As you know, Florida is the world capitol of springs, boasting over 1000. With us floridians enjoying our water activities, its no wonder they are so popular. Here are some of the best worth checking out:
1 .Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River- This spring is the best place to see manatees. The water is a constant 72 degrees and provides the essential warm water refuge for the manatees during the winter months. To protect the manatees, the springs manatee sanctuaries are closed from November 15th to March 31st.
2. Silver Springs State Park, Ocala- This is one of florida's first tourist attractions. It is also one of the worlds largest artesian springs. It is known for its glass bottom boat tours. You can also enjoy it by kayak or canoe.
3. Weeki Wachee, Spring Hill- This is home of the live mermaid shows. It also has a beautiful spring for swimming, canoeing or tubing. It even has a waterpark with water slides catapulting you into the springs. I go here yearly.
4. Rainbow Springs, Dunnellon- This Florida's 4th largest spring. Here you can enjoy waterfalls, swimming and tubing. They have a beautiful 2 mile hiking trail here and campground.
5. Blue Springs State Park, Orange City- This is the largest spring on the St, Johns River. During manatee season, several hundred can be seen from the springs overlook. The water is a crystal clear 73 degrees and is enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers. It is a designated manatee refuge.
6. Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Fort White- The crystal clear river flows 6 miles through wetlands and shaded hammocks till it joins the Santa Fe River. The head of the spring is a natural national landmark. You can go tubing, canoeing snorkeling. Scuba diving is only allowed if you're certified.
7. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, Crawfordville - This is one of the largest, deepest freshwater springs in the world. It has a lot of wildlife such as manatees, alligators, turtles, and deer. They have guided glass bottom boat tours. Swimmers can find observation and diving platforms at the head of the spring. Scuba diving is only for those certified.
8. Fanning Springs, Fanning Springs- This springs is located on the Suwanee River. It is a second magnitude springs, meaning it produces 65 millions of water daily. Manatees visit here during the winter months. You can enter the park by boat or car. It has a boardwalk overlooking the springs. Many come here to swim and snorkel. They have a campground here with cabin rentals. I have went camping here and it is beautiful, but the water is very cold.
9. Madison Blue Springs State Park, Lee- This is a crystal clear first magnitude springs, That means it produces 100 million gallons of water daily. Its 82 feet wide and 25 feet deep and bubbles up to a limestone basin. There is an extensive underwater cave system for those certified in cave diving.
10. Juniper Springs in the Ocala National Forest, Ocala- This is one of the east coasts oldest well known recreation areas. It has swimming, picnicking, trails and a campground. It has hundreds of tiny bubbling springs and a massive spring that gushes out of crevices in the earth underneath canopies of palm and oak trees.