Are you planning to visit Florida and enjoy swimming, hiking, or camping? There are a lot of natural springs in Florida for you to check out. These are different from hot springs in that they don’t feature hot or boiling water. These are places to swim as you would in a pool, not necessarily a place to soak like a hot tub. Many of these springs are underground or in cave systems as well. So, they are great for the cave diver in your family. If you are planning to stay the night, some of these parks have campgrounds for you to enjoy with your loved ones.
Devil’s Den is a great natural spring near Ocala in Central Florida. Of the natural springs in Florida, it is the most prehistoric. The grounds around the springs also feature camping sites and nature trails for those that don’t necessarily want to get in the water. The spring is great for those that love to snorkel and scuba dive. The water features many scenic geological formations for one to check out.
These Crystal River springs are located around 90 minutes north of Tampa Bay. The area consists of 40 natural springs that empty into the Gulf of Mexico. These swimmable springs are only accessible by boat. Are you not wanting to swim here? Well, there are wildlife tours on a trolley, boardwalks, nature trails, and many places to dine nearby as well. The area is also home to many manatees that can be seen in the water.
Rainbow River/Rainbow Springs
Rainbow Springs is a popular natural spring in Florida near Dunnelton. Legend even says that the waters of this spring have magical healing powers. This state park has many amenities both in and out of the water. There are nature trails and natural gardens as well as swimming in the springs.
There is plenty to do out of the water as well. This area is also popular among birdwatchers. The area has a great campground if you would like to stay nearby as well. The campground has electricity and water, so you can enjoy nature in comfort. There is also a came called geocaching that uses global positioning system (GPS) coordinates to create a kind of treasure hunt. This activity is fun for all ages.
Are you into caves? Well, Ginnie Springs may be the spot for you. The group of seven springs is located along the Santa Fe River, and it opens into a group of caves. Only trained divers are allowed in the underground system because there is no ambient light. In addition to the caves, there is also tubing, kayaking, canoeing along the river and in the springs. There is also a nice campground if you are looking to stay the night.
Are you looking for a bit of whimsy with your natural spring? Well, look no further than Weeki Wachee. This spring has swimmers that dress up as mermaids and perform in the beautiful blue and green waters. One can also take a paddleboat trip to learn about Florida wildlife. The area is also home to Buccaneer Bay, the only water park fed by a natural spring. In 2007, this spring was confirmed to be the deepest freshwater cave system in North America.
Ichetucknee Springs is located near Gainesville and is one of the larger natural springs in Florida. It consists of eighty major springs along the Ichetucknee River. Are you a fan of water sports? This spring system features canoeing, tubing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Additionally, there are many hiking trails for both beginners and more advanced hikers.
Gilchrist Blue Springs
If you are into fish and turtles, then you will enjoy Gilchrist Blue Springs Park. This is Florida’s newest state park located twenty-five miles south of Lake City. This natural spring pours forty-four million gallons into the Santa Fe River. In addition to swimming and snorkeling, there is also an outdoor treasure hunt using global positioning system (GPS) coordinates.
This park is the newest addition to the Florida state park system. It features several other springs on the property including Little Blue Spring, Naked Spring, Kiefer Spring, and Johnson Spring. All of these springs are great photographic opportunities as well for the photographer in your life.
Madison Blue Springs
Madison Blue Springs is a beautiful swimming hole located east of Tallahassee along the Withlacoochee River. It sits in the middle of a forest. It is around eighty-two feet wide and twenty-five feet deep. It was voted the number one swimming hole in America by USA Today magazine. This is a picturesque swimming spot for the swimmer in all of us.
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Wekiwa Springs State Park is a beautiful huge system of natural springs near Orlando. This park is over 7,800 acres and features kayaking and canoeing for the whole family. There are tons of beautiful excursions to be had on the hiking trails nearby as well. If you are into horses, there is also an equestrian trail where one can ride their horse.
This wonderful spot in Fanning Springs is a great place to swim as well. It is a system of springs near the Suwannee River producing sixty-five million gallons of water per day. Visitors can enjoy a picnic at the campground and take in the multitude of wildlife featured in the area. The destination is also great for the birdwatcher in your life.
The seventy-foot deep springs at Troy Springs Park are a wondrous place to visit in Florida. The park is located near Brandford, Florida. There is even a historical attraction to be seen in the water. At the bottom of the spring are the remains of the Madison, a Civil-War era steamboat that sank here in 1863. One can scuba dive in the area as well, but you must be licensed. No solo diving is allowed.
The first-magnitude spring at Alexander Springs near Altoona is an easy spot to enjoy. It is a broad, gently sloped spring pool that is not difficult to circumnavigate at all. There are campgrounds nearby and a concession that sells necessary groceries to visitors as well. Additionally, the area is great for birdwatching.
Rock Springs Kelly Park
Rock Springs Run State Reserve is a naturally beautiful place to visit featuring pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub. There are also seventeen miles of hiking trails for walking, biking, or horseback riding. Campsites are available for those that would like to stay in the area. This is a great place to visit if you plan on visiting the natural springs in Florida.
Juniper Springs is one of the oldest recreation spots on the East Coast of the United States. It is located between Ocala and Ormond Beach. This is a beautiful spot to swim with the canopy of forest above you while you wade or swim in this waterway. One can also go boating or camp in the area as well. There are plenty of hiking trails to be had as well.
Silver Glen Springs
Silver Glen Springs is a day-use recreation area and archaeological site in the area of Astor, Florida. Swimming is permitted; however, boating is not permitted in the area. It was once a village and is being preserved. There is an ancient heap of fossils in the area to be seen as well. There is no camping available at this park.
Blue Grotto is a favorite spot among scuba divers. It features three distinct areas for divers of various levels to explore. There is also an open water spot at the top of the basin for swimmers and snorkelers. The lowest level is great for practicing more advanced scuba diving as there is not any ambient light and you cannot see the entrance.
This swimming hole at DeLeon Springs is a beautiful place to visit with a fascinating history. The spring was thought to have healing properties by the Mayaca Indians who inhabited the area. The famous naturalist James Audubon visited the spring in 1831, and he wrote: “This spring presents a circular basin, having a diameter of about 60 feet, from the center of which the water is thrown up with great force, although it does not rise to a height of more than a few inches above the general level.”
Lithia Springs is a popular camping spot near Hillsborough County in Florida. It is a beautiful spring that is fed by the Alafia River. Once you set up camp, there is plenty to explore in the spring and surrounding areas. The water stays at 72 degrees year-round, so it makes for a great swimming experience no matter when you visit. The park has 45 campsites suitable for RVs or tents.
Wakulla Springs State Park is home to one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. It is home to manatees, alligators, and other wildlife to be seen from the viewing platforms. The lodge and the surrounding area were the backdrops in many old Hollywood movies. Today, visitors can take a guided boat tour or go swimming in the beautiful springs that stay 70 degrees year-round.
Salt Springs is located in the Ocala National Forest. The name comes from the fact that the minerals in the water give it a mild salinity. The water was once thought to have healing powers. The water stays at a crisp, cool seventy-four degrees year-round.
The area also features camping and boating if you plan to make an excursion there. In fact, the camping area is one of the largest in Florida. There are plenty of hookups for RVs and a designated tent-only area for the more old-fashioned camper. The area has plenty of hiking trails and fishing to be had as well.
Three Sisters Springs
Three Sisters Springs is a beautiful natural spring near Crystal River, Florida. Due to erosion, you can only get to the springs by boat. The nearby Crystal River Wildlife Refuge is accessed by shuttle or by walking or by bicycle.
If you are a camper or an adventurer, these natural springs in Florida are a great place to visit for swimming, scuba diving, and many more activities in the water. Birdwatching and wildlife spotting are popular in many of these areas as well. One can camp or just make a day trip out of it. Are you planning to visit the natural springs in Florida? Have you visited any on the list? Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion about it on our page.
How were these Florida springs made?
These natural Florida springs are the result of the karst topography of the state. The porous limestone rock collects rainfall beneath the ground. Most of these springs stay around 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. There are also hot springs that can reach up to 85 degrees or more.
Can you swim in the natural springs of Florida?
Many of these springs permit swimming, but some do not. Please check out the websites before you try swimming in these springs.
How can one protect these Florida natural springs?
There are many ways to protect these springs. Don’t litter in or around the springs when you visit. Try not to stir up the vegetation and sediment at the bottom. Also, limiting motorized boating can help protect these beautiful springs.
Are there alligators in the springs?
Not in the public swimming areas, but some of these natural springs can house alligators.
How many springs are in Florida?
Florida is home to over 1000 natural springs of varying sizes. The state contains the most freshwater springs in the world.
Can you dive in these springs?
Many of these springs are great places for trained SCUBA divers. However, some of them can be dangerous for amateur and untrained divers. Please exercise caution and visit the websites to find out more information.