Springs Near Ocala
Inside the coast line and sandy beaches, Florida has another water source that offers plenty of activities and relaxation.
Don’t just add more beach pics to your photo album.
I have always been a “water baby” and sometimes I want to leave the salt and sand behind.
So natural flowing, fresh water springs are the right afternoon choice.
Ocala is home to many natural springs that offer relaxing days with bouts of adventure.
Each spring offers a unique backdrop and diverse landscape.
Lets jump in…
1. Silver Springs State Park
One of the oldest tourist attractions in Florida is Silver Springs State Park.
Renowned for its crystal-clear water and abundant wildlife.
Visitors can explore the springs via the famous glass-bottom boats, offering a unique perspective of the underwater world.
Canoeing and kayaking are also popular activities.
The park’s lush surroundings and natural terrain are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, providing a picturesque backdrop for nature enthusiasts.
2. Juniper Springs
Juniper Springs is among Florida’s most sought-after natural springs.
Its crystal-clear waters and surrounding lush vegetation offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
A true oasis nestled in the heart of the Ocala National Forest.
The spring pool is a popular spot for swimming, with its cool, clear waters offering a refreshing dip on hot summer days.
For adventurous visitors, a seven-mile canoe run downstream through a winding forested creek provides an unforgettable excursion.
The surrounding campgrounds and picnic areas make Juniper Springs an ideal destination for a day trip or an extended stay amidst nature’s beauty.
3. Salt Springs
Drawing visitors with its unrivaled natural beauty and tranquility is Salt Springs.
A true hidden gems near Ocala.
The springs get their name from the slight salinity of the water, attributed to the presence of potassium, magnesium, and sodium salts in the spring vents.
The consistent 72-degree water is invigorating.
Go snorkelling and be mesmerized by the aquatic life teeming in the crystal-clear waters.
This is a renowned kayaking spring in Florida that gets you up close to unique aquatic life.
The area is also a haven for campers and hikers, with numerous trails winding through the scenic landscape.
With robust amenities such as picnic tables, campgrounds, and a marina, Salt Springs offers a comprehensive outdoor experience.
4. Alexander Springs
Renowned as one of the easiest springs near Ocala to access is Alexander Springs.
This first-magnitude spring boasts a large, round natural pool that slopes gradually from the shore to the spring’s vent.
Making it a popular spot for both swimmers and snorkelers.
The turquoise, 72-degree water is home to a myriad of fish species, making it a snorkelling paradise.
Alexander Springs is also a starting point for a scenic canoe run.
In addition to water activities, visitors can enjoy hiking through its subtropical forest, providing a glimpse into the area’s diverse wildlife.
Comprehensive amenities such as a picnic area, concession stand and some of the best camping in Florida.
This isn’t the only spring with extra amenities but definitely stands out from other springs
5. Rainbow Springs
One of Florida’s most enchanting treasures is also conveniently located near Ocala, Rainbow Springs.
This serene location is famed for its brilliant blue water, punctuating the lush, green surroundings with a splash of vibrant color.
The spring’s consistent temperature, like its counterparts, remains a refreshing 72 degrees.
This is welcoming for swimmers, snorkelers, and those looking to kayak with manatees.
Rainbow Springs is not just about water activities, though.
It is also home to a breathtaking network of nature trails, perfect for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The icing on the cake is the beautiful waterfall, a unique feature amongst Florida’s springs.
Facilities such as picnic spots, campgrounds, and a well-equipped visitor center make Rainbow Springs an ideal destination for a full-day outdoor excursion.
5. Silver Glen Springs
Silver Glen Springs is a gem located in the Ocala National Forest.
Its pristine turquoise waters are a haven for snorkelers and swimmers, offering an invigorating escape from the Florida heat.
Noted for its rich marine life, visitors often get the chance to observe a variety of fish species in their natural habitat.
The surrounding picnic area is perfect for families and groups wishing to unwind amidst the serenity of nature.
Hiking trails nearby offer the opportunity to explore the scenic beauty of the region further.
6. Paradise Springs
Paradise Springs, located near Ocala, is an angler’s delight and a scuba diving dream.
This privately owned, crystal clear, artesian spring offers world-class cave diving as it descends into a cavern that reaches depths of over 100 feet.
Making this a perfect spring and scuba dive site for those that are certified.
The spring features a beautiful above-ground pool that’s perfect for lounging and sunbathing.
The facility also offers all necessary amenities including equipment rentals, air fills, and picnic tables.
Please note, since Paradise Springs is privately owned, entry fees apply and advance reservations are recommended.
7. Scott Springs
Scott Springs, nestled in the city of Ocala, serves as a hidden oasis for locals and tourists alike.
This urban green space is home to a small, but picturesque spring that feeds into a serene pond.
The park surrounding the spring boasts playgrounds, walking trails, and picnic areas. Its most distinctive feature is an impressive sinkhole trail that offers a unique insight into Florida’s fascinating geology.
While Scott Springs may not provide opportunities for swimming or snorkeling, it certainly offers a tranquil retreat amidst the bustle of city life.
What Springs In Ocala Can You Scuba Dive In?
For scuba diving enthusiasts, Ocala offers unique opportunities to explore the underwater beauty of Florida’s spring country.
With crystal clear cavern descending over 100 feet, it is a dream location for certified divers.
Not all springs offer diving operations so please check before arriving and loading your gear.
Do remember to make advance reservations and note that entry fees may apply.
Remember to always prioritize safety and respect the delicate ecosystems of these natural springs while diving.
Are There Alligators In Natural Springs In Florida?
Yes, alligators can be found in natural springs in Florida.
However, it’s important to remember that these creatures typically avoid areas with large crowds or high human activity.
The clear, cool waters of Florida’s springs are generally not the preferred habitat for alligators, as they tend to favor warmer, murkier environments.
Visitors are advised to remain vigilant, adhere to safety guidelines, and maintain a respectful distance from any wildlife they encounter to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to these natural springs.
Ocala Florida has an abundance of natural springs,
Each offers unique attractions and experiences from tranquil pool lounging to immersive underwater exploration for scuba divers.
So whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure seeker there’s something for everyone.
Don’t forget to check the specific regulations and facilities of each spring before your visit.
- 21 Best Kayaking Springs In Florida
- Camping in Florida
- 10 Perfect Places to Kayak with Manatees in Florida
How many springs are in Ocala?
Ocala has more than 600 natural springs, lakes and rivers.
Most are found in Florida’s National Forests but some sit on privet property.
What is the water Temperature of Florida’s natural springs?
The average water temperature for Florida springs is 72 degrees F.
The is a consistent temperature through out almost all springs found in Florida.
This is a perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months.