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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!  Spring is in the air, everything is fresh and green and beautiful, birds are singing and the weather is glorious!   On October 1, 2013, Silver Springs became part of the state park and our name changed from Silver River to 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. 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 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. Dont have a canoe? Rent one on the Spring side at the canoe launch located at the Southeast corner of the parking lot.  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.  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. 

 

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.

 

 

With water at 72 degrees Farenheit, 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.

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 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.

GET INVOLVED

  • 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

CONCESSIONAIRES

  • 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 deb@cactusjackstrailrides.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, go to www.placestogo.whatsupocala.com/ Rent by the day or by the hour: Canoe or Tandem (two person) Kayak: $18 for the first hour, $9 for each additional hour, All Day Pass for $45. Single Kayak: $14 for the first hour, $7 for each additional hour, All Day Pass for $35. Guided (glass bottom boat) tours run every 30-45 minutes, from 9AM to 4PM daily: $10 for Adults $9 for Seniors and Youth (17 and under) Kids 5 and under ride complimentary
    Contact , (352) 261-5840

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 cabins, the museum or restrooms. Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park, as required by law.