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“Great Camping Trip”

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Juniper Springs Recreation Area
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 5, 2012

I recently went on a short camping trip with my husband and another young married couple. We stayed in the tent loop at juniper springs. we were one of the only ones in the tent loop since the temperature was pretty cold for January in Florida. But It was nice the ranger came by that night at around 9 to turn on the water hoses so they wouldn't freeze, and checked on us, and again in the morning to be sure everyone was ok ( I think they only did that because it was a hard freeze warning, and we were sleeping in tents) But anyway the spring was nice not crowded that time of year (except our husbands wanted to swim in 35 degree weather.) I would think when it is warmer it would be packed. I have been to places with much larger springs, but the facilities are one of the best.

We concurred the 7 mile canoe run without tipping over, but i would not recommend it to anyone that doesn't have experience there was a lot of hard work involved in getting over logs and under them, and around trees... but it is nice if you are brave enough to try it.

Camp sites are nice, they are far enough apart that you are secluded from other campers, but close enough to walk to the bath room in the middle of the night. They all have a picnic table, a fire ring, and lantern post, and a grill.

Room Tip: The map doesn't do you justice. (We stayed on lot 79 cause we thought it was by a river, but the...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank JChilds3511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 - 114 of 130 reviews

Reviewed October 29, 2011

We camped last weekend at Juniper Springs. Because we are tent campers we chose the tent loop and we were very pleasantly surprised by the size and isolation of each site. You feel like you have your own little spot of the forest. Without RVs nearby, you don't hear the hum of generators all night long. The bathrooms were a little far, but clean. The Florida Trial was pretty close to the camping and offered a beautiful hike through pine flatwoods and scrub. In terms of wildlife we saw numerous bear droppings, but not bears. We did see wild turkeys, raccoons, pileated, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers.

The springs are a short walk on a beautiful boardwalk. The water was too cool for me in October, but my kids loved jumping off the dock into the water. My only complaint is that the canoe trip has only 1 option - a 4 hour trip. I would prefer to have a shorter trip.

Room Tip: Tent loop was great!
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Sternula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

If you want to get amongst the locals this is the place; my daughter rescued what appeared to be a 30 stone lady out of the spring, who couldn't swim, as soon as we got there and she and her family went on to tell us now they nicked the fish for their aquarium! It's an unusual place, a freshwater spring formed into a huge pool where you can swim, dive and picnic around the side - taking care not to leave anything for bears. The water is bloody cold though, but you get used to it. There is also a boardwalk through a wilderness with an alligator at the end to greet you at an idyllic scene. We loved it.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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2  Thank SidCupLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2011

I took my extended family (16 people in total) on the Juniper Springs canoe run which was supposed to take four hours. Instead we spent almost six hours on the river hauling our canoes over various deadfall that the National Forest Service has yet to remove since the hurricanes of 2004. I had made the run previously when it was pretty much clear of such obstacles, but this trip turned into somewhat of a Bataan death march.* For families with young children, I would say stay clear of this run (Silver Springs would be better). To add insult to injury, the park concessionaire refused to give back to us the deposits on our canoes because we arrived late at the takeout.

*I am a very experienced paddler (I own three kayaks and a canoe), and while I could have made the run in much less time, four hours was not enough for a large group of novice paddlers with young children.

Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
11  Thank dhuie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2010

This review is from the perspective of a camper.

We are Florida Natives, so we've visited a great many springs. This spring was nothing to write home about, in comparison - however, it was neat how they turned it into a recreational area.

With that said, we visited in February to camp and check out the Spring. It was a beautiful trip, we enjoyed our pad, saw deer, wild turkey, and lots of coons. Our pad was within a short distance from the hot showers and restrooms, which was nice.

The trails and exploration was a lot of fun. We spent two days wandering around through the trails and had a blast.

Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
3  Thank SamandLiz09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2010

We had two campsites one was fairly large and the other was quite small. One had a better fire ring than the other. Both campsites had a good amount of shade that is necessary in Florida in June. We were close to the showers/bathrooms that were well maintained this weekend. The showers almost always had HOT water almost too hot for some of our campers and no temperature control.
Very different canoe runs than the ones I have been on in the past. The Canoe run was work from the start. First you check in then you load your canoe on to a cart. Wheel your canoe down a long path to the take out point and drop it off. Now walk back to the check in and collect your oars, life jackets and whistle and walk back to your canoe. Cooler check to make sure that you don't have anything disposable. Now lift your canoe and place into the water and off you go. The scenery is amazing we saw lots of spiders, a snake and a couple of alligator. The Canoe ride has a lot of difficult turns many low hanging trees that you have to duck under. Many more branches that you have to duck under or crash through. There are very few good places where you can take a break. It took us 5 1/2 hours to get through. We did have to slow down to wait for others in our group. Only 1 of 4 Canoes in our group tipped. But we saw many others who did. I read that there was a halfway point with a dock where you could get out and this was not true. We did see the remains of it however it was gone. Once we finally arrived at the end we had to carry our canoe out of the water and place it on to the cart.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with friends
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8  Thank dvelocity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2010

Campground is nice and clean , pretty typical but in a good way. Foresty sites, easy access to trails. The spring, snack bar area is fun and scenic. The house w/ the water wheel is neat and all your friends will wonder where you took these pictures! The canoe run is very challenging, lots and lots of navigating and working together. I love to canoe, done this one twice. Plan on tipping over, I like an above review that said it is an obstacle course! However, it is so beautifule w/ unique scenery. Just go on the run prepared w/ waterproof items and things like keys and wallets in a secure place! Also, this run is easier on a kayak. It is a true 4 hour run, bring food..I promise u will make it back alive!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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7  Thank popcornblah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Address: 26701 E Highway 40, Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs, FL 34488-6741
Location: United States > Florida > Silver Springs
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Silver Springs
Number of rooms: 78
Also Known As:
Juniper Springs Recreation Area Hotel Silver Springs

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