The Best Natural Springs Near Orlando (Description, Distance and Map)

There are many beautiful springs near Orlando, and throughout central Florida. Some of these are within a short drive of Orlando, while others are several hours away, and may require considerable travel time. Please see the individual springs below for driving directions and description.

Orlando Springs Map

Florida Springs Guides

We created a guide to the best springs in Florida, along with an interactive springs map.

If you want to find new springs you might not know about, we also suggest this guide, “Touring the Springs of Florida“. It lists most of the major springs in Florida, including lesser-known springs. It’s very well organized, and easy to use.

Juniper Springs

Juniper Springs is one of many springs in the Ocala National Forest, north of Orlando.

The springs at Juniper Springs are beautiful, with crystal clear water. The surrounding area is filled with natural Florida jungle — dense palms and oaks, draped with vines and Spanish moss.

There’s also a lot of interesting history in this area, including a historic mill house, powered by a wooden water wheel. It was built in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Juniper Springs is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Florida, and the springs’ beauty helped inspire federal protection of natural lands.

For paddling, the Juniper Springs Run is one of the most popular canoe and kayak trips in Florida. The seven-mile spring run forms a narrow, winding river. There is hiking in the area, via access to the Florida National Scenic Trail, which passes through the area.

Facilities include a campground, picnic areas, and a concession stand.

The springs in Ocala National Forest are very popular, especially on weekends, so it’s a good idea to get there early to secure a spot.

Fern Hammock Spring

Fern Hammock Springs in the Ocala National Forest, Florida

Fern Hammock Spring is another spring located in the Juniper Springs Recreation Area, also part of the Ocala National Forest.

Fern Hammock Spring is famous for its quiet beauty. The spring has crystal clear, blue-green waters, surrounded by lush tropical ferns and a dense canopy of oak and palm trees.

The spring has multiple smaller vents rather than a single large spring boil, giving it a unique, magical feel. Water bubbles up through the sandy bottom, known as a “Sand boil”.

Swimming is not allowed in Fern Hammock Spring, but it’s a great spot for photography and to enjoy the natural beauty.

The area around Fern Hammock has walking paths and boardwalks for hiking.

The larger Juniper Springs Recreation Area offers more activities, including swimming in the main spring, kayaking and canoeing in Juniper Springs Run, camping, and hiking.

Read more about Fern Hammock Springs

Silver Glen Springs

Silver Glen Springs is located in Ocala National Forest, about an hour and a half drive north of Orlando.

Note: Silver Glen Springs should not be confused with Silver Springs State Park.

Silver Glen spring is a beautiful natural pool, with crystal clear water and lush surroundings. The pool is quite large, and is good for swimming and snorkeling.

The area around Silver Glen Springs is rich in history and cultural significance, because it was once the site of a native American village. There are shell middens on-site, and other archeological artifacts from native peoples who once inhabited the region.

There are nice nature trails nearby which wander through thick native Florida forest. Picnic facilities are available, but there’s no camping within the recreation area itself.

Alexander Springs

Alexander Springs is also located in Ocala National Forest.

Alexander Springs forms a large, shallow pool that is good for swimming. There are picnic tables and camping on-site, along with walking trails that wander through lush subtropical forest.

Read more about Alexander Springs

Blue Springs State Park

Note: There are many springs in Florida with the name “Blue Springs” so be sure you are looking at the correct location when planning your trip.

Blue Springs State Park is located in Orange City, about 45-minutes or an hour north from Orlando.

Continue Reading:   Weeki Wachee Springs

Blue Springs State Park is famous for its beautiful, crystal-clear spring and spring run. It’s a popular spring for tubing, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

During winter, water access to Blue Springs State Park is closed because it becomes a protected manatee refuge. When manatees are present during colder months, it’s one of the best places to see manatees in Florida.

The state park features a large wooden boardwalk for easy views of the spring run and manatees, when they’re present. The grounds of the park are very nice, and there are lots of good places to explore.

There are on-site canoe and kayak rentals available to explore the St. Johns River. Facilities include picnic areas and a concession stand, playground, plus camping and cabin rentals.

Blue Springs can be a very popular destination, especially on weekends and holidays, so be sure to plan ahead if you will visit during a busy time.

Read more about Blue Springs State Park

De Leon Springs State Park

Note: De Leon Springs State Park is different than Ponce De Leon State Park, which is located in the panhandle. The names are very easily confused!

De Leon Springs State Park is located in De Leon Springs State Park, about an hour’s drive north of Orlando.

De Leon Springs is beautiful, and is very popular for swimming. There are other things to do, including kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, with on-site rentals available.

The park also has a boat tour which is a relaxing way to learn about the area’s natural and cultural history. There are hiking trails around the park to explore Florida’s diverse ecosystem. Picnic areas are available and there is an on-site campground.

Another popular and unique feature of De Leon Springs is the “Old Spanish Sugar Mill Pancake House”, a unique restaurant where you can make your own pancakes right at your table. The pancake house is very popular, so expect some waiting time, especially on weekends.

Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs State Park is located in Dunnellon, about a two-hour drive northwest of Orlando.

Rainbow Springs is known for its beautiful clear, aquamarine waters and for being one of Florida’s largest springs.

The head spring at Rainbow Springs forms a natural pool that’s excellent for swimming and snorkeling, in a protected swimming area. There is also a large spring run which becomes Rainbow River.

For kayaking or canoeing, Rainbow River offers an amazing paddle experience with numerous rental options available in the state park, and in the nearby area.

The state park has several nature trails to see wildlife and native plants. Picnic areas and a concession stand are available on-site.

There are camping options nearby, but at this time camping is not available inside Rainbow Springs State Park itself.

Rainbow River can also be accessed from KP Hole County Park.

Read more about Rainbow Springs State Park

Kelly Park/Rock Springs

Kelly Park/Rock Springs is located in Apopka, just about a 30-minute drive from Orlando.

Rock Springs spring is one of the most popular springs in Florida. The spring flows out of cool limestone rocks, before feeding into a crystal-clear spring run, or creek, that’s perfect for tubing. There is also a very large swimming area.

Note: If you visit during a busy time, especially a summer weekend, you may need to arrive early to gain admission into the park. Kelly Park sets a daily admission limit, and admission is restricted after the park reaches its limit.

Summer is the most popular time to visit Rock Springs and Kelly Park, or when the weather is warm and school is out.

The surrounding park is natural and beautiful, with lush greenery and lots of shade. There are family-friendly amenities, including volleyball courts, picnic pavilions, a playground, on-site concessions, and more.

The park also offers full-facility camping in an on-site campground, including tent and RV sites.

Read more about Kelly Park/Rock Springs

King’s Landing

King’s Landing is also located in Apopka, just north of Kelly Park/Rock Springs.

King’s Landing is a beautiful 8.5-mile spring run, downstream from Rock Springs. The spring run is popular for kayaking, canoeing and standup paddleboarding through lush, natural Florida forest.

We usually rent kayaks on-site, or visitors can bring your own. The spring run offers a nice mix of shaded areas and open water.

Reservations may be required, especially on summer weekends, as it gets very busy.

Continue Reading:   Blue Springs State Park

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is located about two hours’ drive west of Orlando and north of Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Weeki Wachee is famous for its historic mermaid shows, which are a unique blend of entertainment and natural beauty.

Note: Visitors are not allowed to access the main spring area where the mermaids perform.

There is an on-site water park at Weeki Wachee, called Buccaneer Bay, with water slides and a lazy river. There is also a wildlife cruise, and visitors can rent gear to paddle in the Weeki Wachee River.

Read more about Weeki Wachee State Park

Wekiva Falls

Wekiva Falls is a privately-owned camping resort, located in Sorrento, just about a 45-minute drive north of Orlando.

Wekiva Falls features a large, spring-fed swimming area with a water slide, and other fun. The surrounding area of Wekiva Falls is scenic, with greenery and space for outdoor activities. It offers canoeing and kayaking along the Wekiva River.

The resort has a full range of amenities including RV and tent camping, cabin rentals, picnic pavilions, and a general store. It’s a bit more developed compared to some other springs, and more commercial than publicy owned springs.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs State Park is located in Apopka, just a short 30-minute drive from Orlando. The spring head forms a natural pool that’s ideal for swimming, and is the origin of the Wekiva River.

Besides the spring, the park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers over 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, allowing visitors to explore the diverse Florida landscape. Canoeing and kayaking are also popular here, with the Wekiwa River providing a serene route through natural Florida scenery.

The park has full-facility campgrounds and cabins for those looking to extend their stay. Picnic areas and a concession stand are available for day visitors. It’s a great spot to experience a slice of Florida’s natural beauty, without leaving Orlando.

Three Sisters Springs

Three Sisters Springs is located in Crystal River, about an hour and 45 minutes’ drive northwest of Orlando.

This natural oasis is famous for its stunning, crystal-clear blue waters and for being a sanctuary for manatees, especially in the cooler months from November to March.

The springs form a series of beautiful, shallow pools that are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and simply enjoying the serene natural beauty.

Access to the springs is only possible by water, with kayak and paddleboard rentals available nearby.

There’s also a boardwalk around the spring for land-only-access around the springs, but it is not possible to access the land from the water, or vice versa.

Three Sisters Springs is part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, which tries to ensure conservation and respect for wildlife.

Read more about Crystal River and Three Sisters Spring

Devil’s Den

Devil’s Den is located in Williston, about a 2.5 hour’s drive northwest of Orlando. It’s one of Florida’s most beautiful and unique springs, closely resembling a Mexican Cenote.

The cave has ancient rock formations, fossil beds, and a sunlit opening above, through which a stream of light pours in, creating a surreal and beautiful atmosphere.

Devil’s Den is primarily a scuba diving and snorkeling site, with gear rentals and training available on-site.

It’s important to note that swimming without snorkel or scuba gear is not allowed. The facility surrounding Devil’s Den includes amenities like a heated pool, picnic areas, cabin rentals and camping sites.

Reservations are required, and during busy times Devil’s Den becomes very crowded.

Blue Grotto Spring is also nearby, although it is only accessible for scuba divers.

Read more about Devil’s Den Spring

Ichetucknee Springs

Ichetucknee Springs State Park, located in Fort White, is about a three-hour drive north of Orlando.

This is my favorite state park in Florida. Ichetucknee River, a spring-fed, natural lazy river that provides one of Florida’s most beloved tubing experiences.

The park includes several beautiful springs, and the Ichetucknee River. Two springs — the Ichetucknee Head Spring, and Blue Springs, are the most beautiful, and are the main sources to feed the Ichetucknee River.

Tubing and paddling down the Ichetucknee River are the main attractions here. The trip down the river travels through beautiful nature, and crystal clear water; it is beautiful!

Besides tubing, the park also offers opportunities for swimming in some of the springs, snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking. There are also hiking trails and picnic areas, a playground, and other amenities. Wildlife viewing is excellent, with chances to see various bird species, otters, and even manatees.

Continue Reading:   Scuba Diving in Florida

Ichetucknee Springs State Park is extremely popular in the summer, and there are limitations on the number of tubers per day to protect the ecosystem, so arriving early is recommended.

The park provides tube rentals and shuttle services on-site for a convenient experience. There are concession stands on-site, but food and amenities in the surrounding area are limited.

Read more about Ichetucknee Springs and Ichetucknee Springs Campground

Ginnie Springs

Ginnie Springs is located in High Springs, about a three-hour drive north of Orlando.

Ginnie Springs is a privately-owned park and one of the most popular spring destinations in Florida.

The park offers a variety of water activities, including swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, tubing, and kayaking. There are also volleyball courts and several other land-based activities, but the springs and water are really the main attractions.

Ginnie Springs is one of the top freshwater dive sites in the world, especially for cave diving, because of its extensive underwater cave system.

There are numerous springs, in the Ginnie Springs site, including Ginnie Spring itself, Devil’s Eye and Devil’s Ear spring systems, and several others. These springs feed into the Santa Fe River, which is popular for tubing and kayaking.

Ginnie Springs offering camping on-site, including tent and full hookup RV sites. There are also cabins available for rent on-site. There is food available on-site and there is a concession store with supplies and rentals.

Ginnie Springs gets extremely busy, and surprisingly wild, especially during summer weekends. Many people avoid Ginnie Springs during busy times because of the crowds and rowdy atmosphere, which can be off-putting.

Read more about Ginnie Springs

Less-Popular Springs

These springs are near Orlando, they are less suitable for most travelers. We include them in case anyone finds them interesting.

Paradise Springs

Paradise Springs is located in Ocala, about two hours’ drive north of Orlando. This spring is a privately-owned scuba diving-only site. Unfortunately, swimmers are not allowed.

Important: Paradise Springs requires visitors to be certified scuba divers, and all dives must be conducted with a diving buddy.

The Paradise Springs dive site is a flooded cave, descending to a depth of approximately 100 feet. It’s a popular spot for both novice and experienced cave divers, and dive training. The water clarity is usually excellent, providing good visibility for exploring the underwater cavern.

Gemini Springs

Gemini Springs is located in DeBary, about a 40-minute drive north of Orlando. This park is not a good spring for swimming, but it is still a beautiful hidden gem, offering a peaceful retreat with two “twin” springs, which produce 6.5 million gallons of spring water per day.

While swimming in the springs isn’t allowed, the park is a good spot for enjoying nature.

The park spans 210 acres, featuring well-maintained hiking and biking trails. There are picnic areas and pavilions, and a dog park.

Sanlando Springs

Private Spring with Restricted Access

Sanlando Springs is a beautiful spring. At one time it was a major attraction and destination near Orlando — halfway between Orlando and Sanford, hence its name.

Sadly, Sanlando Springs is no longer open to the public, because it is located inside a gated residential community.

For those interested in the history of Sanlando Springs, it was known for its crystal-clear water and was a major tourist attraction in the early and mid-1900s. The springs featured a large swimming area, a dance pavilion, and was a popular spot for social gatherings. Over the years, the area around Sanlando Springs has been developed, and public access to the springs has been restricted.

Read more about Sanlando Springs

We hope you enjoyed our overview of natural springs near Orlando. If you visit, please be respectful of nature, our springs, and other visitors.

Did we miss a spring? Have a suggestion? Please let us know!