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13 Most Popular Springs Near Jacksonville, Florida

Did you know that Florida boasts the largest collection of springs in the world, with over 700 of them waiting to be explored?

The reason for this abundance is the high concentration of limestone and dolomite rocks that form these natural wonders.

13 Most Popular Springs Near Jacksonville, Florida

While the city itself may not have any hot springs but there are plenty of gorgeous natural springs.

These warm mineral waters maintains a constant temperature of between 68℉ and 72℉ throughout the year, make for excellent vacation destinations, regardless of the season.

While the east side of Jacksonville is renowned for its miles of sandy beaches, it also boasts the largest urban park system in the country.

Many locals take advantage of their proximity to the springs and regularly visit them to unwind and recharge.

Lafayette Blue Spring

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the beauty of Lafayette Blue Springs, nestled in the heart of North West Florida.

Located just 110.8 miles from Jacksonville, this natural wonder is a must-see destination for all outdoor enthusiasts.

As the Suwannee River winds its way towards the Gulf of Mexico, it gives birth to a spring that flows near Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Mayo, and west of Live Oak.

The amount of water flowing through the spring varies from 14 million to 168 million gallons per day, depending on the season and weather conditions.

To reach the natural pool at Lafayette Blue Springs, you’ll need to hike through woods, cross wooden bridges, and navigate steep slopes.

Make sure to bring your best hiking boots! But trust me, the effort is worth it.

Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the picturesque sight of limestone rocks surrounding the shaded pool.

Whether you’re looking to cool off from the Florida heat, have a fun picnic, or simply soak up the tranquil atmosphere, Lafayette Blue Springs has something for everyone.

Rent a canoe or book a vacation cabin for a relaxing stay at this idyllic retreat.

For the more adventurous, certified divers are welcome to explore the Green Sink Cave System, a 12,000 feet karst passageway.

And the best part? You can even bring your furry friend along, as dogs are welcome at Lafayette Blue Springs.

As someone who has visited Lafayette Blue Springs myself, I can attest to the peaceful ambiance of the place. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and connect with nature.

So pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and head on over to Lafayette Blue Springs for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Don’t forget to snap a few photos of the stunning wildlife along the way!

Lafayette Blue Spring

Chetucknee Springs State Park 

Chetucknee Springs, a 2,669-acre haven of lush forests teeming with wildlife and nine natural springs that flow into the river of the same name.

From beavers and river otters to gentle manatees, there’s no shortage of fascinating creatures to share the water with as you swim, kayak, tube, canoe, or paddleboard.

Don’t have your gear? No worries! You can rent all the necessary equipment on-site and dive right into the adventure.

But if you’re in the mood for something more tranquil, why not try snorkeling through the underwater cave system?

It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you in awe of the natural world.

If you’re looking to make a splash, Head Springs and Blue Hole Spring are the best spots for a refreshing dip.

The former, designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1971, boasts shallow edges and access to picnic tables, making it perfect for a family outing.

On the other hand, the latter, with its deep, crystal-blue waters at a constant 72°F, is one of the park’s most picturesque spots.

But Ichetucknee Springs is not just about water-based activities.

On land, you’ll find a variety of hiking trails to explore, perfect for getting some exercise or bird-watching.

If you’re not in the mood for a long hike, you can take advantage of the tram service that goes deeper into the park.

When it’s time to refuel, head to the Riverside Grill and Store at the entrance, where you can grab some food and gifts to enjoy at the many picnic tables scattered throughout the property.

With so much to see and do, Ichetucknee Springs is the perfect getaway for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Chetucknee Springs State Park 

Gilchrist Blue Springs

Nestled within Florida’s newest state park lies a hidden gem that’s perfect for the entire family: Gilchrist Blue Springs.

This park boasts a plethora of trails and water activities to keep you entertained all day long.

While four other springs converge in the park, Gilchrist Blue is the only one where you can take a dip, making it a hotspot for paddlers, snorkelers, and swimmers.

The crystal-clear turquoise waters are home to a diverse array of wildlife, including turtles, fish, and invertebrates.

The water temperature remains a cool and refreshing 72℉ year-round, making it the ideal spot to cool off on a hot day.

While signs warn of alligators in the area, they typically stick to the areas where swimming is prohibited, so there’s no need to worry.

As with other state parks, Gilchrist Blue Springs is open to visitors from 8 am to sundown, every day of the year.

If you want to spend a night or two under the stars, the campgrounds can accommodate up to 23 bookings in total.

Don’t worry about bringing your own food, as a convenient concession stand is available to cover your needs.

As someone who has visited Gilchrist Blue Springs, I can attest to the beauty of this hidden gem.

The park offers a serene and picturesque setting, with an abundance of outdoor activities to suit every taste.

Gilchrist Blue Springs

Troy Springs

Have you been looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination for your next adventure?

Then make sure to visit Troy Springs, a hidden gem located near Jacksonville in Branford, North Central Florida.

This 70-foot depth first magnitude spring offers a unique feature that scuba divers will appreciate – special benches to keep their wetsuits and tanks off!

Troy Springs State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the clear turquoise waters.

The park also features natural hiking trails, picnic tables, and riverside docks for boaters and canoeists.

With its rich history dating back to the 19th century, the site is a must-visit.

During my visit to Troy Springs last month with friends, we hiked through mesic flatwoods, upland pine, mixed forests, and sand hills.

The tranquil environment and diverse aquatic life make it an ideal destination to visit throughout the year, especially in February.

As we walked the boardwalk to reach the dock and down the stairs, we were amazed by the pristine blue of the spring.

This large spring has many shallow areas for kids to enjoy and limestone rocks, as well as remnants of a sunken ship from the Civil War.

Keep in mind that only open-water scuba diving and certified scuba divers are welcome, and solo diving is prohibited.

Troy Springs

Ginnie Springs

Come have a splashy good time at Ginnie Springs, a privately-owned natural playground just ten minutes away from Gilchrist Blue.

Ginnie Springs has all kinds of water activities, such as tubing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and scuba diving.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore the underwater cave system, but do keep in mind that some entrances are blocked off for your safety.

While you’re in the water, you might come across some of the local residents, including crocodiles and waterfowl.

However, if you give them their space, they’ll usually leave you alone.

This spring boasts some of the clearest water in the area, so you won’t have to worry about any unwanted surprises.

When it comes to accommodations, Ginnie Springs has options for everyone.

You can choose from primitive campgrounds, RV sites, or a cozy homestead that sleeps eight and comes equipped with a full kitchen.

If you forget to pack something or need a quick snack, the general store has you covered.

If you’re in the mood for a full meal, you can stop by one of the multiple restaurants on the property.

With 250 acres of wooded land around you, you’ll be able to fall asleep to the soothing sounds of nature.

Ginnie Springs

Madison Blue Springs

Madison Blue Spring, the newest state park and the top-ranked swimming hole in America, according to USA Today.

With crystal clear waters spanning 82 feet wide and 25 feet deep, it’s the perfect spot for swimmers and snorkelers alike.

While there is no separate diving platform, certified divers can explore the underwater cave system at the small beach, spanning over 26,000 feet.

To reach Madison Blue Spring, you’ll take a scenic walk through woodlands, rocky bluffs, and pines. Along the way, keep an eye out for manatees, who also enjoy the spring.

Once you’ve had your fill of swimming and exploring, head to the picnic grounds for a relaxing lunch.

While swimming is currently closed due to a spring blowout caused by rising water levels, there’s still plenty to see and do at Madison Blue Spring State Park.

So, pack a picnic and come see for yourself why it’s one of the best natural springs near Jacksonville, Florida.

Just keep in mind that the park charges a fee of $4-$5 depending on the time of the week you visit.

Madison Blue Springs
Also Read: 17 Best Places For Snorkeling In Florida

Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring

De Leon Springs State Park is famous for the old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant, where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast while cooking your own pancakes on a griddle built right into your table.

Mayaca Indians believed that the water from De Leon Springs had healing powers and called it “Acuera”.

The park is located just an hour north of Orlando and is home to a massive old-growth bald cypress tree that adds to the area’s natural beauty.

The history of this place is as rich as its natural beauty.

You can spend a day here swimming in the crystal-clear water, picnicking with family and friends, and kayaking or canoeing along the spring run.

The hiking trails offer a chance to explore the park and discover its hidden gems.

The water temperature stays at a comfortable 72 degrees year-round, making it a perfect spot to take a dip and relax.

The spring is 30 feet deep, and as the water boils up, it creates a network of underground caverns.

De Leon Springs is one of the best places to visit in Florida in any season, with its breathtaking beauty, fun activities, and fascinating history.

Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring

Ichetucknee Springs

Escape the bustle of Jacksonville and discover Ichetucknee Springs State Park, a breathtaking oasis.

Nestled in 2,669 acres of lush forest along the Ichetucknee River, it is just a short 1 hour and 28-minute drive away.

The Ichetucknee River is a natural wonder, featuring eight major springs, including the head spring.

It was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1972.

Ichetucknee water is the perfect spot for tubing and canoeing, and from October to March, certified scuba divers flock to the Blue Hole or Jug Spring to explore the stunning underwater world.

Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled by the diverse range of animals that call Ichetucknee home, from wood ducks and blue herons to deer, raccoons, and wild turkeys.

The bubbling underground vents and springs only add to the park’s natural allure.

Hiking through the park’s forested canopy is a must-do activity, as you never know what surprises you might encounter.

While you’re here, don’t miss out on Devil’s Eye or Mill Pond Spring, two of the eight springs that make up the Ichetucknee River.

When you need to refuel, head to the Riverside Grill and Store for some delicious food.

All of this can be enjoyed for a nominal fee of $6 per vehicle.

Ichetucknee Springs

Alexander Springs

Discover the beauty of Alexander Springs, a first-magnitude spring located in Lake County, just 108 miles away from Jacksonville, in the heart of the Ocala National Forest.

This family-friendly destination is perfect for a day trip or a camping adventure with your loved ones.

Experience the magic of nature as you witness the spring discharge a whopping 80 million gallons of crystal-clear water every day.

With 67 campsites available, you can make the most of your time here and enjoy the serene surroundings.

The spring water is pristine and allows you to see the sand below, with aquatic grasses and limestone in places.

You can take a dip in the 72-degree water, which is perfect for swimming.

The swamp forest mostly consists of deciduous forest wetlands that are home to a variety of flora and fauna.

Don’t forget to visit the head spring, located in the northeast corner of the park, to capture an Instagram-worthy photo of the turquoise-colored water.

At 25 feet deep, it is a sight to behold.

Alexander Springs offers a plethora of outdoor activities, including hiking, canoeing, bird watching, snorkeling, and wildlife spotting.

Please note that the Timucuan Trail and the boardwalk are currently closed for repairs.

With an entrance fee of just $6, Alexander Springs is a must-visit destination for all nature enthusiasts.

Alexander Springs

Blue Spring State Park

Blue Spring State Park, located in Orange City along St. Johns River, just 82 miles away from Jacksonville, a mere 1 hour 34 min drive.

Explore the Pine Island Trails and add some excitement to your spring escapades.

Visit in late March and Early April to witness fireflies all around.

Take a dip in the emerald-green water and swim to your heart’s content, making it one of the best freshwater springs in the area.

If you’re feeling adventurous, bring your bike and ride along the shady paths.

You can spot countless manatees. Blue Spring is a crucial manatee research program area.

In summer, visitors come to beat the heat and revel in the refreshing 72-degree water.

Certified scuba divers can also explore the captivating underwater world.

Pack your bags and head to Blue Spring State Park for an unforgettable experience, for just $6 per vehicle.

Blue Spring State Park

Juniper Springs

Come take a refreshing dip in the shimmering teal waters of Juniper Springs, located just under two hours south of Jacksonville and Orlando in the lush Ocala National Forest.

This picturesque spring is an excellent choice for families, as the pool’s shallow end is perfect for wading while the other end is deep enough for diving.

You might even spot some American eels or an alligator lurking in the tape grasses that cover parts of the bottom.

Surrounded by a subtropical forest, Juniper Springs is also a nature lover’s paradise.

Keep your eyes peeled for otters or albino gray squirrels while you explore the many trails in the area.

After a day of adventure, relax under the dense canopy of live oaks at your reserved campsite for your RV or tent, and enjoy the sounds of the wildlife at night.

Juniper Springs offers plenty of outdoor entertainment both in and out of the water.

Take a scenic kayak route with the whole family and even have the convenience of a haul-back service if you’re feeling too tired for the return trip.

If you decide to go spring-hopping, an Area Pass is a great option, and nearby Alexander Springs is not to be missed.

Juniper Springs

Fanning Springs Park

Welcome to Fanning Springs Park, a natural spring that will mesmerize you with its year-round 72℉ temperature.

Located in a cypress swamp, the park offers a unique walk-through experience before you arrive at the pristine pool.

Once you reach the pool, brace yourself to be greeted by friendly turtles, an array of fish species, and seasonal manatees.

But that’s not all! You can enjoy some fun-filled activities on the vibrant white sand court nearby, such as a game of volleyball.

Overnight guests can rent cozy cabins or spacious campsites for tents, and indulge in the concession area, picnic tables, and a playground.

However, there has been some concern over the water’s nitrate level due to the fertilizer runoff from nearby fields.

Although the state park services have given it the okay, experts hypothesize the cause of the nitrate level issue.

Another important thing to note is that sturgeons, which are large fish that can jump seven feet out of the water, use the area to spawn their young.

So, be cautious while swimming around in their area.

Fanning Springs Park

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Discover a world of aquatic adventure at Wekiwa Springs State Park, just a couple of hours from Jacksonville and located outside Orlando.

This natural oasis boasts a crystal-clear spring-fed pond, perfect for swimming, kayaking, and fishing.

In fact, the popularity of Wekiwa Springs can often result in a crowded pond, filled with visitors eager to take advantage of its beauty and serenity.

Many visitors believe the water is so pure that a post-swim shower is simply unnecessary.

While some choose to make it a day trip from Orlando, the park also offers sites for RVs, primitive tent camping sites, and even two campsites that can only be accessed by boat.

With plenty of time to explore, visitors can wander the extensive trails on foot, horseback, or bike – with rentals available for the latter.

For those who want to get closer to the marine life without diving into the water, Wekiwa Springs offers glass-bottomed boats for rent.

As you glide across the pond, you can marvel at the diverse array of creatures that call it home – from turtles and alligators to blue crabs and stingrays.

If you prefer to watch from the grassy slopes, you can always enjoy a picnic or simply sit back and relax.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Conclusion

Trust me, after reading this blog, you’ll be convinced to pack your bags and head to Jacksonville in no time.

While there are plenty of activities to do in Jacksonville, one experience that you don’t want to miss is renting a glass-bottomed boat tour.

But wait, there’s more! If you’re looking for the ultimate tubing experience, Ginnie Springs is the place to be.

The underground cave system is awe-inspiring and will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Jacksonville and its surroundings have so much magic to offer.

Read More:
1: Top 7 Snorkeling Places to Explore On Anna Maria Island
2: 9 Must Visit Prettiest Springs in Ocala
3: Florida’s Top 17 Beaches with Clearest Water

FAQ on Springs Near Jacksonville, Florida

1) What are the clearest springs in Florida?

Ginnie Spring is indeed known for its clear water and is a popular destination for swimming, diving, and snorkeling. The constant water temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit makes it a pleasant spot to visit year-round.

2)What is the prettiest spring in Florida?

Alexander Spring is one of the most beautiful springs in all of Florida. It’s actually classified as a first magnitude spring in the Ocala National Forest. It discharges an impressive amount of water – approximately 100 cubic feet per second! Surrounded by towering palm trees, it lends a romantic and poetic atmosphere to the area.

3)Is there spring in Jacksonville?

Yes there are various springs located in Jacksonville such as Gilchrist Blue Spring, Alexander Springs, Lafayette Blue Spring, etc. You can check more from article above.

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