Silver Springs – one of the world’s largest and deepest springs – pours out more than 550 million gallons every day. Since the 1880s, the springs have been surrounded by a private attraction. No more. As of October 2013, Silver Springs became a part of Silver River State Park, and the entire complex is now known as Silver Springs State Park
Location: Silver Springs
Fees: $5-8 per vehicle.
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily. Silver River Museum open weekends only.
When concerts are being held at the springs (former attraction area), the gates will close early along SR 40 and an additional charge will apply for after-hours events.
This exciting development means a lot to those of us who grew up in the area and worried every time the attraction changed hands. Under the management of the Florida Park Service, Silver Springs retains its world-famous glass-bottomed boats and the beautiful gardens along the river; other amenities are in the process of being changed. The state park now surrounds the headspring and straddles the sinuous wild and scenic river created by this crystalline flow.
From the original portion of the state park, nearest the cabins, you can launch a kayak and paddle up to the springs, or take an educational cruise along a river where monkeys swing from trees where Tarzan – actor Johnny Weissmuller – yelled out his famed call across the waters during the filming of many a movie. Let out your own yell as you walk through these jungle-like forests along the river!
The park offers a little of everything in addition to a visit to this amazing spring, including extensive hiking and bicycling trails, guided trail rides, cabins and a campground, the Silver River Museum, which recounts pioneer and movie history and archaeological finds, and a pioneer village that’s the center of many special events, including the popular Ocali Country Days every November.
Explore the park
- New shuttle service for kayaking the Silver River - Silver Springs State Park has a new shuttle service available for kayakers, to help you with the logistics of planning a paddle down the Silver River with your own kayak or canoe.
- Silver Springs River Trails - With more than 4 miles of hiking in two trails, the River Trails of Silver Springs State Park are the park's most popular walks, as they lead you to views along the Silver River.
- Silver Springs Sandhill Nature Trail - At Silver River State Park, the Sandhill Nature Trail (which can also be reached from the Sinkhole Trail) is a 1.7-mile loop through a longleaf and wiregrass sandhill habitat.
- Silver Springs Sinkhole Trail - On the 2.5-mile Sinkhole Trail, take a hike around a giant sinkhole and explore the uplands above the Silver River at Silver River State Park.