My camping equipment

My camping equipment
Campsite setup

Monday, April 9, 2018

Florida State Parks, Silver Springs State Park,

Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park is located just east of Ocala, FL in the town of Silver Springs, FL. The Park is one of Florida's treasures popular for decades for the multiple springs and clear water of the Silver Springs watershed. The state purchased the land and property of the privately owned concession there famous for it's glass bottom boats and multiple activities that has attracted tourist from all over the world since the turn of the last century. Fans of our state park system are happy that the state came in to purchase this historic place preserving it's legacy as one of Florida's first tourist attractions. Barbara and I have organized once again this year almost exactly one year from our last reunion with our friends to explore the waters of the Silver River. Some of the pictures in this blog post have been updated to show our groups adventure on the river and experience at the campgrounds.

Silver Springs State Park, 4/9/2018

Entrance to the trails and attractions at Silver Springs State Park, 4/9/2018

Views from the trails at Silver Springs State Park taken during our April 2018 visit

Glass bottom boat on the Crystal clear water of the Silver River Run, 4/6/2017 

Glass Bottom Boat Concession, 4/6/2017


The campgrounds at Silver Springs are located just south of the Main Entrance. The sites are surrounded by tall pines and are spacious with electric and water. There is a historic village located near the campgrounds which is used by the public schools in the area for educational purposes. The Village is open to the public after 4 pm every day and includes many preserved buildings and artifacts going back to the early days of the last century. There is a half mile trail leading to a docking area for kayaks for those who wish to portage there to paddle the crystal clear waters of the Silver River. 

Our campsite at Silver River State Park, 4/6/2017

Campers who joined us for our stay at Silver Springs in April 2017
Campers who joined us for our reunion at Silver Springs in April 2018
Group Breakfast at Eliot and Ellen's cabin that they rented during our April 2018 reunion. 
Group dinner at Bass Champions in Salt Springs, FL during our April 2018 reunion

There are many interesting hiking trails near the campground besides the portage trail. The Swamp Trail hike is a 2 mile hike leading to the Spring River Run. Hikers walk through the tall pines before coming to a quarter mile board walk that leads to a viewing area overlooking the River. 

Shaded board walk leading to the Silver River Run

The Silver River Run

The waters of the Silver River Run are some of the finest in the state of Florida to paddle. There is a docking area for paddlers  located near the main entrance. There is no fee to use the dock facilities if you present you campground pass. The journey down the run is an experience very few forget. The waters are crystal clear with beautiful cypress trees lining the banks and abundant wild life everywhere you look. Those who are ambitious and experienced paddlers can explore the run to Ray Wayside Park near Highway 40  five miles down river. You can find more information at Paddle There are several local vendors available who can accommodate those who do not have kayaks or canoes and would like to experience the beauty of the Silver River Run.

Kayaking on the Silver River Run, April 2017

The clear waters of the Silver River Run reflect like a mirror, April 2017

Great Blue Heron hunting for the next meal, April 2017

Jim Baldwin and Judy Leslie paddling the head water of Silver Springs, April 2017

Family of monkeys on the banks of the Silver River Run, April 2017

Cypress trees and lush plants on the banks of the Silver River Run, April 2017
Anhinga (Snake birds) nesting along the Silver River, April, 2018

Miniature Blue Heron on the banks of the Silver River Run, April 2018
Turtles basking in the sun on the Silver River, April 2018
Big Gator basking in the sun on the banks of the Silver River, April 2018
Turtle balancing on the back of another turtle, April 2018
Our group paddling the Silver River April, 2018

Silver Springs State Park leaves a lasting impression for those who visit the park and it's many natural wonders.