The Orlando Wetlands Park is currently only open February – November and CLOSED all other times. At the time of this writing (12-2015) The City of Orlando is moving to buy the property outright so look for longer opening hours in the future.
Florida Hikes had this to say:
“The granddaddy of wetlands parks, Orlando Wetlands Park is a City of Orlando wastewater reclamation project that’s become a world-class haven for waterfowl.”
The Orlando Wetlands Park is one of the premiere birding locations within the greater Orlando area. If you are in town to see the attractions and have one birding trip available, The Orlando Wetlands would fit that bill.
Covering over 1,600 acres of hardwood hammocks, marshes and scenic lakes, the open waters are home to wintering waterfowl, and a host wading birds like wood storks, spoonbills, ibis, and heron. There have been more than 220 bird species and 63 butterfly species recorded here at this manmade oasis.
One could easily spend the entire day hiking the 22 miles of roads and trails, at the Orlando Wetlands Park. Much of this park is in the open with little shade. Bring sun screen, water and possibly bug spray if you are so inclined. As with most of Florida, mornings and later afternoons are the best, leaving time for nearby gems like Merritt Island or Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.