Welcome to the St. Johns River Water Management District’s
Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Audio Tour

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!

Donation amount
Birds flying over Lake Apopka at sunset


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.

Whistling ducks flying

Bird population

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 pumphouse at Lake Apopka North Shore

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.

Areail of the Lake Apopka North Shore marsh flow-way

Water quality history

Restoration work has included several strategies and projects on surrounding land. This segment is an overview of those strategies.

Alligator on a levee

Alligator population

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.

Old photo of corn harvesting

Agricultural history

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.

Pump station at Lake Apopka North Shore marsh flow-way

Restoration projects

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.

Fisheermen catching gizzard shad at Lake Apopka

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.

Volunteers planting trees

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.

Aluminum sulfate storage tanks

Water quality

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.

Wetland cell at Lake Apopka North Shore


Thank you for visiting the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Lake Apopka North Shore and Wildlife Drive.