Did you know that Florida is home to more than seven hundred freshwater springs? Some of them are just a short distance from Orlando, and they are perfect for taking a dip or kayaking in. They are one of the best places you can relax and unwind in Florida no matter the time of year. This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation.

Each of the natural springs near Orlando has its own unique features. Most of them are famous for their crystal clear waters, active wildlife, and beautiful swampy scenery. Each park also offers multiple activities that the whole family can take part in. So, if you are looking for the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, you have come to the right place. Here are the top ones that you can visit anytime you like.

This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation.

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1. Wekiwa Springs State Park

Park Fee: $6/vehicle

Hours: 8 am till sunset

Location: 1800 Wekiwa Cir. Apopka, FL 32712

If you want to enjoy some beautiful trails, majestic waters, and experience one of the best natural springs near Orlando, then you should visit the Wekiwa Springs State Park. It is a short drive from downtown Orlando, and the park is open from 8 am till sundown. The best feature of this park is that it includes a beautiful emerald spring that produces around forty-three million gallons of water in a day!

Remember that this is one of the most popular state parks in Florida, which is why your best bet is to get there early. You can swim in the water and see the spring up close or you can take part in other activities that the park has to offer including include camping, fishing, snorkeling, cycling, geocaching, and more.

There is a nature center and some picnic pavilions inside Wekiwa Springs State Park for you to enjoy. If you are a camper, you have many options, depending on your preferences and camping experience. So, don’t forget to take in this experience while you are there. Make sure to reserve a campsite FAR in advance if you want to camp here during the peak season (summer months).

Read More: 28 Fun Things To Do in Orlando, Florida For Adults

This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation.

2. De Leon Springs State Park

Park Fee: $6/vehicle

Hours: 8 am till sundown

Location: 601 Ponce de Leon Blvd. De Leon Springs, FL 32130

The De Leon Springs State Park has a history that dates back over six thousand years! It was originally called Healing Waters by Mayaca Indians who used to live in this area. If you want to enjoy the incredibly beautiful waters and experience the Floridian forest, this is the best park to visit. The swimming area in the park overlooks the Spring Garden Run, which releases nineteen million gallons of water a day.

The De Leon Springs park was also home to a water-powered sugar mill built in the 19th century. Now, you will find the Sugar Mill Restaurant that allows you to cook your own pancakes. But, of course, it has a waiting list, which is why you must arrive early if you want to enjoy everything in the park.

In this park, the various activities you can do include boat tours, fishing, hiking, paddling, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, and much more. Unfortunately, you can’t camp here as the state park does not offer this service. There is also no non-camping accommodation in the park, but you can always stay nearby.

This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation.

Read More: The Complete Florida Vacation Packing List

3. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation.

Park Fee: Ages 5 and below are admitted free. $8 for children between 6 and 12 and $13 for adults

Hours: 9 am till 5:30 pm

Location: 6131 Commercial Way Weeki Wachee FL 34606

If you are looking for a part aquatic theme park and park swimming area, you will find no better place than the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Besides being one of the best natural springs near Orlando, this park is family-friendly and offers something for everyone! There is so much to enjoy here, such as exploring underwater caves, mermaid shows, water slides, and much more. However, remember that the park is over an hour away from Orlando, which is why you will have to plan your timing accordingly.

This spring’s cave system is the deepest freshwater cave system in America, and you must enjoy this area while you are in the park if you are into freediving, scuba, or snorkeling.

If you want to camp, the state park offers camping accommodations for adults and kids alike, so you can enjoy with your entire family. Other activities you can do here include:

  • Snorkeling
  • Boat tours
  • Paddling
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Playground

There are many picnic pavilions, and concession stands available throughout the park. If you get bored or want to rest and eat, you can stop here and re-energize yourself. After that, you can move on to exploring this beautiful natural spring that you will not find anywhere else.

4. Blue Springs State Park

Park Fee: $6 per vehicle

Hours: 8 am till sunset

Location: 2100 W. French Ave. Orange City, FL 32763

The Blue Springs State Park is only forty-five minutes north of downtown Orlando if you take I-4. It is incredibly accessible and one of the top natural springs near Orlando to visit during your time in the area. The spring discharges more than a hundred million gallons of water each day.

You can go here to enjoy various activities, such as swimming, tubing, snorkeling, scuba diving. The park is famous for its awesome snorkeling and diving areas. The kids can also enjoy the Thursby House or hike along the beautiful nature trail. If you want to have fun with your kids the entire day, there is a playground and many picnic pavilions for you to enjoy.

The best time to go to the Blue Springs State Park is during the winter months. That is because it becomes a warm-water refuge for many West Indian manatees that you can see and experience during the winter months. Keep in mind that the park cares about the manatees’ safety, which is why they close all water activities between November and March.

This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation.

5. Rock Springs Run State Reserve

Park Fee: $3 per vehicle

Hours: 8 am till 6 pm

Location: 30601 County Road 433 Sorrento, FL 32776

The Rock Springs Run State Reserve is only forty minutes outside of Orlando, and it is home to the best Rock Springs with the clearest waters that you will love. In addition, there are fourteen miles of trails for you to enjoy if you are looking for a good place near Orlando to go for a hike.

Besides hiking, Rock Springs also offers cycling, camping, geocaching, mountain biking trails, wildlife viewing, tours, cabins to stay in, equestrian trails, and much more. Rock Springs Run actually branches off of Wekiwa Springs State Park, but if you plan on swimming, this is not the park for you. This park does not allow swimming but offers many other activities.

You can reserve the campsites by contacting Wekiwa Springs State Park if you want to stay overnight. The best way to reserve a spot in a cabin is to go to call and see what dates are available for a campsite. Keep in mind that the reserve is also co-run by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation for hunting.

That is why you can hunt in some permitted areas of the reserve between September and January. Some trails will be closed during this time, but the park will be open for all regular activities. This is done to protect the visitors and ensure that no one gets hurt during the hunting season.

6. Fanning Springs State Park

Park Fee: $6 per vehicle

Hours: 8 am till sunset

Location: 18020 N.W. Highway 19 Fanning Springs FL 32693

If you want to enjoy the blue-green spring waters under the ancient oaks on the Suwannee River, there is no better place than the Fanning Springs State Park. It is over two hours away from Orlando, but it is worth the drive as the park has a lot to offer to visitors making it still one of the best natural springs near Orlando. The spring produces over 65 million gallons of water in a day, which is why it is the second-biggest spring in the area.

The best part is that there is endless wildlife for you to view in this park. Some of the wildlife that you could see include manatees in the winter months, bowfin, alligators, freshwater flounder, mullet, bass, musk turtles, and much more. Of course, when you come here, you have to enjoy hiking, fishing, paddling, boating, camping, snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, and much more.

There are also many picnic pavilions to rest on if you get tired while the kids play in the playground. Remember that you can get in the park by boat through the Suwannee River. On the other hand, you can also enter by your vehicle through the U.S Highway 19.

7. Silver Springs State Park

Park Fee: $8 per vehicle

Hours: 8 am till sunset

Location: 1425 N.E. 58th Ave. Ocala FL 34470

Silver Springs is over an hour’s drive from Orlando, but is rated as one of the top natural springs near Orlando. Silver Springs is famous for its “glass-bottom boat” tours that feature boats with clear bottoms so you can see the springs and the wildlife underwater. They even have clear kayaks that you can rent to get a different view of the wildlife.

Here you can enjoy some crystal clear waters as well as historic structures. The mainspring in the park is surrounded by beautiful gardens and walking trails. There are even old forts that have been made into movie sets around the area.

You can enjoy many activities here, such as cycling, boating, birding, camping, geocaching, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, paddling, cabin stays, and much more. There are also sandhills and forest wilderness you can explore if you branch out of the trails and camping sites. The best part is that you can spend the entire day and night here and you will not get bored.

This spring is located in the Ocala National Forest, and it gets busy. Make sure to book your camping reservations months in advance as this park fills up quickly. Be sure to put this park on your bucket list and make the most of your trip as you enjoy everything this park has to offer.

This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation.

8. Manatee Springs State Park

Park Fee: $6 per vehicle

Hours: 8 am till sundown

Location: 11650 N.W 115 St. Chiefland, FL 32626

One of the best things that attracts people to Manatee Springs State Park is the eight-hundred-foot boardwalk that runs through the beautiful cypress forest that overlooks the springs. It is the perfect way to look over the springs and try and spot Manatees which are especially active during the winter months. The boardwalk and accessibility are some of the things that make this one of the best natural springs near Orlando. This spring releases over a hundred million gallons of water each day.

Many people come here to cool down during the summer months and enjoy the waters while taking in the views. The park is two hours away from Orlando, but it is worth the drive as there are endless activities for you to enjoy. These include cycling, boating, camping, hiking, fishing, scuba diving, paddling, swimming, and much more.

In the cooler months, you will also spot some manatees. However, other animals are present all year, including fish, mammals, birds, and more. You will also find more than eight miles of nature trails, and it is also a safe connection to the Nature Coast State Trail that is perfect for bicycling in as well.

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

9. Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Park Fee: $6 per vehicle

Hours: 8 am till sunset

Location: 12087 S.W. U.S Highway 27 Fort White FL 32038

The Ichetucknee Springs State Park is a two-hour drive from Orlando, but it is well-known for its large protected area, warm-weather tubing, and beautiful waters. The best part about this park is that it is a haven for various wildlife. That is why you will find a lot of wildlife to view here, such as wild turkeys, wood ducks, otters, beavers, softshell turtles, limpkins, gars, and other aquatic creatures.

Of course, one has to enjoy the majestic springs that join the Ichetucknee River once they are here. There are three nature trails that take you through the sandhills or the lush park forest, depending on the trail you take. Whichever one you do will offer you some amazing sights and views you can experience.

You can enjoy many activities here, such as geocaching, hiking, scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, and tubing. However, keep in mind that you can’t go camping here and the park also doesn’t offer other facilities such as cabins. That is why it is best to get there early in the morning, enjoy your entire day with activities, and then make your way back home before the sunset.

10. Ginnie Springs

Park Fee: Children four and under are free. $5 for children between 5 and 12. The season rate for adults is $20, and the off-season rate for adults is $15

Hours: 8 am till 7 pm

Location: 7300 Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL 32643

Ginnie Springs is two hours from Orlando, but it has some of the clearest waters you will ever see in all the parks. These springs are made of seven springs with a limestone and sand bottom that open up to deep caves. The underwater cave system is incredibly unique, and it makes the spring one of the best freshwater dive spots for you to experience and easily one of the best natural springs near Orlando.

There is a lot to do here as you can enjoy various activities. These include tubing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, and much more. The best part is that it sits on more than two hundred acres of wooded land that is on the Santa Fe River.

If you are an avid camper, you will love camping at Ginnie Springs. That is because they offer everything from a tent by the Santa Fe River to electric and water hookups for your RV so you can enjoy your stay to the fullest. Remember that guests must be over 18 to camp without any legal guardians or parents, as they will check your ID before camping.

11. Rainbow Springs State Park

Park Fee: The fees change regularly

Hours: 8 am till sunset

Location: 19158 S.W. 81st Place Road Dunnellon, FL 34432

Rainbow Springs State Park is more than 1.5 hours north of Orlando. Rainbow Springs is one of the busier natural springs near Orlando, and some days it can get extremely crowded. However, it is one of the best places to cool down during the summer as the park and springs live up to the name. When the sunlight hits just right on the waters, you can see the entire rainbow and light spectrum that will take your breath away.

The springs have some great activities to do here, such as camping, fishing, hiking, geo-seeking, paddling, snorkeling, and tubing. Everything is utterly beautiful in this park, from the sloping hills to the waterfalls and the gardens. It is a photographer’s paradise.

You can also take a walk through the mossy and lush hammocks and then go inside the springs and the water to cool down. Whatever you need to do, you can easily find in this majestic oasis. We can guarantee that you will never get bored in this place.

12. Alexander Springs

Park Fee: The fee changes regularly

Hours: 8 am till 8 pm

Location: 49525 County Road 445 Altoona, FL 32702

There are over seven hundred Springs in Florida, and out of them, only twenty-seven are first-magnitude springs. The magnitude of a spring is based on how many gallons of water flow out of it each day. Of course, Alexander Springs is one of them as it produces more than 64 million gallons of water each day which makes it one of the most powerful natural springs near Orlando.

One of the best parts about this spring is that it offers a three-hundred-foot basin and a sandy beach area which is perfect for hanging out on. There are many options for activities here, such as camping, walking nature trails, biking, fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, and canoeing. If you want to hike while at the park, the Timucuan Trail as it offers a lot of shade to hikers and is one of the favorite hiking trails in the area.

If you want to rest after enjoying all the activities, you can do that at the picnic tables and picnic area. Families and kids can enjoy here right after all their activities as it will provide much-needed rest. Be sure to get early here if you want to make the most of your time and partake in various activities. The camping ground also accommodates RVs so you don’t have to camp in a tent.

13. Homosassa Springs

Park Fee: $13 for adults. $5 for children between 6 and 12. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Hours: 9 am to 5:30 pm

Location: 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd. Homosassa FL 34446

Are you looking to discover the wildlife that Florida has to offer? If you do, there is no better place to discover this than the Homosassa Springs as it offers vibrant wildlife you will not find anywhere else. It is more than an hour away from Orlando, but you will find it well worth the drive.

The incredible wildlife you can experience here include a black bear, bobcat, alligators, cranes, manatees, red wolves, endangered Florida panther, and much more. The chance to see the incredibly rare and endangered Florida panther is what puts this on the list of the best natural springs near Orlando.

Of course, that is not the only thing as you can enjoy other activities too, such as picnicking, hiking, geo-seeking, and more. There are also many picnic pavilions throughout the park where you can rest if you get tired of all the activities.

It is one of the most beautiful springs and rivers in the world that you will enjoy more than anything. You can also come with your family and teach your kids about the unique wildlife and animals present there. It will be a fun and educational experience for everyone.

14. Troy Springs

Park Fee: $5 per vehicle

Hours: 8 am till sundown

Location: 674 N.E. Troy Springs Road Branford FL 32008

Troy Springs is over 70-feet deep and offers many opportunities for people looking to get in the water and enjoy activities like scuba diving and snorkeling. Keep in mind that the park does not allow solo diving so you will need to go with a group. You can also only engage in open-water scuba diving, and all the divers will have to be certified if they want to get in the waters.

You can also do other activities here, such as hiking, picnicking, paddling, and geocaching. Unfortunately, camping is not permitted in this area. However, the entire day will be more than enough to enjoy everything.

One awesome thing about Troy Springs is the nature trails which pass through many different types of natural areas which include mixed forests, sandhills, mesic Flatwoods, and much more. You will love the diversity, and once you are done with the trail, you can enjoy the cool waters of the beautiful spring to relax and recharge.

15. Juniper Springs

Park Fee: The fee is subject to changes

Hours: 8 am to 8 pm

Location: 26701 E Highway 40 Silver Springs, FL

Juniper Springs is an hour away from Orlando by driving, and it is one of the most scenic springs you will witness. It has an awesome canoe run that is nicknamed “Divorce Alley” because of the difficulty of it. I did it one time with friends who were dating each other. They ran into multiple spider webs. They are no longer a couple. I believe the nickname holds true. This canoe run makes it one of the best natural springs near Orlando for those who enjoy kayaking and canoeing.

It is located in the Ocala National Forest, which makes it a paradise for all nature lovers out there. You can do many activities here, such as snorkeling, swimming, hiking, paddling, and picnicking. You can also camp here in tents or RVs, depending on what you prefer and like. The best part about camping here is the endless activities that are available on the site, which you can enjoy.

Keep in mind that Juniper Springs is one of the top destinations for camping in Florida. That is why if you plan on coming here, you must enjoy the camping experience. Once you do, you will never want to camp anywhere else. In addition, day hiking and walking are also some of the top activities you can enjoy here.

Many backpackers use the Juniper Springs as a stop-off point while making their way along the Florida Trail. Of course, the top activity to do here is nature watching as dense and jungle-like forests surround you and the wildlife around you. If you are lucky, you will find many interesting animals here that you will never see in the city or on other trails.

16. Salt Springs

Park Fee: Varies by season

Hours: Varies by season

Location: Florida 32134

Salt Springs is located more than seventy miles from Orlando and is one of the top jewels in the Ocala National Forest. The natural spring rises from within the earth and includes magnesium, potassium, and sodium, which gives the spring its famous name.

There are endless outdoor activities for you to enjoy while you are in this area. These include boating, hiking, snorkeling, fishing, swimming, camping, and kayaking. Salt Springs is home to many wildlife and animals, such as blue crabs, turtles, bass, saltwater fish, manatees, and much more.

If you want to hike on the best trails, you can always go on the Springs Boils Trail. This trail will allow you to enjoy the smaller springs in the area that feed into the streams of Lake George. You can also camp here as the site is beautiful, and it offers full hookups for RVs and trailers. There is a lot of shade, and you will enjoy the quiet at night as the forest envelopes you.

If you want to reserve the campsite, you can contact the park beforehand. Once you do, they will reserve the site for you so that you can enjoy your time here without any hassle.

17. Poe Springs

Park Fee: Free

Hours: 9 am till sunset

Location: High Springs

The Poe Springs Park is one of the top natural springs near Orlando because it has a beautiful nature trail that covers the beautiful landscape that surrounds the springs. The surface of the springs is made of limestone, and the surface rock is filled with fossils you can witness. That is why if you want to take a look into the fossilized past of Florida while enjoying the waters and views, there is no better place than Poe Springs Park.

The park has an interesting history as it used to be a village along the Santa Fe River a long time ago. Now, you can wander into the forest and enjoy the peace and quiet away from the hustle-bustle of the city. If you want to enjoy the best of what this place has to offer, you must arrive early.

18. Three Sister Springs

Park Fee: $12.50 for adults

Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Location: Three Sisters Springs Center 123 NW HWY 19 Crystal River, FL 34428

As the name suggests, there are three sister springs here you can find and enjoy. It is one of the most important habitats for manatees in the area, and you can watch them from the boardwalk during the winter months. Keep in mind that the parking on the refuge is limited as you will need to have a handicapped permit.

On the other hand, they also operate trolley tours to the boardwalk so you can enjoy the views. Once you are done, you can go to one of the springs to cool off in the waters. You can also enjoy endless activities here, such as boating, swimming, fishing, diving, manatee eco-tours, and much more. You can create your itinerary accordingly and enjoy everything the springs have to offer to you.

19. Devil’s Den

Park Fee: $15 per person

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm

Location: 5390 NE 180th Ave Williston, FL 32696

Devil’s Den is more than two hours away from Orlando, but if you love scuba diving and snorkeling, it is one of the best natural springs near Orlando that you can visit. The best part about this spring is the incredible diving experience that it offers its visitors.

If you want to swim in Devil’s Den, you will need fins, a snorkel, and a mask. Many people use Devil’s Den to train scuba divers because of the interesting geology and the upside-down mushroom shape. If you want to enter the spring, you will have to walk down a wooden staircase and on a platform.

You can also enjoy camping here. Besides that, there are also other lodging options such as cabins. They will offer you a comfortable stay if you plan on staying for a day or more to enjoy this place.

Final Words

That was your complete guide to the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida. If you are looking to enjoy the springs and other such activities, you can go to any of these places to enjoy your day. Once you do, you will love everything they have to offer.

Of course, your decision will depend on many factors such as driving time, park fees, timings, activities, and more. So, go through our guide and decide the best one for your trip.

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This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation. #disney #floridavacation #floridatips #naturalsprings #hotsprings
This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation. #disney #floridavacation #floridatips #naturalsprings #hotsprings
This is the complete list of the best natural springs near Orlando, Florida, to help you plan your vacation. #disney #floridavacation #floridatips #naturalsprings #hotsprings
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3 Comments

  1. Awesome article – Weeki Wachee springs has been on my bucketlist since I was a kid. Where I’m at in Mexico they also have those cave-springs but they’re called Cenotes, I was told they only existed in Mexico but I guess they’re in Florida too! Thanks for sharing

  2. Fantastic post! I had heard of a few of these, but it seems like Florida is just full of incredible wildlife and fabulous natural springs. You must have had so much fun finding them all!

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