Florida’s original tourist destination, Silver Springs is both one of the world’s largest springs and the name of the community that grew up around it in the 1800s when steamboats followed the snaking curves of the Ocklawaha River up the Silver River to dock at these immense springs.
Trails and Parks near Silver Springs
- Bear-N-Oak Trail- Part of the Florida State Forests Trailwalker program, the Bear-N-Oak Trail at Indian Lake State Forest is a 1.6-mile loop that provides a fascinating look at habitat diversity centered on Indian Lake, a major karst feature in the Ocala Limestone
- Carney Island Conservation Area- At Carney Island, the breeze carries the scent of orange blossoms from some of the northernmost remaining commercial groves in Florida. Lake Weir is a palatable presence, even though the trails stick to the oak hammocks
- Florida Trail, Baseline to Marshall Swamp- Along the Baseline Road to Marshall Swamp section of the Florida Trail in Ocala, enjoy a swath of true urban wilderness, a mile-wide corridor edged on both sides by subdivisions and strip malls.
- Florida Trail, Cross Florida Greenway- A prime destination for backpacking and day hiking near Ocala, the Florida Trail, Cross Florida Greenway stretches 30 miles between Dunnellon and Silver Springs.
- Florida Trail, Marshall Swamp- On this 5.6-mile round-trip hike, follow the Florida Trail on a linear journey through the giant trees of Marshall Swamp without getting your feet wet.
- Florida Trail, Ocala National Forest- 72.2 miles. Of all of the sections of the Florida Trail statewide, the Ocala National Forest is both the oldest section of the trail and the most compelling for backpackers.
- Florida Trail, Santos to Baseline- A 4.5-mile section of the Florida Trail between Belleview and Silver Springs Shores, the Santos to Baseline section on the Cross Florida Greenway is a linear woodland in suburbia.
- Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area- At Ocklawaha Prairie, east of Lake Weir and south of Marshall Swamp, trails lead to some of the best birding in the region from levees along the extensive marshes of the river basin.
- Silver River Connector- Built to showcase the Cross Florida Greenway, the Silver River Connector is a 3-mile round-trip from the Ocklawaha Visitor Center to Ray Wayside Park.
- Silver Springs Conservation Area- Silver Springs Conservation Area protects upland habitats crucial to recharge of Silver Springs. Two stacked loop trails (with a cross-trail on the upper loop) provide several options for hiking.
- 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.
- Silver Springs State Park- Silver Springs - one of the world's largest and deepest springs - pours out more than 550 million gallons every day. Silver Springs State Park protects not just the spring but the river's six mile floodplain as well.
- Sunnyhill Levee Trail- At Sunnyhill Restoration Area, the Levee Trail provides a scenic stroll atop a levee paralleling both the Ocklawaha River channel and its vast marshes favored by wading birds.