March 3 & 4 featured Florida SpringsFest 2018. Thousands of people enjoyed a weekend of half price glass bottom boat rides, special tours, movie features including the rare and possibly last opportunity to meet Ricou Browning, the man who swam the Creature features in the "Black Lagoon" movies of many years ago. This event is a wonderful combination of learning about the springs of...
Some content on this website is saved in an alternative format. To view these files, download the following free software or you can skip to the main content if you already have the appropriate readers.
- Use Adobe Acrobat to read Portable Document Format (PDF) files: Download Adobe® Reader®
- Microsoft Word file viewer and converter programs to enable those who do not have MS- Word or have another version of MS-Word to open and view MS-Word files: Download Word file Viewer
- Microsoft offers Microsoft Excel file viewer and converter programs to enable those who do not have MS-Excel or have another version of MS-Excel to view MS-Excel files:Download Excel file viewer
In the 1820s, the springs became a tourist attraction for adventurous visitors who poled their way along the narrow stream through overhanging cypress and Spanish moss. With the invention of the paddlewheel, Silver River and Springs became a distribution center for Central Florida. Plantations growing vegetables, tobacco and oranges sprang up along the banks as nearby Ocala grew. In the late 1870s, Phillip Morrell fixed a piece of glass in the bottom of a rowboat and a new enterprise began. Silver River's glass bottom boat tours have been world famous for more than 100 years.
The Silver River Museum and Environmental Center and Silver Springs State Park both opened to the public in 1987. For several years, however, the Silver River Museum and Education Center was the only developed area at the park. The continued relationship with the park and the Marion County School Board has given many local school children the opportunity to participate in environmental education programs at the Center.
The entrance station, completed in 2000, was one of the first park buildings constructed at Silver Springs. Since that time, a campground, cabins, picnic area with playground and a canoe and kayak launch have been added, providing additional recreational opportunities for park visitors.
On October 1, 2013, the Florida Park Service acquired management of the headsprings area. At that time, the name of the entire park was changed to Silver Springs State Park from Silver River State Park, adding 231 acres and multiple new recreational opportunities including the iconic glass bottom boats.