Fern Hammock Springs

Fern Hammock Springs is a beautiful spring in Ocala National Forest, in central Florida.

The spring is stunningly beautiful. The spring features unusual natural features, including exceptionally clear water and numerous sand boils.

Fern Hammock Spring is a second-magnitude spring.

Can you swim in Fern Hammock Springs?

Sadly, visitors cannot swim in Fern Hammock Springs’ head spring. Swimming is not allowed becuase the spring is an environmentally sensitive area, and is protected. Swimming is also not allowed because alligators and snakes live inside the springs habitat.

Swimming is not allowed in Fern Hammock Spring because there alligators in the spring, and because it is an environmentally sensitive area.
An arched wooden footbridge over the blue and emerald pools set amidst quiet and serene rich and lush tropical vegetation. Juniper Springs Florida.

Swimming is allowed at other nearby areas, including Juniper Spring, Silver Glen Springs, Salt Springs, and others.

Visiting Fern Hammock

There is an entrance fee to enter the Juniper Springs Recreation Area.

The entrance fee has different rates for weekdays and weekends.

At the time of this writing the entrance fee is $7 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. There is an annual pass option available, which also grants access to other nearby springs, including Salt Springs, Silver Glen Springs and others.

Many visitors note that the trail, boardwalk and facilities need to be updated.

Visitors should be aware that the path to Fern Hammock Springs is not a loop; you will return along the same path.

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The path to Fern Hammock Springs in Ocala National Forest
Wooden boardwalk in the recreation area in the Ocala National Forest located in Juniper Springs Florida

Ocala National Forest

Fern Hammock spring is found inside the Ocala National Forest. It is located inside the Juniper Springs Recreation Area, near Juniper Creek.

Activities at Fern Hammock Spring

The head spring at Fern Hammock Spring is protected. Visitors are not allowed to access the water for swimming or watersports.

Watercraft are not allowed in the Fern Hammock Springs head spring, but the Juniper spring run is a popular place for paddling, including kayaks, canoes and SUP paddleboards.

There is camping nearby Fern Hammock Springs, inside Ocala National Forest.

Florida’s Prettiest Spring

Many people believe that Fern Hammock Springs is the prettiest spring in Florida, although all of Florida’s springs are uniquely beautiful.

The beauty of Fern Hammock Springs, Juniper Springs and other springs in Ocala National Forest helped prompt Theodore Roosevelt to establish the Ocala National Forest in 1908.

Ocala National Forest was the first National Forest in Florida, and also the first to be created east of the Mississippi River.

Fern Hammock Springs Details

Fern Hammock Spring is surrounded by beautiful and sensitive ecosystems, including sand pine and scrub forests.

The spring is filled with wildlife, including alligators, fish, turtles, snakes and many other species.

There is a beautiful wooden footbridge, draped with old Oak trees and Spanish moss, which is a very scenic photography spot.

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Fern Hammock Spring has a spring pool which is approximately 160 feet wide (East to west) and 75 feet long (North to south).

The spring water flows into a spring run toward the northwest for approximately 600 feet. The spring run empties into Juniper Creek, approximately .25 miles away. Juniper Creek eventually empties into Lake George.

The bottom of the spring pool is generally sandy, with patches of aquatic grass.

The water in Fern Hammock Springs has very low amounts of suspended sediment or dissolved solids. Fern Hammock Springs is one of the clearest springs in Florida.

Fern Hammock Springs’ depth is generally shallow, and ranges from approximately 2-6 feet deep in most places.

There are several sand boils, which occur when a strong flow of spring water disturbs the sandy bottom.

There are approximately 25 sand boils; their intensity varies depending on aquifer flow conditions. The largest sand boil is located beneath the wooden footbridge.

Boils are common at many springs in Florida, but the sand boils in Fern Hammock Spring are unusually intense and beautiful.

Nearby Cities

  • Daytona Beach
  • Gainesville
  • Jacksonville
  • Ocala
  • Orlando
  • The Villages

Region

Central Florida

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Weddings

Camping

  • Cabin Rentals
  • On-site Camping

Related Spring Group

Ocala National Forest Springs

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Contact Information

Phone: (352) 625-2520

Fern Hammock Springs is managed as part of the Ocala National Forest.

Lake George Ranger District Office

17147 E. State Road 40

Silver Springs, FL 34488

352-625-2520

It is also part of the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Location

Address: 26701 FL-40, Silver Springs, FL 34488

Directions

Fern Hammock Springs is accessed via the Juniper Creek trail. All are located inside the Ocala National Forest, inside the Juniper Springs Recreation Area.

The trail is approximately .7 miles one-way, or 1.4 miles round-trip. The trail is not a loop; you will go and return along the same path.

The trail for Fern Hammock Springs is located near the old mill.