Settled in the late 1800s after the first discovery of phosphate in Florida, Dunnellon was a mining boomtown in its early history. One of the mining areas, on a bluff overlooking a beautiful spring, was converted to Rainbow Springs, as a public garden in the 1930s and later a natural attraction. It’s been a Florida State Park for several decades now, which preserved it from development.
Dunnellon is a fabulous destination for anyone who loves trails. This is a Trail Town on the Florida Trail, which comes in and out of town on what now are paved bicycle paths and becomes a footpath again heading east from the Pruitt trailhead along the Cross Florida Greenway. The Withlacoochee State Trail starts just south of town and heads to Dade City. The Dunnellon Trail is one paved segment of a network of paved trails under development on the Cross Florida Greenway.
Paddlers can head out on both the Withlacoochee River and Rainbow River right from downtown, with canoe, kayak, and SUP rentals available at several locations. Tubing is huge on the Rainbow River in the summer months, aided by outfitters who specialize in shuttling and providing tubes for a float from the KP Hole or Rainbow Springs State Park tubing put-in down to Blue Run Park.
Outdoor Recreation Destinations
Sunflower Season at Cannon Farms
When a sea of sunflowers pops up along the Cross Florida Greenway, it’s an attention getter. Meet Cannon Farms, a family farm right along the Florida Trail in Dunnellon.
The new 50 Hikes in Central Florida
We launched a new full-color edition of 50 Hikes in Central Florida at the National Trails Festival in Deland the first weekend of October. Take a peek inside.
Back to Blue Run
Blue skies, blue water: the beauty of a hike at Blue Run Park in Dunnellon is in the glimpses of blue amid the supersaturated greens that provide deep shade along its trails.
Three Days of Nature Coast Springs
Between New Port Richey and Crystal River, explore a variety of springs along the Nature Coast that provide splashing fun in summer and manatee watching in winter.
NEARBY: Crystal River, Inglis, Inverness, Ocala, Williston | PART OF: Central Florida