With the rising temperatures during summertime in Florida, people yearn for gushing sapphire waters to cool down their body and soul in refreshing springs embedded in picturesque surroundings. Central Florida is the spring capital of the USA with about 1000 fresh water springs to take the plunge in. People in Florida put their adventurous streak to test with recreational activities in the crystal-clear lagoons like tubing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, paddling, under spring walks, paddling, all while watching the beautiful sea life that swim below them. When you visit the springs, you get a chance to snorkel with vivid corals and tropical fish and dive into a true paradise. Although Florida is laden with springs, here are the top 10 best springs situated in the state where you can experience a visual and sensory delight.
• Salt Springs
Salt Springs is located in Marion County, Florida, located near Lake George, this spring is situated in the Ocala National Forest. Immerse yourself in the milieu of water recreational activities like swimming, Paddling, canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sandy beach relaxing or boat tours. Thousands of visitors visit the park every year and dive into a true paradise of the glistening waters of gusty springs. Families enjoy the activities that Lake Kerr has to offer, known for water sports and the innumerable fresh seafood restaurants, Lake Kerr is definitely a family favorite. There are many camping areas along the spring with recreational areas.
• De Leon Springs
De Leon Spring, is situated within De Leon Springs State Park and houses the famous myth of Juan Ponce De Leon’s fountain of youth. The area boasts a sheltered swimming pool located at the foot of rolling hills and lined with ancient oak trees with branches dotted with Spanish moss and revived ferns. You can bask in pontoon boat tours or try a shot at paddling along the Spring Garden Creek or Lake. The waters of the spring are connected with Lake Dexter, Lake Woodruff, and the St. John’s River. The area houses a famous restaurant, to sample culinary delights, known as The Sugar Mill. It is well known for pancakes which diners can cook themselves at their tables. There is a 4-mile long hiking trail leading you to a Cyprus tree which is around 500 years old named Old Methuselah. On the way, you can stroll through forests and wetlands leaving you with a picturesque memory.
• Rock Springs
Rock Springs Run is a mélange of natural beauty with pristine shores, swamps, pine scrubs and flat-woods. Adventure seekers can find thrilling activities like hiking, bicycling and horse riding along trails which are about 17 miles long. With many horse rentals and rides available, campers can soak their tensions away. There are many ancient campsites on the Rock Springs and Wekiva River which can only be reached by canoe. Hunting is also permitted within specific periods during the year in particular areas of the reserve. However, no swimming is allowed in the Rock Springs Run State Reserve.
• Wekiwa Springs
Wekiwa Springs is located at the Wekiwa Springs State Park on the outskirts of Orlando. These springs are headwaters of Wekiva River and are very popular for paddling in addition to hiking and boating. There is a long trail which extends to several miles and is an adventurous experience for bikers, hikers, and Horse riders. There are campsites on location which can be booked online.
• Alexander Springs
Alexander Springs is located inside the Alexander Springs Recreational premises situated east of the Ocala National Forest. The spring boasts several spring openings bursting under a lime rock ledge. Very clear water is discharged from underground with a consistent temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, which forms a huge pool. At the base of the pool, you can see an array of aquatic plants in the sand. There is a pristine sand beach at one end and a staircase that leads you towards a spring pool on a slope. The rest of the area is covered with forests of cabbage palms, sweet gum, and maple. You can enjoy Kayaking, canoeing or paddling in the spring run which meets the St. Johns river after 8-miles. You can also revel in activities such as camping, picnics and bathhouses. You can also experience scuba diving in the spring.
• Juniper Springs
Located at the Juniper Springs Campground in the Ocala National Forest, this spring is a combination of hundreds of fizzing springs emerging from fissures in the ground covered with a huge crown-like canopy of oaks and palms. The area boasts a recreation site with activities like swimming, canoeing, picnicking, hiking, snorkeling or birds and wildlife spotting. The park houses plenty of wildlife with friendly alligators, raccoons, turtles, turkey, deer, and an innumerable species of birds. Campers can take a walk along the trail running throughout the park and even enroll for informative programs during summers.
• Silver Glen Springs
Silver Glen Springs is a very popular spring with an archeological site and about 65 million gallons of water flowing from two spring outlets into the Lake George every day. Boats are not allowed inside the spring bowl which allows swimmers and snorkelers to take underwater adventures and explore the gushing sapphire glaciers. During summers and holidays, you will find it immensely crowded and canoes can be rented during any season. The recreation area is dotted with forests of pine, cedar, and oak, which are great spots for botanical studies, bird watching, and photography.
• Rainbow Springs
Rainbow Springs is located in the Rainbow Springs state park and it is Florida’s fourth largest spring. It was previously privately owned, but now people can enjoy glistening cascades and waterfalls. Some activities allowed at Rainbow Spring are Paddling, Tubing, kayaking and canoeing There is a beautiful natural trail along the Riverside for hikers. You can explore a fantastic trail hike before plunging into refreshing crystal clear waters. Newly refurbished campsites and gardens shaded with trees give the feel of basking in a tropical Paradise.
• Silver Springs
Silver springs are located within the Ocala National Forest. Visitors stream into Silver Springs for their glass bottom boat experience. There is a collection of many springs spouting about 550 million Gallons of water daily. There is a 15-mile long trail for hikers and bikers winding through shady trees of pine and oak forests. Equestrian trails are also built for horse lovers and they can be easily rented from the park.
• Blue Springs
Popularly known as the “winter home”, more than half a million tourists make their way to this hot spring. Situated on the St. Johns River, Blue Springs is one of the largest and illustrious springs for sports like swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and paddling. Water activities are experienced during the warmer months when the spring run is open for recreation. Paddling and boat tours are available on the St. Johns river all year round. Cabins and camping are available as well. Along the length of the spring, there’s a beautiful boardwalk where you can stroll down and experience natures finest.
Enjoy water sports or swim in the cool waters of the 700 springs located in Florida. Explore the tranquility of beautiful varied panoramas and engage in thrilling adventures amidst Nature’s finest creations.