Otter Springs feels like one of those spots you’d stumble across by surprise, a second magnitude spring surrounded by clusters of ancient oaks and towering cypress.
It’s a beauty spot along the lower Suwannee River, off the beaten path in one of Florida’s more rural counties.
Resources for exploring the area
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Trailhead: 29.641817, -82.940345
Fees: Day use $2-4. Annual passes available.
Land Manager: Gilchrist County
Open daylight hours (hours not posted) except for campers.
The south end of the park has easy access for cyclists to the Nature Coast Trail via back roads. Non-aggressive pets are welcome but may not be taken to the swimming areas.
From US 19/98 in Fanning Springs, turn off onto SR 26 towards Trenton. In a mile and a half, turn onto CR 232. Continue 1.7 miles north and make a left on SW 70th St. Drive another mile and turn right on SW 80th Ave. The park entrance is on the left in a half mile.
About the Park
Encompassing more than 600 acres along the spring run and the Suwannee River floodplain, Otter Springs Park and Campground is an outdoor getaway in the uplands above one of the quieter stretches of the Suwannee River.
The spring itself bubbles out ten million gallons a day at 73*F, creating a stream that winds through the forest to the river.
You can rent a canoe to paddle down the spring run – the launch is near the general parking area for the spring – or bring your own.
Nature trails also link the main spring and cabin areas with the river and Little Otter Spring, a spring situated along the Suwannee River.
Camping options include full electric sites for tent or RV camping, primitive tent camping, and several cabins (bring your own linens).
The park has a large lodge and other buildings available for rentals for family gatherings and weddings. A indoor swimming pool provides an alternative place for the family to swim.
See our photos of Otter Springs
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