About Silver Springs State Park
Mirror, mirror on the … water? Yep, the glass-like surface of Silver River is super reflective, so you’ll be seeing two of everything -- so make sure you’re looking good before you peer over the edge of your kayak. Leave a wide berth while you paddle downstream; you’ll be sharing the river with turtles, gators, and glass-bottom boats -- catch a ride on these kitschy vessels for a small fee when they depart from the headspring. Back on land, hike or bike through the 15 miles of trails that wind through soupy marshlands dotted with bald cypress trees; there’s a special trail for equestrians, too. Don’t want to stray too far from the river? You don’t have to, since this park has lush landscaped gardens and a pioneer cracker village you can explore right off of the river bank. But whether you plan to spend your day at Silver Springs State Park on the water or off, don’t forget your bugspray! This is Florida, after all.
Campgrounds in Silver Springs
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History of Silver Springs State Park
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 over 100 years.