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.
In October 2013, Silver Springs became a part of Silver River State Park, and the entire complex is now known as Silver Springs State Park.
Resources for exploring the area
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Location: Silver Springs
Address: 5656 E Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs
Fees: $5-8 per vehicle
Land Manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM until sunset daily. Silver River Museum open weekends only.
There is an additional fee for glass bottomed boat rides. When concerts are being held at the springs, the gates will close early along SR 40 and an additional charge will apply for after-hours events.
From Interstate 75 at SR 40 in Ocala, follow SR 40 west through Ocala to Silver Springs. There are two entrances to the park. The main one at the springs is just east of the traffic light with Baseline Rd in Silver Springs. You can’t miss the sign. For the camping and trails, turn right at Baseline Rd at that traffic light and follow it about a mile south to the entrance on the left.
About the Park
This exciting development meant 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, which are now run by a concessionaire.
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.
This is 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, and guided trail rides.
There are rental cabins and a campground, the Silver River Museum – which recounts pioneer and movie history and archaeological finds – and a pioneer village.
The village is the center of many special events, including the popular Ocali Country Days every November.
Explore the park
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.
On the 2.5-mile Sinkhole Trail, take a hike around a giant sinkhole and explore the uplands above the Silver River at Silver Springs State Park
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.