Activities

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Amphitheater icon

Rainbow Springs - Amphitheater

There is an amphitheater in the campground. Seasonally ranger led programs are given here for our registered campers. It is also available to registered campers for their own use when not being used by park staff. 

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Rainbow Springs - Birding

Rainbow Springs is an outstanding birding area and is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Various species are commonly seen here including woodpeckers, wading birds, hawks, songbirds and owls.

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Rainbow Springs - Camping

Rainbow Springs State Park’s campground is located along the Rainbow River at a separate facility a few miles from the main headspring and day use area. For address and hours, click here.

All sites have water and electric (20, 30, and 50 amp), and are equipped with sewer hook-ups. Maximum RV length = 103 ft. ADA accessible restrooms are available. A dump station is located between the upper and lower campgrounds.  Pets are welcome in the campground but are not permitted in swimming areas or buildings.

Amenities include a recreation hall, showers and restrooms, laundry and playground. Access the river from the campground to fish, swim or paddle. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent from the campground office.

Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica.

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Rainbow Springs - Canoe Kayak Launch

Visitors may launch privately owned canoes and kayaks from the headsprings launch area; but should be prepared to port their vessel 1,800 feet from the parking area to the launch area, due to no vehicle access to the river within the park.

Canoeing and Kayaking icon

Rainbow Springs - Canoeing and Kayaking

Immerse yourself in the Real Florida as you paddle through moss-draped cypress trees, river otters, wading birds and numerous other sights and sounds along the crystal clear water way.

Daily canoe and kayak rentals are available within the park from our concessionaire, Nature Quest.

The Rainbow River is an Aquatic Preserve. Visitors are encouraged to review recreational rules and guidelines before proceeding. This includes the prohibition of disposable food and beverage containers on your person.

For private vessel launch information, see Canoe Kayak Launch above.

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Rainbow Springs - Concession and Restaurant

Our Citizen Support Organization, Friends of Rainbow Springs, runs a concessions stand in the headsprings entrance of the park.

Here, visitors may enjoy sandwiches, snacks, ice cream and soft drinks.

There is no food available at our tubing entrance or campground.

Family reunions icon

Rainbow Springs - Family Reunions

With four pavilions at the headsprings available to reserve, Rainbow Springs is an excellent location for a family reunion. The group can spend the day swimming, canoeing, kayaking, exploring the gardens and nature trails or viewing the three waterfalls. Another fun way to hold a family reunion is to reserve some campsites so the family can enjoy the park for a few days.

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Rainbow Springs - Gardens

The gardens and waterfalls at Rainbow Springs State Park are cultural assets that remain from the days when the headsprings were a private attraction. They have been renovated and replanted while preserving their historical significance. In early spring the entire headsprings area bursts into pinks, purples and whites with its famous azalea blooms.

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Rainbow Springs - Geo-Seeking

Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.

The Operation Recreation GeoTour hosted by Geocaching.com, stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 71 of the First Three Time National Gold Medal Award Winning Florida State Parks and Trails. Visit 20 caches and win the Official Operation Recreation Geocoin. Download and print the Official Tracking Sheet to begin your adventure. Remember to cache and save with unlimited entry for a year with the Florida State Parks Annual Pass.

The Florida Park Service is proud to announce it has launched the Operation Recreation Kids GeoTour. Look inside Operation Recreation GeoTour geocaches for one of six possible Nature Cards. Every cache has one of six species. Record the name of the Florida State Park where you first find each of the six species on the Kids Official Tracking Sheet. Find all six species and win the ORGT Kids GeoTour Geocoin!

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Rainbow Springs - Hiking Nature Trail

Rainbow Springs State Park offers leisurely strolls through shady gardens laced with azaleas, oaks and magnolias. The walkways pass by three man-made waterfalls and a native plant garden. Benches located along the paths offer the visitor an opportunity to rest while enjoying the sounds of birds and flowing water. The walkways are a mixture of brick, concrete and asphalt surfaces.

While historically unique and offering great views of both river and gardens, the pathways were constructed prior to ADA guidelines and are steep and uneven in places. A native garden, which is a special attraction to butterflies and hummingbirds, lies behind the cultural gardens.

A nature trail winds back behind the gardens through natural oak hammock and sandhill communities. This trail offers both river and phosphate pit overlooks and is approximately 2.5 miles long from the Visitors' Center.

Pets icon

Rainbow Springs - Pets

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Rainbow Springs State Park. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and they are not allowed to enter the water, including headsprings, swim areas, river and ponds. Pet waste bags are provided in order to keep the park beautiful and safe for everyone.

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Rainbow Springs - Picnic Pavilion

For large gatherings, covered pavilions may be rented. These pavilions include picnic tables and grills, electric and water and must be reserved in advance.

Visitors are encouraged to reserve a pavilion far in advance, particularly for weekends and holidays. Reservations may be made in person or by calling 352-465-8555.

For Pavilion Reservation Information, including fees and rules, click here.

For photos of the Rainbow Springs Pavilions, click below:

Felburn Pavilion - Side View
Felburn Pavilion - Inside View
Felburn Pavilion - Grill Side
Felburn Pavilion - Chairs
Felburn Pavilion - Tables
Dogwood Pavilion - Walk to
Dogwood Pavilion - Side View
Hickory Pavilion - Ramp
Hickory Pavilion - Side View
Magnolia Pavilion - Side View
Hickory and Magnolia Pavilion


 

 

Picnicking icon

Rainbow Springs - Picnicking

Uncovered picnic tables and grills are available for visitor use on a first come, first serve basis. Please do not move picnic tables. Personal chairs, tables, and tents may also be brought into the park.

All picnic items must be carried up the long entrance walkway and through the tollbooth in order to reach the picnic area.

Covered picnic pavilions may be reserved in advance. If a pavilion is not reserved or not yet occupied by the party with the reservation, picnickers may use the pavilion and share it with others on a first come, first serve basis.

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Rainbow Springs - Snorkeling

Snorkeling the headsprings of the Rainbow River is a favorite activity but is only allowed in the buoyed swimming area. However, it is allowed from the campground or from boats once you are outside of the headsprings. Please be aware that state law requires dive flags for all snorkelers.

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Rainbow Springs - Swimming

The cool, clear waters of the headsprings are refreshing for swimming. The average depth in this natural swimming area runs from 5 to 18 feet, and the water temperature averages 72 degrees year round.

All inflatables, including rafts, tubes and balls are not allowed in the park for safety reasons. Swimmers may wear life preservers or use noodles.

Other than a small wading area for toddlers, the water is over 5 feet deep. Please be prepared to carefully monitor your own children and non-swimmers. There is no lifeguard on duty and all swimmers do so at their own risk.

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Rainbow Springs - Tubing

Tubing the Rainbow River is a wonderful experience, but is not allowed within the headsprings area of the park. Instead, visit the Tube Entrance located on S.W. 180th Avenue Rd, Dunnellon, FL 34432.

Park your vehicle here for a $5.00 park fee per vehicle, for up to 8 people. Once you enter the park, visit our concessionaire, Nature Quest, to rent your tubes and receive shuttle service.

Nature Quest will shuttle you upstream two miles, where you enter the Rainbow River and float leisurely back to your vehicle. The trip takes about two hours to complete.

Please see our Hours page for tubing facility hours.

We recommend avoiding the weekends if possible or arriving early on weekends and holidays.

Note: Only registered campers may tube from the campground using their own tubes or tubes rented from Nature Quest.

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Rainbow Springs - Weddings

Soon-to-be married couples are welcome to reserve our Overlook that is surrounded in a forest canopy alongside the 60 foot tall Rainbow Falls and serene gardens below.

Wedding parties may also choose to reserve one of the park's pavilions for the reception for an additional fee. All Wedding and Pavilion reservations must be made in advance in person or by calling 352-465-8555.

For more Rainbow Springs State Park Wedding Information, including fees and rules, click here.

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Rainbow Springs - Wildlife Viewing

Throughout the park, on all of the nature trails and along the river exist many wonderful birding opportunities. A brand new park birding list has been created and a guided bird walk is offered the second Saturday of every month except June, July and August. Please call the park for more details.