Florida Springs

This is an underwater photograph of Silver Springs, in Ocala, FL. Like many of the Florida Springs, millions of gallons issue from this crevice every hour.

Florida has only two geothermal springs, both within 3 miles of each other, near Tampa. However, the cold running Florida springs are not to be missed. These springs are like gardens of eden . They boast an abundance of wildlife, including fish, manatee and many exotic birds. The Florida State Parks site has a Park list of the many state preserves, including their bountiful springs. These lists contain detailed information on camping and lodgings, activities, events, directions and the springs themselves at these parks.

The author has personally had adventures at Silver Springs, Wekiva Springs, Blue Spring and De Leon Springs, and the more out of the way Hunter Spring (not a state park). Silver Springs in Ocala (and there are others you can go to that are similar) has a sort of "theme park", rather than a natural, atmosphere. However, even it's commercial development cannot hide it's stunning natural beauty. It's major attraction is glass bottom boat tours, and swimming is only allowed during one month of the year, (June, I believe) and then only in a small, restricted swimming area. Despite it all, Silver Springs is really nice.

Wekiva Springs, Blue Springs, Hunter Springs and De Leon Springs are all located in Central Florida - you can get the exact locations (with the exception of Hunter) from the Florida State Parks site. All of the springs feature exceptionally pristine, refreshing waters which issue from underwater caverns. These caverns are of particular interest to swimmers, snorkelers, and divers. At De Leon, you can swim down into the caverns easily. In fact, most people seemed to crowd around the area, taking turns diving into the holes to see how deep they can go. Others are harder to swim into, but I was told that very experienced divers traverse these underwater caverns with flashlights. Blue Spring has particularly good snorkeling opportunities, and is known for the manatee that swim there regularly during the winter months. You can swim right up to them, in fact, they will swim right up to you, though it can be a bit of a shock at first to have one of these formidable appearing creatures swim jovially over to say hello.

Details about all of the Florida Springs are to be found on the Florida geological survey site on the Florida Springs. This excellent site has a complete listing with information on the springs.

All of the Florida Springs are great for snorkeling and swimming, and there are multitudes not listed here. In addition to the State Parks site, a number of them are featured on Swimming Holes East, under Florida. If you have been to any of the Florida springs, and would like to share your pictures or experiences please e-mail.

Other Florida Links

FL state parks list

FL geological survey site on the Florida Springs

Warm mineral springs page

Town sponsored Warm Mineral springs page

Enthusiast page on Warm mineral springs and others

Salt Sink page(Little Salt Spring)


Florida NGDC Listings

Hot Springs Enthusiast Sponsor
The Ocala area is a wonderful place for a family vacation. There are plenty of opportunities for old-fashioned swimming hole fun and there's also the Ocala National Forest. Be sure to experience the geothermal springs. If you want to return and make lasting memories, buy timeshares here. Or make it a relaxing day trip from your Daytona Beach timeshare. Either way, be sure to dip your toes in both the warm and cold springs and be rejuvenated.
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