On land, in the water and through the air, unforgettable Orlando ecotourism opportunities will amaze you, including kayaking, nature trails, zip-line adventures, airboat tours and much more.

Updated June 30, 2021

Orlando offers a ton of unforgettable eco-friendly adventures — and the cooler winter and spring months are the perfect time to immerse yourself in our greater outdoors. Spotlighting airboat rides, zip-lining, hang-gliding, off-roading, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and more, here’s your guide to Orlando ecotourism experiences you won’t want to miss!

Learn more: Orlando Ecotourism

Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy travel in Orlando, and check with your favorite attractions and other businesses for their current status.

Ecotourism Thrills in Orlando

Orlando’s flora and fauna offer relaxing escapes, but our natural beauty provides ample thrills, too. Dune buggies, airboats, zip lines and hang-gliding are some of the many ways to have a wild time with Mother Nature during your next visit.

Zip Lining in Orlando

A woman races high above on the Screamin' Gator Zip Line at Gatorland
Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland in Orlando

Screamin’ Gator Zip Line

Available as an upgrade to regular admission at Gatorland, this unique experience will send you flying over live alligators, among other obstacles. It’s complemented by the park’s Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure, another separately ticketed attraction that provides a truly wild ride. Gatorland is 20 minutes southeast of SeaWorld® Orlando.

Save on discount tickets: Gatorland

Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

About 15 minutes southwest of Walt Disney World® Resort, climb and soar with Tarzan-style swings, nets, ropes, challenging bridges and more — including a 425-foot zip line.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

This zoo features Seminole Aerial Adventures, where you can navigate between trees using rope bridges, zip lines, suspended disks and other unique elements. They’re in Sanford, about 30 minutes north of downtown Orlando.

Learn more: Orlando Zoos

Airboat Tours in Orlando

sunset airboat tour at Boggy Creek
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures Near Orlando

Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures

Boggy Creek offers day, sunset and night tours, as well as a gator pond, Native American village and even mining opportunities. Be sure to stop by the old swamp shack for an unforgettable family photo! You’ll find them about 40 minutes southeast of Walt Disney World.

Save on discount tickets: Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures

Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides

Located 30 minutes southeast of Walt Disney World, this attraction specializes in small and private tours on six-passenger airboats equipped with headsets so you can speak with other guests and the captain.

Wild Florida

Book a ride on one of this Kissimmee-based operator’s airboat tours and gain complimentary access to their onsite wildlife and gator park, all about 40 minutes southeast of Walt Disney World. They also have a drive-thru, self-guided safari tour!

Save on discount tickets: Wild Florida

More Ecotourism Adventures in Orlando

Revolution The Off Road Experience atv ride
Revolution Adventures Near Orlando

Revolution Adventures

Just 30 minutes west of Walt Disney World, take the wheel of a Polaris ATV or RZR, Hummer, dune buggy, or amphibious “Mucky Duck” for pulse-pounding, off-road fun. They also have clay shooting, archery and bass fishing.

Save on discount tickets: Revolution Adventures

Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park

Experience breathtaking views from 2,000 feet above ground at this attraction, which is about 20 minutes southwest of Walt Disney World.

Learn more: Orlando’s Sky-High Thrills

Ecotourism Exploration in Orlando

If you’re the type who likes to explore nature at a slower pace, you won’t want to miss the milder side of Orlando ecotourism, including kayaking, hiking, swimming, birdwatching and more.

Kayaking in Orlando

JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes family on canoes
Kayaking at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes and The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes and The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

Guests of these sister properties can rent a kayak or canoe for exploring Shingle Creek, aka the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. The professionally guided eco-tours also reveal fascinating aspects about the area’s history and wildlife.

Learn more: Amenity-Packed Orlando Resorts

Brevard Zoo

About an hour east of Orlando, this is the only zoo in the country to offer a guided kayak tour around an animal exhibit.

Boat Tours in Orlando

A verdant canal along the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour Near Orlando

Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

See gorgeous flora and fauna — plus multimillion-dollar homes — during this one-hour, narrated cruise through the lakes and canals of Winter Park, about 15 minutes north of downtown Orlando.

Nature & Hiking Trails in Orlando

West Orange Trail - Bikes & Blades Co.
West Orange Trail Near Orlando (Photo: West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co.)

West Orange Trail

This 20.8-mile paved trail stretches north from Winter Garden, about 30 minutes west of downtown Orlando, to the banks of Lake Apopka with plenty of amenities along the way — including playground equipment. If you want to bike it, West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co. of Winter Garden rents bicycles and similar equipment, including bike trailers for transporting kids. They can even deliver to your hotel!

Learn more: Winter Garden

Cady Way Trail

Stretching from downtown Orlando to Winter Park, this 7.2-mile paved corridor features water fountains and sheltered rest stops.

The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve

About 40 minutes south of Walt Disney World, this 11,500-acre nature sanctuary has a hiking trail where you can get a close look at the area’s native plants and animals.

Natural Springs in Orlando

Group of manatees under shallow turquoise water at Blue Spring state park in Orange City, Florida, USA
Dive Into Crystal Clear Water at Natural Springs Throughout the Orlando Area

Blue Spring State Park

This park offers year-round adventure, including opportunities for camping, birding, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming and more, all about 45 minutes north of downtown Orlando.

Learn more: Natural Springs in Orlando

De Leon Springs State Park

In addition to showcasing Florida’s natural beauty, this park is home to the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House, where you can make custom pancakes inside a 100-year-old replica of an 1830s sugar mill. It’s an hour north of downtown Orlando.

Kelly Park

About 35 minutes northwest of downtown Orlando, this park features free-flowing natural springs and Rock Springs, which is a clear, swift creek.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Just 25 minutes north of downtown Orlando, this massive park has trails, canoe rentals, untouched vistas and family-friendly play areas, as well as its namesake springs. It’s adjacent to Wekiva Island, a unique day resort that only charges $2 for admission. (Local tip: “Wekiva” and “Wekiwa” are both pronounced “wuh-kive-uh.”)

Wildlife & Birding in Orlando

Great blue heron, Ardea herodias, standing in marsh grasses in Magnolia Park on the shore of Lake Apopka in Florida.
Lake Apopka North Shore Near Orlando

Walt Disney World® Fishing

Experience bass fishing at its finest all year round at Walt Disney World Resort! Suitable for novices and experts alike, two- and four-hour options include guided bass-fishing excursions aboard a 21-foot Sun Tracker pontoon boat for up to five people, and a tournament-style NITRO® bass-fishing boat for up to two people. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance.

Gatorland Bird Rookery

From February through June, bird enthusiasts and photographers can gain early morning, value-priced access to Gatorland’s expansive nature preserves with the park’s Photographers Pass.

Lake Apopka North Shore

About 50 minutes northwest of downtown Orlando, this gorgeous area is home to more than 360 bird species, including bald eagles, great blue herons, snow egrets and anhingas. It’s also the site of the North Shore Birding Festival, which takes place each winter and offers guided birding and nature tours.

The Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

An amazing resource for viewing a wide variety of wildlife, this trail has 17 locations in Orlando and Orange County, as well as numerous other places throughout Florida.

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