Added by Dave Miller

Within the small town of Ocala, FL exists one of the world’s largest Artesian Springs that produces over 550 million gallons of water per day. This one-of-a-kind spring hosts a variety of eco-tourism activities, from guided electric powered glass bottom boat rides to canoe/kayak rentals which allow visitors to explore the water way on their own. Located just an hour and a half north of Orlando, Silver Springs is the perfect day trip to one of nature’s best theme parks.

Silver Springs State Park is rich with history dating back to the 1500’s when it was first settled by the Timucua Indians. This area has also been explored by the Spanish and was once a settlement of the Seminole Indians.  Native American relics can be seen at the museum located in the park or when exploring the springs by boat or kayak/canoe;  authentic dugout canoes are currently lying on the bottom of the river.  If you are looking to explore more current history, Silver Springs State Park was utilized in the filming of Tarzan films and other noted TV shows and movies. Several movie props continue to find their home on the river and can be seen during tours and self-guided expeditions.

Silver Springs State Park has a large ecotourism presence as sustainability of the spring and waterways is an important goal of the local community. The park utilizes electric powered glass bottom boats to explore and provide guided tours of the Headspring in an effort to conserve the natural beauty of the crystal clear river.

Along with glass-bottom boat tours, the park offers visitors the ability to rent or utilize personal canoes  or kayaks to explore the springs and tributaries. If visitors desire to explore the headspring without being on the water, there is a large viewing deck that provides access to peer into the beautiful blue depths of the springs. 

Along with beautiful springs, the Silver Springs State Park hosts a list of amenities including camping, a natural history museum, a replica of an old Florida Cracker town, miles of trails, and even an old fashioned ice-cream shop. The park is a great location to bring your family as it features kid friendly activities and a playground.  Wildlife Photographers love Silver Springs State Park due to the diversity of wildlife; alligators, multiple species of turtles and fish, and if you are lucky, the ever popular Rhesus monkeys can be found around the park.  Birders also find the Silver Springs State Park a great location for viewing cormorants, great blue heron, egrets, ibis, and limpkin.

Park admission is $2.00 per person (If you are Service Connected Disabled through the Department of Veteran Affairs don’t forget to ask about your Lifetime State Park Pass)

Glass bottom boat rides $11.00 per person

Kayak rental is $20.00 per person per hour with an all-day rental option.

Self-launch of personal Canoe/Kayak is $4.00

Camping rates are through the Reserve America website like the other Florida State Parks. 

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Tags

Stand Up Paddle
Canoeing
Chillin
Camping
Photography
Kayaking
Hiking
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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