As the temperature starts to rise, Florida’s natural springs will become a hotspot as we search for the best areas to stay cool. The perfect place to chill out on a warm Florida day is at a local spring. Good thing there are more than 40 publicly accessible Florida springs to choose from. Florida has 33 first-magnitude (about 64.6 million gallons per day of water is discharged) springs, more than any other location in the world! Here's a list of some of the most popular springs in Florida (Tweet this).
Natural Springs in Florida
Located in Orange City, Florida, Blue Spring is the largest spring on the St. Johns River. It is also an essential winter sanctuary for the manatee population. In 2010, more than 350 manatees populated the Blue Spring waters to take refuge from the freezing weather. If you want to see a manatee up close, head over to Blue Spring State Park between November -March. During your visit, you’ll also learn about the history of the park, as well as its founders. There are plenty of activities you can enjoy at Blue Spring State Park, including swimming, kayaking, hiking, camping, and scuba diving, just to mention a few. The admission fee is $6 per vehicle.
Found inside Silver Springs State Park, Silver Springs is one of the largest first-magnitude springs in Florida, producing an average water flow of more than 550 million gallons per day. If you want to enjoy your very own “jungle cruise” without going to Disney World, book a glass-bottom boat tour and you might view a Rhesus monkey taking a nap on a tree branch. Silver Springs has hosted many Hollywood shows throughout the years, including the 1930s Tarzan films and the Sea Hunt television series. Silver Springs also has its own amusement park filled with water slides. The admission fee is $8 per vehicle (amusement park admission is separate).
In the city of Dunnellon, Florida you will find the fourth-largest spring in the state, Rainbow Springs. The 250-foot wide spring has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. At Rainbow Springs State Park you can go tubing, which entails a two-hour float down the river. Rainbow Springs State Park also has beautiful gardens and waterfalls to enjoy. Have fun at the state park by participating in these activities: swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and camping. The admission fee is $5 per vehicle.
One of the oldest recreation areas in the Ocala National Forest, Juniper Spring attracts lots of visitors during Florida’s warm weather. The swimming area, picnic grounds, campgrounds, and trails were constructed in the 1930s. A scenic 7-mile canoeing journey through Juniper Creek immerses you into the wilderness. Take a stroll through the park and visit the Old Millhouse where a spillway separates the spring from the creek. If you’re brave enough, you can even jump off a diving platform into the nice cool spring. The admission fee is $5 per person.
There are several springs located in the Ocala National Forest, but Alexander Springs is the Forest’s only first-magnitude spring. When visiting Alexander Springs, you might want to go for a hike on the one-mile Timucuan Trail where you can possibly spot different species of Florida native wildlife. The spring is the only place in the Forest where scuba diving is permitted, and a broad and naturally gently sloped spring pool becomes a natural water park where visitors can picnic, swim and play. You can also rent a canoe and enjoy a nice ride down the Alexander Run. The admission fee is $5.50 per person.
Located in Apopka, Wekiwa Springs State Park is a great place to enjoy a refreshing dip on a scorching Florida day. Wekiwa Springs is a second-magnitude spring which means it discharges less than 64.6 million gallons a day; Wekiwa Springs discharges an estimated 45 million gallons daily. With an average depth of five feet, Wekiwa Springs is a very popular location for families looking for a nice swim. In addition to swimming, visitors can enjoy activities from snorkeling to camping and can even bring their own horse for a nice ride along the equestrian trail. The admission fee is $6 per vehicle.
De Leon Springs
If you’re in the mood to make your own pancakes then go for a refreshing swim, De Leon Springs State Park is the perfect place for you. Located in Volusia County, De Leon Springs is a delightful place to visit. Plan a breakfast meal with your family at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill and make your own pancakes using the restaurant’s homemade batter. After you’ve eaten your delicious breakfast, take a stroll through the park’s hiking or nature trail and check out the Visitor Center, which has exhibits on the natural history of the park. Later on, as the day gets warmer, enjoy a swim in the spring. The admission fee is $6 per vehicle.
As the weather gets warmer and you want to cool off, check out a Florida natural spring near you. The water remains 72°F year round, making it the perfect destination to escape the heat. If we didn’t mention your favorite Florida spring, please use the comment section below to tell us about your spring of choice.
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