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. While it remained in private hands for many years, it is now a Gilchrist County Park.
Lat-Lon: 29.641817, -82.940345
Fees: Day use $2-4. Annual passes available.
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-agressive pets are welcome but may not be taken to the swimming areas.
Encompassing more than 600 acres along the spring run and the Suwannee River floodplain, Otter Springs Park & 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.