Silver Springs State Park

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Park Common Name: 

Division: 

Description: 

Silver Springs State Park combines the charm of a historic Florida attraction with the crystal clear beauty of one of the last uninhabited spring runs in the state.

There are three entrances to Silver Springs State Park. The main entrance is located on State Road 40 at 5656 East Silver Springs Boulevard, Silver Springs, FL 34488. The camping & Museum entrance is located on State Road 35 at 1425 NE 58th Avenue, Ocala FL 34470. The equestrian entrance is located approximately 1.3 miles east of the Main Entrance on State Road 40.

The Main Entrance:  Enjoy the headspring from a viewing deck, walk along the river on paved trails, see the ornamental gardens, and enjoy an easy stroll through the Real Florida. Visitors can enjoy a meal from the restaurant with a view of the spring. Glass bottom boat rides and canoe and kayak rentals are offered through our concessionaire. There is a $4.00 per boat launch fee if you bring your own canoe or kayak at the headspring launch. There is no land access from the water along the river and in the headspring area except at the canoe and kayak launch ramp.

The Camping Entrance: Visitors can paddle down the crystal clear river (there is no fee to launch from this ramp, but there is a ½ mile hike to launch area), hike or bike along one of the nature trails, or just sit and watch the wide variety of birds and wildlife.The picnic area features three pavilions available for rental with grills and a playground nearby. For overnight stays, the park has a 59-site full-facility campground and 10 modern cabins. To reserve a cabin or campsite, please visit ReserveAmerica. The camping entrance of the park is home to a pioneer cracker village as well as the Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center. The center is operated by the Marion County School District in cooperation with the park and is open to the public on weekends and holidays from 9am to 5pm. Admission to the Museum is $2.00 per person. Children under 6 are free.

The Equestrian Entrance: The Silver Springs State Park horse trail traverses a wetland habitat. Expect areas of mud and standing water along the trails. Summer seasons feature biting insects such as deer flies and mosquitoes; please dress and plan accordingly. If you do not have your own horse and want a guided horseback ride, contact visitor service provider Cactus Jack's Trail Rides. They offer guided horseback tours on the fantastic trails of our close neighbor Florida state park, the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross-Florida Greenway

Directions to Silver Springs State Park

Reserve America URL: 

Physical Address: 

1425 NE 58th Avenue

Physical City: 

Ocala

Physical Zip Code: 

34470

Mailing Address: 

1425 NE 58th Avenue

Mailing City: 

Ocala

Mailing Zip Code: 

34470

County: 

Phone Number: 

(352) 236-7148

Fax Number: 

(352) 236-7150

Historical Description: 

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.

Acquisition Date: 

Tuesday, January 1, 1985

District: 

Designations: 

Getting Involved Opportunities: 

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

An active not-for-profit Citizens Support Organization (CSO) supports the park.  The Friends of Silver Springs contribute both a volunteer force and financial assistance.

Hours: 

The park is open 8:00 a.m. to sundown, 365 days per year.  Portions of the park may be closed during concerts or other special events.  Please check the activities for applicable hours.

The Silver River Museum and Environmental Center is open weekends and state holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fees: 

Admission:

$8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

$5.00 Single Occupant Vehicle or Motorcycle.

$4.00 per vessel, launch fee for personal canoe or kayak.

$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

$2.00 per person for entrance to the Silver River Museum and Environmental Center, which is open weekends and major holidays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Children under six are free.

Pavilion Rental (in addition to admission):

$40.00 plus tax: small pavilion rental.

$75.00 plus tax: large pavilion rental.

Camping (includes admission fee):

$24.00 per night, plus tax, plus a non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee. Includes water and electricity.

Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older or who hold a social security disability award certificate or a 100 percent disability award certificate from the Federal Government are permitted to receive a 50 percent discount on current base campsite fees. Proof of eligibility is required. Excludes cabins.

Florida families operating a licensed family foster home are eligible to receive a 50 percent discount on current base campsite fees. Proof of eligibility is required. Excludes cabins. (Licensed by the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families)

Cabin rental:

$110.00 per night, plus tax, plus a non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee.

Primitive Youth Camping:

$1.00 per child per night.

$5.00 per adult and/or chaperone per night.

Glass Bottom Boat Tours:

$11.00 adults

$10.00 students and seniors

Children under 6 ride free.

Canoe and Kayak Rentals: Provided by a Visitor Service Provider

Single kayak $15.00 for the first hour, $20.00 for two hours, $30.00 for the full day. $35 for full day plus transportation from Ray Wayside Park.

Canoe, tandem kayak or stand-up paddleboard $20.00 for the first hour, $30.00 for two hours, $45.00 for the full day. $50 for full day plus transportation from Ray Wayside Park.

Pet Friendly: 

Yes

Wheelchair Accessible Facilities: 

Yes