This is an underwater photograph of Silver Springs, in Ocala, FL. Like
many of the Florida Springs, millions of gallons issue from this crevice
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
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
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
page on Warm mineral springs and others
Salt Sink page(Little Salt Spring)
MINERAL SPRINGS (BIG SALT SPR)
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,
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.