Crystal clear water surrounded with magnificent trees and wildlife makes up one of Florida's best parks.
Florida is often associated with its miles of beaches and immense amusement parks, but what many don’t know is that scattered all around the state are multitudes of beautiful natural springs that make up the Floridan aquifer system. Located just outside of Ocala in the small town of Dunnellon, Florida is where you will find the 1,470-acre oasis that is Rainbow Springs State Park. The spring itself stays at a refreshing 72 degrees year-round, and flows out into the nearly 6-mile long Rainbow River. Once you lay eyes on the pristine and vibrant blue water of the springhead, you will undoubtedly want to start swimming right away. You can also rent tubes through the park and take a relaxing ride down the Rainbow River where you can peacefully float alongside the bountiful trees. There is hardly a better way to spend a scorching hot summer day in the sunshine state!
If swimming is not something you are interested in, that won’t be a problem at all. Rainbow Springs State Park offers an abundance of outdoor fun including hiking trails, many camping sites, picnic areas, and wildlife to observe. You should be on the lookout for various animals such as the wood stork, American alligator, and bald eagle during your visit. One of the most popular trails in the park is the Rainbow Spring Sandhills Trail, which is a 2.1-mile loop where you will encounter overlooks of multiple pits that were left from the phosphate excavation that took place here in the late 1800s. You will find gorgeous views of the river on this trail as well. There are also more leisurely walks throughout the park where you will find a butterfly garden and multiple man-made waterfalls.
You should make sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen, water, and a pair of comfortable shoes for your trip to Rainbow Springs State Park.