This spring is known for its exceptionally clear water and stunning underwater scenery, making it popular with underwater photographers. Though scuba diving is not allowed, it’s a delightful spot for swimming and snorkeling. A playground, picnic area, camping/RV site, bathhouse and concession store are just some of the accommodations that await visitors.
Ginnie Springs Outdoors, LLC
A 200-acre site popular with families and serious divers alike, the park is built around a system of seven springs. An extensive underwater cavern makes this a highly-rated dive destination. Camping (wilderness or sites with electricity), a rental cottage and rental VARDO, picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, tubing and volleyball are available for visitors. For more information, please, contact Ginnie Springs Outdoors, LLC, 7300 NE Ginnie Springs Rd., High Springs, FL 32643, or call 1-1-386-454-7188.
Santa Fe River
The Santa Fe River has its origins in the Santa Fe swamp and wetlands of lakes Alto and Santa Fe in Bradford County. It disappears underground at O’Leno State Park and, three miles later, reappears at River Rise Sate Preserve just north of High Springs. The spring-fed Ichetucknee River joins the Santa Fe River near Fort White before its confluence with the Suwannee River just south of Branford. Because the lower Santa Fe River is fed by numerous springs, and its waters are crystal clear, it is popular with canoeists and swimmers and offers productive fishing for anglers.
Ellie Ray’s RV Resort & Lounge
Located on the beautiful Santa Fe River, this RV park features a winding boardwalk and spring-fed “swimmin’ hole” right off the river’s bank. A floating dock provides convenient docking and easy river access for boaters, as well as a great spot to watch for manatee and other Florida wildlife. The RV park offers entertainment for the whole family! For more information, please, contact Ellie Ray’s River Landing, 3349 NW 110th St., Branford, FL 32008 or call 1-386-935-9518.
Largemouth and Suwannee Bass provide excellent fishing opportunities. Both can be caught along the shoreline near fallen trees or stumps. Several species of catfish are plentiful and offer real excitement for anglers young and old alike. Redbreast and spotted sunfish are the most abundant game fish in the river and are easily caught near shoreline brush and stumps. The peak season is May through September, but good catches are possible year round. During the winter months, fish tend to concentrate in the many deep holes found along the river bends. Access points include boat ramps at Hart Springs off of CR 344 and CR 232 west of Bell; Eula and Wannee Landings, both off CR 341, Rock Bluff at the CR 340 bridge and several other locations. Obtain a map of the Lower Suwannee River Boat Ramps & Canoe Launches from the Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce at (352) 463-3467.
Hart Springs Park
A family-oriented recreation area, the park boasts one of the area’s largest swimming facilities and a half-mile boardwalk through the pristine cypress hammock. From volleyball to pedal boat rentals, Hart Springs also offers a wide variety of amenities with the family in mind. A new splash park is also available for little ones to enjoy and cool off. Why not take advantage of our area, the largest concentration of fresh water springs on Earth? Contact: Hart Springs Park, 4240 SW 86th Ave., Bell, FL 32619 or call 1-352-463-3444.
Otter Springs Park & Campground
Experience 636 acres of natural Florida at Otter Springs Park & Campground.
Our centerpiece, Otter Springs, is a second magnitude natural spring with an average temperature of 73 degrees and a flow of 10 million gallons of sparkling pure water daily. The spring creates a large clear pool and stream, which flows into the nearby Suwannee River.
The serene setting is perfect for fishing, bird watching, hiking and other outdoor activities.
And when you want a little bit of both indoor comfort and outdoor beauty, relax at a poolside table or swim laps in our enclosed pool pavilion.
Otter Springs Park & Campground provides a perfect base camp to explore Florida’s Nature Coast, a nine-county stretch along the gulf that offers unique recreational and cultural adventures in an unspoiled environment.
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- Many campsites with electric (30 & 50 amp), water, and sewer hook-ups.
• Two bath houses with hot showers and laundry facilities.
• Beautiful screened pool pavilion with large patio area and in-ground pool.
• Cabins with air conditioning, equipped kitchens, full baths, and front porches.
• Primitive tent areas for small or large groups. (Approved fire rings allowed.)
• Beautiful Spring House Lodge with broad wrap-around porch, tables, chairs, central air and heat, and dance floor is available for group events.
• Indoor Otter Club House with air conditioning, tables, chairs and front porch is available for small groups and clubs.
• Screened picnic house with food prep counters, large sink, picnic tables, electricity, and ceiling fans. (Holds 80 people.)
• Day and annual passes are available at the park office for visitors who want to enjoy Otter Springs’ peaceful atmosphere.
• Canoe rentals, firewood, camping and picnic supplies, general merchandise, and ice are available at the park office.
• Internet and fax are also available in the office.
• Pets are allowed under certain conditions; please read our policy.
• Reservations for campsites and primitive tent areas should be made by calling 352.463.0800.
Nature Coast State Trail
This park is a 31.7-mile paved trail for walkers, runners, skaters, hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. Connecting all three counties, the Trail cuts through quaint towns, rustic farmland and unspoiled forests, carrying visitors across the historic Suwannee River on an abandoned railroad trestle. It is a wonderful to stay in shape and enjoy nature at its best. More information? Contact Fanning Springs State Park, 11650 NW 115th St., Chiefland, FL 32626 or call 1-352-463-3420.
Fanning Springs State Park
This beautiful State Park is one of the wonders of our county… Manatees often enter the spring run during cool weather at this 188-acre state park. Amenities include a playground, volleyball courts and a softball field. This is an excellent spot for picnicking, hiking and swimming. For more information, please, contact Fanning Springs State Park, 11650 NW 115th St., Chiefland, FL 32626 or call 1-352-463-3420.
Lower Suwannee – Santa Fe Conservation Lands
Outdoor enthusiasts looking for solitary, back-to-nature experiences will want to explore some of these public lands that feature natural communities along the Santa Fe and Suwannee rivers. The tracts offer minimal facilities, often just a parking area and information sign. Road access is often limited because of the swampy nature of the river floodplain. Nonetheless, the lands are open every day during daylight hours for hiking, nature study, fishing, bicycling and horseback riding, unless otherwise posted. Request a copy of the recreation guide from: Suwannee River Water Management District, 9225 CR 49, Live Oak, FL 32060. Phone 1-800-226-10666 or 1-386-362-1001.