Silver Springs

Silver Springs State Park

If you’ve never visited Silver Springs State Park, you may not be aware of all it has to offer. Click here. Most are familiar with the glass bottom boat ride and that’s it. But there is much more to it than that. I  remember visiting the park when I was about 10. The glass bottom boat sticks out most in my mind– that and the monkeys. Yes, I said monkeys;) I apologize for all the photos.

 

Silver Springs is a park with multiple fresh water springs. The water is crystal clear to bright, clear blue. The blue areas seem to

be deeper. In some areas it is 85 feet deep, it only looks about 25 ft deep. Remember that if you decide to go kayaking. Swimming isn’t allowed where we were. And really, it’s covered with gators! This little guy was sleeping on the bank. A much larger gator decided to swim around us later on on the kayak trip. My youngest daughter was scared he would knock her off the boat. He didn’t. He was more concerned with swimming to the other side of the river.  

We also had a chance to spot the elusive Rhesus monkeys that live in forests surrounding the river.  Ages ago, Tarzan was filmed at Silver Springs. The old black and white shows. After filming they just turned them loose. They also filmed parts of the old Creature from the Black Lagoon and the James Bond film Moonraker.

There are a few hiking/walking trails surrounding the park. They give you the opportunity to see the natural surroundings. We came across turtles, birds, bunnies, and snakes. Watch where you step.

The big draw to the park is the glass bottom boat. Out pilot has been leading boat tours since 1955! He was awesome. He showed us where some of the springs bubbled through cracks in the river and pointed out wildlife that might have slipped by us. One of the most interesting things, only visible by glass bottom boat, is a sunken Spanish ship/boat. Most of the boat has rotted away but enough is left to make out it was a boat.

So how clear is the water? I’m glad you asked. This photo was taken from an overlook on the walkway next to one of the deepest sections of the river. Near where you board the boats. I think it is 85 feet deep here. It was gorgeous. I will leave you with one more photo. My oldest fell in love with all the Spanish moss. We have dozens of photos of just moss 😉

 

Happy Travels,

-CK

Ponce de Leon Springs, Florida

Ponce de Leon Springs

If you don’t know, Florida is resting on a giant aquifer. That is the reason the state has fresh water springs and sink holes.    Basically, Florida is one giant marshland;)

The first stop on our road trip was Ponce de Leon Springs. Click here for the real stats. The spring is fresh water and crystal clear. Let’s not forget COLD! The water stays at 72* year round. Surrounding the spring is woodlands

with trails. Those are fun. You get to see where the high water line is.

The water depth is also misleading. The water behind that tree is clear like tap water, giving the impression that it’s only knee deep. It was quite a shock when I climbed in to discover it was waist deep.

We visited the spring twice, once on the beginning of the trip and once at the end. The first time only my daughter the mermaid was willing to get in. She even admitted the water was cold. Of course, we knew that from her blue fingers and toes.

It’s actually close enough for us to visit on weekends during summer, but the park is small and fills up quick. We don’t have that kind of clear water where I live. It’s a bit mesmerizing to swim and see the fish, turtles, etc swim around you. Take goggles, it makes exploration easier.

-CK