Kings Landing – Apopka Florida

Kings Landing - Apopka Florida

Beautiful pristine riverbank prone to being misplaced to builders. Two native businessmen come to the rescue to save lots of this historic spot.

THE PERFECT AFTERNOON

It was the right day, the center of January, the solar warming our faces, a brisk chilly breeze fills the air; sure it was the right afternoon. For a short while we pretended that we had been far-off from the busy hectic rush of the remainder of the world. We drifted alongside the peaceable present, often placing our paddle within the water to level us in the precise route. We stopped; I stated, “Listen to that.” Patrick stated in a hush, “What?” I chucked and stated, “Nothing, that’s it, the sound of nothing, just peace and quiet.”

The excellent afternoon began at Kings Landing the place we launched our canoe and paddled via the mucky canal that led us to the Wekiva River. Bob Loomis invited us out to check the touchdown. Actually to see the good work that is happening on the market.

We paddled although the thick combination of sludge, fallen timber and trash like particles of the canal, and as we reached the mouth of the river becoming a member of the canal, it regarded lovely. The water so crystal clear you would see to the underside. It was as when you had been trying via a sheet of glass.

We stopped alongside on a sandbar, rolled up our denims, took of our footwear and waded within the chilly, crystal clear water. We had been excited concerning the second because the chilly water splashed on our legs. Memories got here speeding again as I keep in mind my adolescent years spending time on the river. We laughed and frolicked within the water for a number of moments whereas pausing occasionally to take pictures of the 4 Loomis boys who love the river they stay on. Mark, Jimmy, Steven and Trevor gave us a spectacular present as they took turns climbing 50 -60 toes excessive into the air and take the big swinging rope that was thrown to them.

On the depend of three they might soar. “One, two, three…ready?” They stated. All without delay they might let go of the perch they had been standing on and flew out over the river waters beneath them, and let go. We snapped the digicam as they splashed into the chilly water. That was actually cool to face by wishing we had been youngsters once more.

Since way back to I can keep in mind, Kings Landing, Rock Springs and Wekiva Springs Park & Marina was the favourite spot for youth to go. The common daytrip was renting the canoe at Kings Landing, paddle leisurely up the river, and we’d cease alongside the way in which and swim, picnic and take a look at turtles and child alligators. We would additionally go to Rock Springs and hire tubes and tube down the present of the river. It was often a protracted scorching exhausting day, however we had been adventurous and resilient. When we weren’t collectively as a twosome, we might be at Kings Landing with our church youth group for a day outing. Yes, Kings Landing was the place to go.

We raised our kids close to the river and on weekends took them to Kings Landing to canoe down the identical paddle run; we might cease and share our tales of the river with them.

We grew up on the river and knew it will be there endlessly.

Now 33 years later Kings Landing was prone to being misplaced. It has only recently been delivered to my consideration by Bob and Steven Loomis, of Loomis Funeral Home, that Kings Landing may have been however a mere reminiscence, and people recollections we made as youngsters can be all we had left.

There are lots of people who’ve grown up on this space and have fond recollections of the Wekiva River. Those who stay in Apopka and Northwest Orange County have so much to be happy with and grateful for. Not everyone seems to be like-minded relating to pure sources, ecology and the surroundings. While all of us need to do our half in preservation, doing our half won’t at all times be sufficient to protect in opposition to dropping certainly one of our most precious sources.

HISTORY OF THE LANDING

For a long time, Apopka has been identified for the Wekiva River. Kings Landing, the Wekiva Marina, Rock Springs Park, Katie’s Landing and Wekiva Springs State Park all make up the river system that flows all through our space.

The Kings Landing canoe rental submit property has been privately owned all these years by Gabby Gardner and her associate, Ted Kirkland. Gabby and Ted operated the Kings Landing canoe rental enterprise catering to outside lovers each regionally and to these touring to canoe this common paddle run.

Unless you might be an avid reader of sporting guides and outside life magazines, or belong to an outside journey group, you won’t know that this paddle run has for years been rated primary in Central Florida. Second can be paddling the waterways and lagoons within the Titusville and Brevard County space. In reality, many paddle tour teams and kayakers from everywhere in the nation come right here to benefit from the paddle and canoe path. Being an avid kayaker, having fun with paddlenews.internet, and belonging to the Wilderness Trekkers group, I’ve develop into conscious of this reputation of this spot.

HURRICANE DESTRUCTION

During the devastation of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes, this property and the river passages had been broken and left stuffed with particles, making the river nearly impassable by canoes and kayaks. As new homeowners Bob and Steven Loomis stated, “Only an experienced kayaker could have gotten through.” As a outcome, the property sat for a very long time and Kings Landing was turning into much less and fewer common. The complete touchdown space has been stuffed with bushes and particles.

This common canoe, kayak entry and launch space to the Wekiva River was no extra. The injury surrounding the canal space and passage to the river mouth was huge, far an excessive amount of for the homeowners to revive. Believe it or not, and with out all of us realizing it, this most precious a part of Apopka may have been misplaced to builders who would have owned the one public entry to the well-known Wekiva River. If we ignore these beneficial sources, we might be in jeopardy of dropping them to builders who enjoyment of buying beneficial vacant land and growing massive, new communities.

Most of us wouldn’t need to see the one accessible entrance to the Wekiva River blocked by an iron gate that requires guests a gate code to enter a excessive rise condominium constructing lining the banks of the attractive Wekiva River.

SALVATION OF THE LANDING

As I write these phrases, I’m sure that I share the heart beat and heartbeat of Bob and Steve Loomis, the brand new homeowners of Kings Landing. If they might stand earlier than the communities round Apopka and in Northwest Orange County, they might say, “Help us clean up, restore and preserve the only access to this river for the public.” That is precisely the motive behind their latest buy of this beneficial, effectively-identified nature spot and enterprise. Bob and Steven are actually enthusiastic about their motives. They need folks to know that they haven’t any different purpose in thoughts besides to guard and protect the pristine waterways of the Kings Landing canoe and kayak path.

Many persons are not conscious of the main points surrounding this historic pure and wondrous landmark. On December 22, 2006, the Bob and Steven Loomis bought this spot for their very own enjoyment and for his or her sons. “It is important that the people know this,” stated Bob Loomis. “We want them to know our intent, motive and plans.”

It can also be essential to Bob and Steven that the entire folks residing in Apopka and surrounding areas know why they rushed to the forefront making this acquisition. This property was not bought for resale to builders, to construct on or to construct on. Bob and Steven are conscious of what they now personal and are dedicated to refurbishing, restoring and preserving the pristine river, in order that canoeists and kayakers can get pleasure from it.

THE VISION

In the previous, the well-known Kings Landing could not have had the most effective care and administration, however Steven and Bob are very sturdy about this being a household place. This might be a spot that might be freed from alcohol, so that folks, corporations, teams and principally everybody can come right here to canoe, fish, swim, picnic, swing from tree ropes and benefit from the otters, black bear and different Florida wildlife that inhabit the Wekiva riverbanks. The black bear are throughout this place.

Visitors have principally two choices: One is to hire canoes and make the journey to the Wekiva Marina, an 8-mile paddle of three 1/2 to Four hours. They can organize forward of time for the shuttle to carry them again to the homeland. Or, if they like, guests can take their canoes out a number of miles to swim, fish, picnic on the riverbanks, after which return.

Now, the cleanup at Kings Landing is full. The canoes are all restored and ready. You can carry the children, too! There are canoes with Care Bears, Star Wars, ET and plenty of different characters painted on them. This place has at all times has terrific evaluations and been often known as probably the greatest spots for fishermen, in addition to a terrific place to take that first-timer on a fishing journey.

Since the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes, this portion of the river has been inaccessible and the waters usually are not fished out. It is sort of a “guaranteed catch,” in keeping with Bob Loomis. This, in fact, means the percentages are nice that you’ll catch a fish whenever you exit. Bob is adamant about having guests persist with the principles. “We will be very strict with our rules, such as catch and release only, no Styrofoam coolers, and again, absolutely no taking fish out of the water,” he stated. On that notice, we now have been invited again to fish for that vast bass.

Bob Loomis has two sons, Jimmy, 13, and Mark, 10. Both are in Boy Scout Troop 211 in Apopka. Steven Loomis additionally has two sons, Steven, 10, and Trevor, 6. “This was purchased for our sons,” Bob stated. “We want to give this to them to one day run and own. Right now, the boys love the river life, they go out early on their weekends and start fishing and swimming,” Steven Loomis stated. “The problem is finding them for lunch.”

THE NEW KINGS LANDING

Kings Landing is up and working now. From companies teams to paddle teams to households, everyone seems to be welcome. The river passageway is now opened up and free from the hurricane particles. This is a simple and really pleasurable journey for anybody from a newbie to essentially the most skilled paddlers. Hours are Wednesday via Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. till darkish. Return shuttles will run on these days, at 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Groups that wish to paddle the run and convey again particles to assist with cleanup can name Steven Loomis, at 407-467-8290. Kings Landing additionally gives a terrific river expertise. There might be a Moonlight Paddle, with a grasp storyteller. Groups will depart round 5 p.m. and attain a vacation spot the place there might be a campfire, to allow them to cook dinner dinner and inform tales, then paddle again to the touchdown.

Bob and Steven Loomis would really like everybody to know that this property may have been purchased by somebody with different intentions for its future. If this property had been closed off to public entry, there can be no different technique to the paddle run aside from the Wekiva Marina. We can all be grateful to them that they didn’t permit this to occur. We can all relaxation and know that Kings Landing will at all times be a household place of enjoyable and recreation because of Bob and Steven Loomis. Jimmy, Mark, Steven and Trevor will develop up at Kings Landing studying the household enterprise and defending this beneficial place for us.

Written by: Shelley Costello copyright 2006

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