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Springs to visit

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toronto
posts: 392
reviews: 19
Springs to visit

We'll be in Gainesville next week and are looking for some scenic sites to visit. I've read about Blue Springs, Ginnie Springs and Poe Springs. Anyone have a recommendation of which is the nicest?

Also, is it safe to swim there? Alligators?

4 replies to this topic
Vero Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Vero Beach
posts: 6,143
reviews: 40
1. Re: Springs to visit

It's a water wonderland. Many, but not all, of the major springs are within Florida State Parks.

Ichetucknee Springs is a favorite in part because you can go down the spring run by innertube. Years ago, someone was bit by an otter, but I can't think of any other hazards. Look for sugar maples and trilliums.

The Santa Fe River sink in Oleno State Park is a curiosity. The river goes underground. There's no sucking sound.

A bit distant, Manatee Spring on the Suwannee River is lovely, and there's others farther north along the river. For what it's worth, Philadelphia botanist visited Manatee Spring, Gainesville's Payne's Prairie, and the vicinity of Ocala National Forest's Juniper Springs shortly before the Revolution, when it was British East Florida. Near Juniper, he encountered Illicium parviflora, a famous Florida shrub.

http://www.floridata.com/ref/i/illi_par.cfm

Also in Ocala National Forest, Alexander Spring is almost circular, sort of a morning glory from the air. Silver Spring has long been developed, but the spring run (Silver River) has an impressive hardwood forest on phosphate-rich soil--Shumard (red) oaks, sugar maple, other trees that give it a northern feel. It's a state park, so should have hiking trails.

Gainesville itself has a sinkhole, the Devils Millhopper. It's a mini state park.

This State of Florida website will help with planning:

http://www.floridasprings.org/

Spring water is likely to be about 72 F, 22 C. A wetsuit vest might be nice, and for some springs, snorkeling equipment.

toronto
posts: 392
reviews: 19
2. Re: Springs to visit

Thanks for the tips! But unfortunately our time in Gainesville is limited so we were looking to stick with one of the three springs in High Springs since it is closer. From looking at a map it seemed the others you mentioned are a bit further away?

Do you have a recommendation between Poe, Blue and Ginnie?

Vero Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Vero Beach
posts: 6,143
reviews: 40
3. Re: Springs to visit

You can easily visit all three. Someone will be along to mention favorites.

Orlando
posts: 48
reviews: 17
4. Re: Springs to visit

Ginnie Springs is the one students go to. It usually involves strapping a keg to an inner tube... Just letting you know if you're looking for a certain kind of atmosphere. I went for Memorial Day many years after graduating and ... it was a party. Fair warning. During the week shouldn't be like that ... but a beautiful weekend, they will be a-coming.

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