manor, among others.

Whether you’re a local looking for a new workout spot or a visitor wanting to explore the city, the Orlando Urban Trail is a great choice for outdoor recreation.

5) Spend An Afternoon At Lake Eola Park

You’ll find this haven right smack-dab in the middle of Orlando, meaning you won’t have to venture far from your hotel in order to enjoy a few outdoor adventures.

After a leisurely stroll around Lake Eola, you can grab a bite at Metro Espresso Pizza, Eola Wine Company, or one of the other local eateries:

  • World of Beer

  • F&D Cantina – Mexican Restaurant

  • The Stubborn Mule

Check the entertainment schedule before your trip to find out what will be playing at the Walt Disney Amphitheater during your stay.

6) Go Back To Nature At Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park

This quirky attraction often plays second fiddle to some of the better-known theme parks in the area. That’s a shame because Wild Florida offers memorable adventures that the whole family can enjoy.

You can opt for an airboat tour see a show at Gator Park, or choose from one of their up-close-and-personal animal encounters. The highlight, though, is the Drive-Thru Safari Park.

During this experience, you’ll have the opportunity to view up to 150 species of exotic wildlife, including ones that aren’t native to the US.

7) Take A Dip At Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs State Park is a true oasis on those hot Florida days when all you want to do is cool off in the pool. Instead of sticking to your hotel’s concrete-and-chlorine offering, why not take a short drive and reconnect with nature?

When you’ve had your fill of swimming and splashing, there’s still more to explore. Choose from any or all of the following:

  • Paddle to Otter Camp or Big Buck on a kayak tour

  • Saddle up for a horseback riding adventure along the Tram Bed Horse Trail

  • See how many bird species you can count among the sandhills

  • Pitch a tent and enjoy a Florida camping retreat

Final Words About Our Favorite Orlando Outdoor Activities

At this point, you’ve probably had your fill of reading and are ready to start planning all the outdoor activities Orlando has to offer.

Be sure to make time for one of our expertly guided kayak tours, available from the following locations:

  • Blue Spring State Park

  • Rock Springs Run

  • Lake Norris

  • Black Water Creek

  • Indian River

  • Black Bear Wilderness Area

We can’t wait to welcome you to the wilder side of Orlando! Create unforgettable memories – book one of our expertly guided kayak tours today!

1 hour
Group Size
1 to 2

Private Instruction

We offer private lessons for those that want to work on their skill development.

6 to 8 hours
Group Size
1 to 5

Aca Skills Assessment- Level 2

The ACA Skill Assessment course is designed to evaluate a participant’s ability to perform all of the fundamental skills along with demonstrating an appropriate level of knowledge. This assessment course provides the participant with the opportunity to receive documentation of having achieved ACA’s Level 2 of paddling ability.

6 days
Group Size
2 to 5

Kayaking Essential

The Kayaking Essentials program continues where the Introduction to Kayaking course left off. We will refine your skills while introducing a few new strokes and the concept of edging. This 6-week course also covers advanced rescue techniques and foundational skills needed to advance to rolling class.

Completion of the Introduction to Kayaking program is not required. However, this is not an introductory course and students must demonstrate the necessary prerequisite skills.

The course concludes with a day paddle at Cape Canaveral National Seashore where you can put all you have learned into practice.

4 hours
Group Size
2 to 5

Flatwater Kayak Safety & Rescue

Our Flatwater Kayak Safety & Rescue course introduces essential flatwater safety practices and rescue techniques that can be performed with a minimum of equipment – in the first few minutes of an emergency. The course covers key self-rescue skills for different mobility levels, and kayak types as well as assisted rescues, rope handling skills, and more. The focus is on fast, simple, low-risk rescue techniques to manage minor in-water incidents.

4 hours
Group Size
2 to 5

Kayak Paddle Strokes & Safety Primer

Our Kayak Paddle Stroke & Safety Primer is a fast-paced training course offering the paddler the opportunity to learn and refine some of the most used paddle strokes and maneuvers.

Some of the strokes we will work on are: low brace, forward stroke refinement, reverse stroke, forward and reverse sweep, stern rudder, and sculling draw. In addition we will also go over the most used rescues: assisted T-rescue, and cowboy/cowgirl self-rescue and paddle float self-rescue.

6 to 8 hours
Group Size
1 to 5

Aca Skills Assesment - Level 1

The ACA Skill Assessment course is designed to evaluate a participant’s ability to perform all of the fundamental skills along with demonstrating an appropriate level of knowledge. This assessment course provides the participant with the opportunity to receive documentation of having achieved a ACA’s Level 1 of paddling ability.