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10 Natural Springs You Must Visit in Florida

  1. Blue Spring State Park
    • This state park is located in Orange City, Florida that features a cool water spring on the St. John’s river. The spring is home to manatees, alligators, and a variety of fish. With over 8,000 Google reviews, it’s clear that many people enjoy visiting Blue Spring State Park. They have an array of activities such as:
      • Swimming
      • Kayaking
      • Wildlife viewing
      • Boat tour of the St. John’s River
      • Gift shop
  1. Wekiwa Springs State Park
    • Wekiwa Springs State Park is in Apopka, Florida. This state park is Orange County’s longest-running tourist attraction (20). The park is popular because of the refreshing cold water spring. Alligators have made this spring their home so there are many sightings by visitors. Some of the fun activities available at Wekiwa Springs are:
      • Swimming
      • Kayaking
      • Canoeing
      • Tours
      • Snorkeling
  1. Silver Springs State Park
    • Silver Springs State Park is located east of Ocala in north-central Florida. The state park was recognized as a national landmark sometime in the 1870s. The park is famous for its glass-bottom boat tours around the 5-mile Silver river. The entire state park has 4,000 acres of land consisting of historical structures, a natural spring, a sandhill forest, gardens, and more. Here is a list of activities that you can enjoy at Silver Springs State Park:
      • Glass Bottom Boat Tour
      • Explore the Silver Museum
      • Explore the Cracker Village
      • Camping
      • Hiking
      • Dining
      • Shopping
      • Kayaking
  1. Rainbow Springs State Park
    • Rainbow Springs State Park has an intriguing history that dates back to 10,000 years ago. Native American people used to travel to this spring because they believed that it had magical healing powers. Since then, the state park has been modernized with man-made waterfalls, sloping hills, and ornamental gardens (9). Here are some of the activities that this state park offers:
      • Birding
      • Swimming
      • Tubing
      • Geo-Seeking
      • Wildlife Viewing
      • Snorkeling
      • Paddling
      • Fishing
      • Hiking
  1. Gemini Springs Park
    • Gemini Springs Park encompasses 212 acres of land. The state park lies between the town of Enterprise and the city of DeBary. According to the official Volusia County website, “Approximately 6.5 million gallons of sparkling freshwater bubble up from the two springs each day.” In the 1800s, the land at Gemini Springs was used to farm citrus, timber, and tapping longleaf pine trees for turpentine (10). Attendance is free and visitors are encouraged to come to enjoy the park. Some of the activities that Gemini Springs Park offers are:
      • Nature Trail
      • Bike Trail
      • Swimming (Not permitted until further notice)
      • Fishing
      • Camping
  1. Green Springs Park
    • Green Springs Park is home to one of the only green sulfur springs in Florida. The state park is located in the town of Enterprise and admission is free. The state park is rich with history as Native American tribes such as the Mayaca and the Seminoles considered the spring sacred for its healing properties. During the steamboat era, Enterprise was the last stop on the St. John’s River (12). The spring’s unique green color has attracted tourists for decades. Some of the activities that Green Springs Park offers are:
      • Swimming
      • Fishing
      • Nature Trails
      • Scenic Overlooks
      • Picnic Pavilions
      • Playground
  1. Ichetucknee Springs State Park
    • Ichetucknee Springs State Park is located in the town of Fort White. Entrance for each vehicle is $6 with additional fees for tram and shuttle services. The state park has 2,669 acres of land and is well-known for its warm weather tubing. Some of the wildlife that can be found here are beavers, gar, otters, softshell turtles, wild turkeys, and more (13). The park has eight springs that join together to form the six-mile-long Ichetucknee river. According to Florida State Parks, “The upper portion within the state park is a National Natural Landmark, perhaps the most pristine spring run in the state.” Ichetucknee Springs State Park offers activities such as:
      • Scuba Diving
      • Tubing
      • Wildlife Viewing
      • Swimming
      • Snorkeling
      • Paddling
      • Nature Trails
  1. De León Springs State Park
    • De Leon Springs State Park is located in Volusia County and has an entrance fee of $6. The park was originally inhabited by the Mayaca tribe who called the spring “Acuera” which means healing waters (14). During the Civil War, the park was used as a grist mill to convert corn into flour. Some activities that visitors may enjoy at De Leon State Park are:
  1. Alexander Springs 
    • Alexander Springs is one of Florida’s 27 first-magnitude springs still in existence. The park is located in Lake County on the west side of the St. John’s River, between Astor and Altoona. The spring consistently stays 72° F and is surrounded by cabbage palms, sweetgum, and a floodplain forest of maple (15). The entrance fees are $7 per person except for weekends where the fee rises to $10 per person. Alexander Springs offers activities such as:
      • Horse riding
      • Scenic driving
      • Bicycling
      • Camping
      • Fishing
      • Hiking
      • Camping
      • Canoeing
  1. Juniper Springs
    • Juniper Springs is located between Ocala and Ormond Beach with an entrance fee of $7 per person. On weekends, the fee increases to $10 per person. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the complex containing the trails, a campground, swimming, and picnic areas in the 1930s (18). According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “The setting houses hundreds of tiny bubbling springs and massive springs gushing out of crevices in the earth beneath a dense canopy of palms and oaks, an oasis within the heart of the desert-like Big Scrub.” Some of the activities available at Juniper Springs are:

Sources:

  1. https://floridahikes.com/gemini-springs-park
  2. https://www.volusia.org/services/community-services/parks-recreation-and-culture/parks-and-trails/park-facilities-and-locations/ecological-nature-parks/gemini-springs-park.stml
  3. https://www.floridastateparks.org/index.php/learn/swimming-wekiwa-springs
  4. https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/849ckq/green_springs_park_in_florida/
  5. http://www.lynnebuchanan.com/blog/2017/5/21/alexander-springs
  6. https://www.reddit.com/r/florida/comments/b15q1r/juniper_springs_ocala_national_forest/
  7. https://silversprings.com/about-the-park/
  8. https://silversprings.com/
  9. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/rainbow-springs-state-park
  10. https://www.volusia.org/services/community-services/parks-recreation-and-culture/parks-and-trails/park-facilities-and-locations/ecological-nature-parks/gemini-springs-park.stml
  11. https://floridahikes.com/gemini-springs-park
  12. https://www.volusia.org/services/community-services/parks-recreation-and-culture/parks-and-trails/park-facilities-and-locations/ecological-nature-parks/green-spring-park.stml
  13. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/ichetucknee-springs-state-park
  14. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/de-leon-springs-state-park
  15. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ocala/recarea/?recid=32209
  16. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ocala/recarea/?recid=34064
  17. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ocala/recarea/?recid=37188
  18. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ocala/recarea/?recid=34064
  19. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ocala/recreation/recarea/?recid=37189
  20. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/wekiwa-springs-state-park