Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Silver Springs State park is one of Florida's oldest and most beloved attractions. Situated on the Silver River, the park land is adjacent to many springs, the crowning jewel of which is the first magnitude Mammoth Spring, one of the largest springs ever discovered. The park is also famous for being a filming location for multiple Tarzan movies as well as the 1954 film, "The Creature From the Black Lagoon." Leaving the glamorous past behind, Silver Springs is now cared for by the Florida State Park Service, and it is returning to its natural roots.

Once through the main entrance, visitors can walk along a newly added boardwalk that winds along small tributaries to the river. Looking down, the water is crystal clear enough to see alligators and fish swim by. The walk progresses to a wetland habitat, which is especially unique because of the presence of a very interesting non-native species that has been flourishing there since the 1930s or 1940s: rhesus macaque monkeys! These non-Floridian animals have been the source of widespread speculation for years, with many stories being touted as the true origin story. Some say they are escapees from the park's roadside zoo days, while others say they were brought in by a tour boat operator to make trips down the river more interesting for tourists. Whatever the true origin though, these park inhabitants are fun to watch, but they are not to be messed with!

Continuing the tour of the park, visitors can loop back around the boardwalk to continue onward to the park's main hub: a marina for the glass bottom boats that run tours of the river, and a concrete viewing platform that looks out over Mammoth Spring. One look from the viewing platform and it becomes quite clear that the glass bottom boat tour is a must: The springs on the Silver River are truly some of the most spectacular. On the tour, many of the other springs on the Silver River are visible, included two others of first magnitude designation.

Upon returning from the tour, the park also boasts walking trails that run beside the river through extensive gardens. Here, visitors can check out the vastly diverse bird life along the river, explore the butterfly gardens, or use one of the multiple picnic areas. Of course, the adventure doesn't have to end here! A short drive away and visitors can continue exploring from the trailhead, or enjoy the facilities at a comfortable campground.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Wildlife viewing. Pristine views. Second largest spring in Florida.

Cons

No swimming.

Features

ADA accessible
Geologically significant
Historically significant
Hot springs
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas
Playground
Bird watching
Wildlife
Family friendly

Location

Field Guide

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