Silver Springs State Park
About Silver Springs State Park
A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER
These are exciting times on the Silver! Effective October 1 Silver Springs became part of the state park and our name changed from Silver River to Silver Springs State Park. The admission fees include 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. We currently do not have an interior public use road to connect the two areas of the park so you will need to access by highway roads. There is a $4.00/boat fee to launch your canoes and kayaks at the State Road 40 or Spring side. The River side also has a canoe launch. There is no fee at that launch but there is a 1/2 mile hike to the launch with your canoe. Don’t have a canoe? Rent one on the Spring side at the canoe launch located at the Southeast corner of the parking lot. The rental canoes are very popular, so get here early on the day you wish to rent. There is nothing that compares with getting out on this pristine river! 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. We have an agreement with a concessionaire to operate the glass bottom boats, canoe/kayak rentals, dining and gift shops, special events and concerts. Please be patient with us, there is much work to do in order to transform this park into a first class State Park. Services are currently limited and you will see us under construction for quite some time to come.
Though winter is upon us, in Florida we still have hot days in any month! Remember that the spring and river are natural air conditioners as the cool waters emerge from deep in the Earth and flow to the Oklawaha 5.4 miles downstream. Trips on the river are always cool and refreshing, and feature extraordinary opportunities for wildlife viewing in its primal state. When the cold fronts come through, steam rises off the springs in the early morning hours giving a surreal beauty to the place.
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. 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.
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 springs, “Springside” 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, go to the “Riverside” Entrance, 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.
- Volunteer -
Silver River State Park is growing and with it grows the need for volunteer support. The success of the park depends on dedicated, hard working volunteers. The park is currently looking for campground hosts and campground volunteers for the summer season of April through October. If you live locally we always need volunteers to work in the museum 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
Cactus Jack's Trail Rides -
Guided trail rides on rented horses are offered seven days a week on the equine trails at Silver River. For further information and for reservations call 352-266-9326, or email email@example.com
Contact Debra Zito, Manager, (352) 266-9326
Silver Springs Management, LLC -
To book weddings and events on the Spring side, large party reservations for the glass bottom boats and for upcoming concert info.
Concert Information: www.placestogo.whatsupocala.com/
Contact , (352) 732-4442
- Florida State Parks Pet Policy
Pets are permitted at the Silver Springs Campground and on all hiking trails. Pets are not permitted in cabins, the museum or restrooms. Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park, as required by law.