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Best Freshwater Springs Near Greater Gainesville

Best Freshwater Springs Near Greater Gainesville

Summer is here and that means gearing up for some much-needed fun in the sun. Plans for the beach, pool and Florida’s many amusement parks may already be on the summer itinerary, but do not forget to carve out some time to visit a few of Greater Gainesville’s (GG) popular freshwater springs. After all, the area is home to the largest concentration of first-magnitude freshwater springs in the nation.


First magnitude springs “discharge at least 64.6 million gallons of water per day or 100 cubic feet per second,” via the Northwest Florida Management District. This makes for stellar water temperatures which are ideal for an array of summer activities. Whether the plan is to splash around, set up a picnic or bring out the kayak, the entire family is sure to have a ball at these top picks for GG freshwater springs. Just be sure to arrive early to beat the heat (and the crowd).


Alexander Springs is among the most fun-filled springs in GG. Ideal for boating adventures, nature hikes, snorkeling, biking, camping, fishing and barbecuing, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Adventurers may want to grab a smores kit, a few lanterns and a tent to make the trip to Alexander Springs an overnight campout.


Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park boasts transparent waters, Geocaching adventures, hiking trails, 23 campsites and more. Grab snorkeling and swimming gear for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Best of all – manatees!


Ginnie Springs features seven crystal clear lakes and offers everything from snorkeling to lazy tubing along the Santa Fe River. The most unique feature about this spring is its offerings of canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals.


Rainbow Springs is as magical as its name. Much like the others on this list, spring-goers can embark on a number of water and leisure activities, but what sets this spring apart are its river overlooks and cascading waterfalls.


Rum Island Spring and Park is a quaint spring along the Santa Fe River with a 200-meter swimming hole. Fit with a mysterious cavern and a natural atmosphere, this spring is a perfect spot for a relaxing day in the water.


Silver Glen Springs is a natural marvel – its crystal blue waters and overhanging trees are a hallmark of its scenery. This spring is equipped with a large sandy beach, a swimming hole and room for boats on the river run. Not to mention – it offers stunning wildlife views unlike any of the other springs on this list.


Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Snorkeling, birding and scuba diving are a few features that set this spring apart. Within Ichetucknee Springs lies Blue Hole Spring – a cave diver’s delight. For a unique water adventure, paddle along moss-draped cypress trees and limestone banks in a kayak or canoe.

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With all of the freshwater springs near GG, this summer is bound to be one for the books.







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