Florida, Florida Springs, Travel

Spring Hopping in Florida’s Ocala National Forest

Every other weekend I travel to Deland, Florida to visit my boyfriend.  This allows for a whole new range of adventure opportunities and exploring.  Our favorite thing to do on the weekend?  Snorkel in the springs! 

Deland is incredibly close to the Ocala National Forest, which houses several springs within a short driving distance from each other. 

If you’re looking to experience only one spring, there is absolutely an entire day’s worth to do at each!  If you’re in the area and are looking to see as much as possible, I recommend a spring hopping road trip.  Alexander Springs, Silver Glen Springs, and Salt Springs are within a 35 minute drive of each other.

Alexander Springs is one of 27, first-magnitude springs in Florida.  During the summer it becomes extremely busy, so make sure to arrive early!  Once the parking lot fills up, they don’t let more cars in until others leave.  There are picnic tables, grills and even a few pavilions.  It is a great spring to spend an entire day cooking out, swimming, kayaking and hammocking!  If you’re looking to escape the busy spring, check out the 1 mile, Timucuan Trail loop.  Canoe and Kayak rentals are available for use.  Alexander Springs also has a campground if you’re looking for a longer stay and experience.  The range of activities at this spring easily makes it one of my favorites!  For more information about the park, check out the website here.

Twenty minutes down the road is another favorite, Silver Glen Springs.  On weekends, especially during summer, you will find a party barge of boats nestled up to the outskirts of the spring, blaring music.  Not exactly the most peaceful spring this time of year, but it is the most beautiful in my opinion.  Below the surface, you will find peace along hundreds of striped bass.  Beach volleyball, canoeing, a short hiking trail, and snorkeling are among the many activities available.  For general information about the spring, head on over to the website here.

Travel only 12 minutes further, and you will find yourself at Salt Springs. Due to the presence of potassium, magnesium and sodium salts, this spring water is unlike any other I’ve been to. The vertical walls that the spring rises from creates an underwater maze. Within the maze, you might even find a few blue crab that live in the crevices! This spring is typically less crowded than the others during the summer. Canoe rentals, camping, picnicking and hiking are available. Find out more information here.

Whether you’re looking to relax or experience as much as possible, there is an adventure for everyone at the Florida springs!

Is is important when visiting the springs, to be respectful and leave no trace. To find out how you can minimize human impact on the springs, click here.