We all know about some of the most popular, pop culture iconic tourist attractions that Orlando has to offer, but it is so much more than Disney and theme parks.
There is an abundance of natural beauty too often ignored and one area is the Ocala National Forest. Located about 90 minutes north of central Orlando, it is a beautiful green space that boasts a number of amazing springs. According to Florida state parks, there are more than 1000 springs in Florida alone, and Ocala has some of the best! Here are 5 five springs that you can enjoy in and around the Ocala National Forest.
1. Alexander Springs
Alexander Springs is one of the 27 first-magnitude springs that exist in Florida, and it boasts a broad, gently sloping pool that is at a constant 72F temperature and extraordinarily clear to boot. One of its signature features are the ripples that play across the sand bottom, and you will see plenty of fish darting about in their natural habitat. Surrounded by plenty of cabbage palms, maples and sweetgum, Alexander Springs feels very tropical. Alexander Springs is also the ONLY spring that permits Scuba Diving in the Ocala National Forest.
For more information on Alexander Springs, click HERE to hop over to our next blog going into detail about what you'll have in store when visiting
2. Juniper Springs
Juniper Springs is one of the best-known and oldest areas of recreation on the East Coast. Located between Ormond Beach and Ocala, it has swimming opportunities, a picnic area, a spring run, hiking trails, and a campground. Hundreds of smaller bubbling springs sit alongside huge springs that gush out of the earth’s crevices, all underneath a dense canopy of oaks and palms. It is something of an oasis amidst the desert-esque ecosystem.
For more information on Juniper Springs, click HERE to hop over to our next blog going into detail about what you'll have in store when visiting
3. Salt Springs
One of the shiniest jewels in the Ocala National Forest crown, Salt Springs is a spectacular spot to experience the best of what the natural environment has to offer. There are plenty of outdoor activities that will keep campers busy, from swimming to fishing to hiking to boating to snorkeling and more. In the early 1900s, the spring was visited by people who believed it had medicinal healing powers. Today, people can enjoy the rest and relaxation of the 52 million gallons of water at a constant 74 degrees.
4. Silver Glen Springs
The Silver Glen Spring is one of the prettiest springs in the Ocala National Forest. The color of the water is as clear as you will find anywhere! Swimming is permitted and it is recommended that people bring along swimming goggles and snorkeling gear to make the most of the fabulous clear conditions. Pop your head under and you will see hundreds (even thousands) of fish around you! Something to note is that Silver Glen is the only spring recreation area in Ocala National Forest that does not have a campground.
For more information on Silver Glen Springs, click HERE to hop over to our next blog going into detail about what you'll have in store when visiting
5. Silver Springs State Park
Although located just outside of the Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs deserves its inclusion on this list! Silver Springs provides a different kind of experience to those we have mentioned above, as no swimming or snorkeling is permitted, however, you can drop your paddle craft in and explore the spring this way. Another way to enjoy the natural beauty of the water is the popular glass-bottom boat tour if you're not looking to paddle through the waterways. Silver Springs is particularly popular with people who don’t necessarily want to spend all day frolicking in the water but still want to see the beauty of an all-natural freshwater spring. Also, keep a lookout for Monkeys & Manatees, this spring is home to many! For more information on Silver Springs State Park, click HERE to hop over to our next blog going into detail about what you'll have in store when visiting.
Looking for a guided Eco-Tour to explore Silver Springs? Ecoventure Tours uses 100% Clear Stand-Up Paddle Boards and takes you around the scenic route of this spring run. Click HERE for more details on Ecoventure Tours - Silver Springs. This tour is Florida Springs Passport APPROVED.