Discover springs in Florida
Updated: Jun 27, 2019
We are venturing North this weekend to check out some of the Springs here in Florida. Florida is home to more than 700 of these beautiful bodies of water. Each one has different qualities, but they are all amazing spots to enjoy the crystal clear turquoise water and nature. Here is a brief description of a few of the springs:
Rainbow Springs- Dunnellon
This has been a state park since 1930, and is a beautiful spot with five main springs. There is said to be signs of humans dating back 10,000 years, and you can find ancient relics and fossils here. The water is a blue-green color, and there are some beautiful waterfalls. Hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking & tubing are some of the fun activities to enjoy at this local favorite. You can swim in the natural pools or take a hike and possibly see deer, turkey & several types of birds and squirrels.
Silver Glen Springs-Ocala National Forest
This spot dates back about 7,000 years. Another breathtaking place to visit and canoe, swim and snorkel. It is surrounded by the Ocala Forest full of huge old oak, pine and cedar trees, until you come to this beautiful blue spring which runs about a mile to Lake George.
Another impressive archeological site and it has many opportunities to explore both in the water and on the land. There are several hiking trails & if you are snorkeling, you may see freshwater as well as saltwater fish.
Juniper Springs-Ocala National Forest
Juniper Creek goes through Juniper Prairie Wilderness Area before going into Lake George. There are many springs along the creek. You can go on a 7 mile canoe ride or hike on
1 mile trail. There are hundreds of small springs and a larger spring that release millions of gallons of fresh, clear water every day. There is a limestone wall around the spring & it has multiple accesses.
Three Sisters-Crystal River
There are three springs bubbling from the ground that fill in the area with fresh, crystal clear water that has a greenish tint to it. The land around the springs is privately owned & the only access to the springs is blocked by concrete posts to stop the boats from entering. To get here, you can canoe, kayak, paddle board or swim into the area. Three Sisters Springs, at some times during the year, have manatees.
So, for our trip we opted for Three Sisters/Crystal River. Word to the wise, read before you go! We didn't do as much research as we typically do for a trip, and we wound up driving around looking for what we thought would be an area where we would drive up, pay, park, then walk & swim into the river/springs/water. Well, no, as you can see if you have read this, this spring(s) is not accessible by car. You have to go rent kayak/paddle board/canoe then boat in. Now it did work out perfectly for us. We got to Three Sisters Spring Trail first. We were told this was an area that had hiking trails & viewing spots, but not accessible to the springs. We needed to go rent kayaks etc then paddle in, and that could be done at Hunter Park. We go over to Hunter Park. We did pull right up to a great parking spot, (it was still maybe 9am) then we see more & more people coming, all with big groups and guys carrying kayaks etc to a launching area. We see a guy dressed like Captain Jack Sparrow so my husband decides he is the guy we need to talk to. He goes over, and within 15 minutes, we are off on 1 clear bottom kayak and 1 paddle board. Score! Things like that usually don't work out so well. Jack Sparrow told us where to go, it was about a 30-40 minute kayak/paddle board in to the springs. Now this was Memorial Day weekend, and it was crowded, but not crazy crowded. And the ride in was really nice. I was with my son & we saw some manatees, a few turtles & some pretty good fish including a nice size snook. We got to the springs. got our boats pulled up to the shore in a way that looked like what everyone else was doing, only to have a surly older man tell us (once we were all out of our boats, with our snorkel gear on, and not a moment before) the tide was going to come out & our boats would be gone in 10-15 minutes. Ok. So we move across the springs. Then we are ready to go snorkeling. It was COLD. Really cold. Take your breath away cold. But nice after we got in. We snorkeled around & saw the springs bubbling out of the ground, saw some fish. But that was about it. Then it was getting really crowded, and there are maybe 4 large pillars blocking the 'entrance' so navigating in & out is kind of tricky, as there are kayaks, paddle boards, divers, snorkelers & swimmers going through a pretty tight space.
My take, it was nice. We saw them. Would I go back? No.