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Silver Springs State Park

 About Silver Springs State Park

Two raccoons peeking out of a tree. Photo by Charles Littlewood.

A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER

Sally Lieb

Come visit Silver Springs State Park!  One Admission fee includes all entrances: the Equestrian Trail and main entrance on State Road 40 as well as the State Road 35 entrance south of 40 where you will find access to the campground and rental cabins (different fees apply for overnight stays). If you go to more than one entrance just make sure you keep your receipt and show it at the gate. The State Road 40 entrance brings you into the area of the head spring of one of the largest springs in Florida, Silver Springs.  Waters boil to the surface from deep in the Earth, creating the Silver River that flows for 5.4 miles to the Oklawaha.  The entire river is inside this State Park.   A 2.25 mile hiking/biking trail connects the interior of the park.  To drive,  you will need to access by highway roads.  There is a $4.00/boat fee to launch your canoe or kayak inside the main entrance.  There is another canoe launch located 2 miles down river, free of charge, accessed via a 1/2 mile hike to the launch with your canoe from the day use parking lot near the Museum. Dont have a canoe? Rent one at the canoe launch located at the Southeast corner of the main entrance parking lot.  There is nothing that compares with getting out on this pristine river!  The cool spring water takes the heat out of the sweltering summer day, making your canoe trip feel like natural air conditioning.  Swimming and fishing are prohibited for the protection of the Silver River, a National Natural Landmark.  Ask a Ranger about nearby parks where these activities are available. This river is for relaxing and observing nature.

 

Silver Springs State Park features a public/private partnership.  Silver Springs Management, LLC,  operates the glass bottom boats, canoe/kayak rentals, dining and gift shops, special events and concerts.  Fees may apply.  Contact them at 352-261-5840 for information about upcoming events and activities.

 

The park contains extensive trails where you can hike, ride a bike, paddle up the river or saddle up a horse.  The Silver River is a glorious wild place filled with spectacular beauty and wildlife.  On the trails, be prepared with your sunscreen, drinking water and insect repellent.  Wear hiking shoes, the trails are natural and may be either sandy or muddy depending upon the season and recent weather.  Pay attention to smoke and signs, the staff conducts prescribed burning to improve and enhance the park's natural habitats to their previous glory.  The horse trails and bike trails are in wetland areas, so ask about the trail conditions at the Ranger Station before you set out.  Summer tends to be hot, buggy and wet.  Contact Cactus Jacks if you'd like to have a guided horse trail ride.  Add an element of learning and pick up some reasonably priced identification cards from the Ranger Station on your way in to know more about local plants and animals.  Leave your computers, televisions, cell phones, and other gadgets behind, grab your binoculars and give yourself a break from technology.  It's time to get outside!

 

Enjoy having a fire at your campsite or near your cabin in the fire rings provided.  The campground is located in a fire adapted natural plant community.  Local conditions can change rapidly, so be prepared for possible burn bans.  Although we certainly want you to have a full camping experience, we must prevent wildfires.  Grills are also provided, and charcoal fires are only banned during extreme fire danger times.

The Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a $2.00 fee per person; children under six are free. The bountiful exhibits provide a fascinating, professional display of cultural and natural history in Central Florida.   Call the museum at 352-236-5401 for additional information.

DESIGNATIONS

The Great Florida Birding Trail Logo The Green Lodging Logo Trail of Florida's Indian Heritage Logo

GETTING HERE

The park is located east of the city of Ocala.  Travel east from Ocala on State Road 40 to the intersection with State Road 35.  To find the Main Entrance, continue east about 500 feet and turn right into the entrance.   The address is: 5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL  34488.

To find the equestrian trail head, continue east on SR 40 less than 1 mile, the road narrows from 4 lanes to 2 lanes, past the next red light and the Trail head will be on your right. 

For camping and cabins, the entrance is located on State Road 35.  At the intersection of SR 40 and SR 35, go south (turn right heading east or turn left heading west), travel about 1 mile and the entrance is on the left, or east side of the road.  The address is:  1425 N.E. 58th Avenue, Ocala, FL  34470.

GET INVOLVED

  • Volunteer -

    Silver Springs State Park is growing and with it grow volunteer opportunities. The success of the park depends on dedicated, hard working volunteers. The park is currently looking for campground hosts and campground volunteers for the current summer season through October.  If you live locally we always need volunteers to work in the Silver River Museum or Spring Side Education Center on weekends.

  • For forms, information and benefits of volunteering visit Get Involved.
  • Friends of Silver Springs State Park
  • 1425 NE 58th Ave, Ocala FL 34470

CONCESSIONAIRES

PET POLICY

  • Florida State Parks Pet Policy
  • Pets are permitted at the Silver Springs Campground and on all hiking trails. Pets are not permitted in the water, cabins, any buildings or restrooms. Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park, as required by law.