Since we’re in the middle of summer and it’s super hot we have been spending a lot of time in the water. This week we headed to Alexander Springs in the Ocala National Forest. We got on the road on a stormy Tuesday afternoon but by the time we arrived, the rains had stopped. The park was pretty empty and ready for us to explore.
Getting to Alexander Springs park requires driving along narrow country roads with few amenities along the way. As a result, pack some snacks and grab a bite before heading out, and don’t plan on finding dinner immediately afterwards. (There are no interstate highways here, only little towns scattered about. This is the forest!) During the drive in, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a deer herd, or of a black bear ambling along on the shoulder. On our drive home we saw a bear with two young cubs crossing the road! She stared us down until we drove off. Exciting!
The Alexander Springs Recreation Area is located in the sprawling Ocala National Forest and requires an entry fee to enter the spring park. The price is $5.50 per person (ages 6+) and well worth it! The beach area is raised above the water and not very large, but there is plenty of space off the beach to set up your temporary camp. There are many picnic tables, benches, and a pavilion, all under the cover of trees. There is also a concession stand where you can pick up snacks and rent kayaks and canoes.
The water is a constant 72°F and extraordinarily clear. Built in steps allow you to walk right into the spring. It is very shallow (1-2 feet) and gets progressively deeper (slowly). Our kids (3 and 6 years old) were thrilled to be able to walk, run around and play in the water without having to be restricted to the immediate shoreline.
The spring floor consists of soft sand, and then water plants as you approach the spring source, so water shoes aren’t necessary. The boil (spring source) is located at the far end of the swim area. It is 25 feet down to the bottom and the spring source is beautiful glowing blue green hue.
Other than swimming and floating, people come to Alexander Springs to snorkel and scuba dive. If you’re lucky, there may be a mermaid at the spring too. If you have a waterproof camera, bring it! We only went for the day, but there is a campground nearby for tent or RV camping. It is a wonderful family friendly place to cool off and enjoy nature. You don’t want to miss this amazing spring. Find out more here. If you love the photos in this post by Joe Cruz photography, please click here to see more.
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