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rainbow springs state park

Florida Springs Camping Options

There are many great camping options in the state of Florida, and one of the most popular is springs camping. There are numerous springs located throughout the state, each offering its own unique experience. One of the best things about springs camping is that it allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of Florida while also getting some exercise. Here are a few of the best springs camping options in Florida:

wekiwa springs state park

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs State Park is located in Apopka and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The spring itself is one of the largest in Florida and provides a beautiful setting for swimming, tubing, and kayaking. There are also hiking trails available.

Miles of trails beg to be explored on foot, bike or horseback, and canoes and kayaks are available on-site. It’s easy to see why visitors have been flocking to beautiful Wekiwa Springs since the mid-19th century. Wekiwa Springs has a special place in the hearts of those lucky folks who have grown up nearby, spending weekends exploring the spring vent and paddling canoes past the purple blooms of pickerelweed. The azure waters of Wekiwa Springs have made it Orange County’s longest-running tourist attraction. From the dense, almost tropical hammocks near where the springs feed into the Wekiva River to the scenic sandhill uplands, the park offers ample opportunities to see many kinds of animals.

rainbow river state park

Rainbow River State Park

Rainbow River State Park is located in Dunnellon and offers an array of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The Rainbow River is one of the most popular attractions at the park and provides a great place to swim, tube, or kayak. There are also hiking trails available.

Miles of trails beg to be explored on foot, bike or horseback, and canoes and kayaks are available on-site. It’s easy to see why visitors have been flocking to beautiful Wekiwa Springs since the mid-19th century. Wekiwa Springs has a special place in the hearts of those lucky folks who have grown up nearby, spending weekends exploring the spring vent and paddling canoes past the purple blooms of pickerelweed. The azure waters of Wekiwa Springs have made it Orange County’s longest-running tourist attraction. From the dense, almost tropical hammocks near where the springs feed into the Wekiva River to the scenic sandhill uplands, the park offers ample opportunities to see many kinds of animals.

de soto national memorial

De Soto National Memorial

De Soto National Memorial is located in Bradenton and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The memorial commemorates the arrival of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1539 and provides a great place to learn about Florida history. There are also hiking trails available.

In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto’s army of soldiers, hired mercenaries, craftsmen, and clergy made landfall in Tampa Bay. They were met with fierce resistance of indigenous people protecting their homelands. De Soto’s quest for glory and gold would be a four year, four thousand mile odyssey of intrigue, warfare, disease, and discovery that would form the history of the United States.

giinnie springs

Giinnie Springs

Giinnie Springs is located in High Springs and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The spring is one of the clearest in Florida and provides a great place to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. There are also hiking trails available.

Ginnie Springs is a privately owned park in Gilchrist County about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northwest of High Springs, Florida, USA. It is located on the south side of the Santa Fe River, to which it is connected. The water is clear and cold and there are accessible caverns with a sand and limestone bottom.

Ginnie Springs has been privately owned by the Wray family since 1971 and began functioning in 1976. In the mid-1990s when scuba diving grew in popularity, Bob Wray opened the springs to the public. Due to the increasing number of scuba diver deaths, Wray took precautions by putting in an iron grate over the most dangerous part of the cave and placing warning signs for divers. The popularity of Ginnie took off and it became a nationally renowned diving spot which is still largely popular today.

blue spring state park

Blue Spring State Park

Blue Spring State Park is located in Orange City and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The spring is one of the largest in Florida and provides a great place to swim, tube, or kayak. There are also hiking trails available.

The refreshing 72-degree waters of Blue Spring greet visitors at this gem along the St. Johns River. Conservation measures can produce astounding results. In 1970, two years before Blue Spring State Park was established, researchers tracked 14 manatees in the spring run. By 2005, after years of park improvements and manatee protection efforts, wintering manatee numbers exceeded 200, and by 2022 that number skyrocketed to a record 724. Besides “sea cows,” fish abound in the spring run and attract a variety of wading birds, ospreys, eagles and kingfishers. To see the park’s wonders, visitors can hike along the spring run or on the 4.5-mile Pine Island Trail. Visitors can also launch a canoe or kayak (rentals are available at the park) or take a guided river boat cruise.

homosassa springs wildlife state park

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is located in Homosassa and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including manatees, and provides a great place to learn about Florida’s ecology. There are also hiking trails available.

When Homosassa Springs was a popular train stop in the early 1900s, passengers could picnic and take a dip in the spring while train cars were being loaded up with cedar, crabs, fish and spring water. On a 1924 visit, Bruce Hoover of Chicago called it “the most beautiful river and springs in the world.” In this regard, Homosassa Springs hasn’t changed much. An astounding number of fresh and saltwater fish still congregate in the natural spring bowl — large jacks, snapper, snook and others. A unique underwater structure, the Underwater Observatory allows visitors to “walk underwater” beneath the spring’s surface to watch the various fish and manatees swim about. Gaze down into the depths of the first-magnitude spring and perhaps catch a glimpse of fish and manatees in their natural habitat. The park also features a variety of captive animals such as alligators, black bears, red wolf, Key deer, flamingos, whooping cranes and the oldest hippopotamus in captivity. The native wildlife that reside in the park serve as ambassadors for their species, providing visitors face-to-face connections with the animals and their habitats. Each with a unique life story, all of the animal inhabitants are here for the same reason – they are unable to survive in the wild on their own.

silver springs state park

Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park is located in Ocala and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The springs at the park are some of the most beautiful in Florida and provide a great place to swim, tube, or kayak. There are also hiking trails available.

The main spring is surrounded by serene gardens and historic structures reminiscent of the days when Silver Springs was a major destination for Northerners arriving by steamship. The park is still a favorite destination and the home of the annual Springsfest celebrating protection and restoration of all Florida springs and waterways. The Silver River allows kayakers to experience a primeval forest wilderness surrounded by some of the state’s best managed sandhills, accessible by trails and dotted with friendly campgrounds.

fanning springs state park

Fanning Springs State Park

Fanning Springs State Park is located in Fanning Springs and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The spring is one of the deepest in Florida and provides a great place to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. There are also hiking trails available.

Fanning Springs produces 65 million gallons of water daily, making it a second-magnitude spring. Historically, Fanning Spring was a first-magnitude springs as recently as the 1990s. The springs offer the perfect 72-degree water to cool down on hot Florida days and an abundance of underwater wildlife to view. Musk turtles, bass, mullet, freshwater flounder, bowfin (and manatees during the colder days) inhabit the springs and river. Visitors can enjoy grilling and picnicking under majestic live oaks or a friendly game of volleyball on the white sand court. A playground provides diversion where young guests can swing and play. A boardwalk allows visitors to step back in time to old Florida with a stroll through a breathtaking cypress swamp with cypress knees standing 6 feet tall. This boardwalk ends with an overlook and view of the Suwannee River. During the summer, visitors can sometimes see massive sturgeons jumping. White-tailed deer, gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers and barred owls are some of the animals that may be seen around the park. An overlook at the park allows visitors to view the spring in its entirety and provides a spectacular view of the boil. Visitors can enter the park by boat from the Suwannee River or by vehicle from U.S. Highway 19. We offer an ADA chairlift for anyone who needs assistance accessing the spring. Contact the ranger station at 352-463-3420 for information.

salt springs recreation area

Salt Springs Recreation Area

Salt Springs Recreation Area is located in Salt Springs and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The spring is one of the saltiest in Florida and provides a great place to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. There are also hiking trails available.

Salt Springs Recreation Area is one the recreational jewels of the Ocala National Forest, with a spectacular natural mineral spring that gives the area its name. Plenty of outdoor activities keep campers and day-use visitors busy, including swimming in the springs, fishing, snorkeling, hiking and boating. In the early 1900s, many people came to the spring, believing it had medicinal healing powers. Today’s visitors will find Salt Springs gushes forth 52 million gallon of water daily at a constant 74° Fahrenheit.

 

Ocala Springs

Ocala Springs is located in Ocala and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The spring is one of the largest in Florida and provides a great place to swim, tube, or kayak. There are also hiking trails available.

withlacoochee river state park

Withlacoochee River State Park

Withlacoochee River State Park is located in Dunnellon and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The river is one of the most popular attractions at the park and provides a great place to swim, tube, or kayak. There are also hiking trails available.

suwannee river state park

Suwannee River State Park

Suwannee River State Park is located in Live Oak and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The river is one of the most popular attractions at the park and provides a great place to swim, tube, or kayak. There are also hiking trails available.

At the intersection of the Suwannee and Withlacoochee rivers, patches of rain lilies spring up on earthen mounds built to defend against Union Navy gunboats. This park is alive with history. Visitors can see remnants of a 19th-century steamship and two ghost towns that have been reclaimed by the sandhill wilderness, which is home to diverse and imperiled native species. Look out over the river or stop by Little Gem Spring, and you are treading on storied ground.

ichetucknee springs state park

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Ichetucknee Springs State Park is located in Fort White and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The springs at the park are some of the most beautiful in Florida and provide a great place to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. There are also hiking trails available.

Although well-known for its warm weather tubing, the 2,669-acre Ichetucknee Springs State Park is also a wildlife haven, where beaver, otter, gar, softshell turtle, wild turkey, wood duck and limpkin all find a home. The main draw is the park’s eight major crystal-clear springs that join to create the 6-mile Ichetucknee River. The upper portion within the state park is a National Natural Landmark, perhaps the most pristine spring run in the state and best enjoyed by canoe or kayak during the cooler months. Three nature trails guide visitors through the lush park forest or a majestic sandhill environment with towering longleaf pines.

manatee springs state park

Manatee Springs State Park

Manatee Springs State Park is located in Chiefland and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The spring is one of the deepest in Florida and provides a great place to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. There are also hiking trails available.

People have enjoyed the cool waters of Manatee Springs for more than 10,000 years, from early Paleo Indians to modern park visitors. The first-magnitude spring releases an astounding 100 million gallons of water daily. This makes it a popular cooling-off spot and a great place to stroll on the park boardwalk and gaze into watery depths. True to its namesake, manatees can be seen in the cooler months, and birds, mammals and fish are spotted year-round. The park also offers 8.5 miles of nature trails and a safe connection to the 32-mile Nature Coast State Trail, so don’t forget to bring your bicycles!

alexander springs recreation area

Alexander Springs Recreation Area

Alexander Springs Recreation Area is located in Altoona and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The spring is one of the clearest in Florida and provides a great place to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. There are also hiking trails available.

Only 27 first-magnitude springs exist in Florida, and Alexander Springs is by far one of the easiest to enjoy. A broad and naturally gently sloped spring pool is a constant 72°F and extraordinarily clear. Ripples play across the sand bottom as small fish dart about. Surrounded by a floodplain forest of maples, sweetgum and cabbage palms, this recreation area feels almost tropical.

juniper springs recreation area

Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Juniper Springs Recreation Area is located in Ocala National Forest and offers a variety of camping options, including cabins, RV sites, and primitive campsites. The springs at the recreation area are some of the most beautiful in Florida and provide a great place to swim, tube, or kayak. There are also hiking trails available.

Juniper Springs is one of the oldest and best-known recreation areas on the East Coast. Located between Ocala and Ormond Beach along SR 40, this complex of swimming and picnic area, campground and trails was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. This setting houses hundreds of tiny bubbling springs and massive springs gushing out of crevices in the earth beneath a dense canopy of palms and oaks, an oasis within the heart of the desert-like scrub ecosystem.

These are just a few of the many great camping options available in the state of Florida. Whether you’re looking for a place to swim, hike, or just relax, there’s sure to be a perfect spot for you. So get out there and explore all that Florida has to offer!