On a random whim 3 years ago we decided to stop by and paddle Silver Springs State Park, we didn’t know it at the time but we were about to begin a lifelong love affair with Florida’s fresh water springs.
While all of these magical bodies of water share similar characteristic crystal clear blue waters they each have personalities and characteristics all their own; the type of individualism that will turn a love affair into an spring exploring obsession.
Out of all the Springs we’ve explored over the years Ginnie Springs might be one of the most unique, and maybe one the most fun too! Aside from splashing around in the clear, cool waters of the spring, and exploring the underwater caves ( wether by snorkel or scuba) the absolute best thing to do here is take a float down the Santa Fe River. There’s lots of little springs to stop in along your float to explore, and for the adventurous rope swings, and ton of trees for jumping off into the river.
You can check us out doing all these awesome things and more by watching the video! It’s worth mentioning, that we were experimenting with our new Telesin Dome Port (we learned how and how not to use it), this might not be the best video we’ve ever made as a result BUT you do get to watch me (Katie) bust my butt on a rope swing, while DJ shows off his much more honed skills!
*Traveler’s Tip: Floating down the Santa Fe River is its own little odd version of a pool float fashion show. Those with the biggest, baddest, and most unique floats get all the love! We had a total of 11 people each with their own bird inspired float,”flock yeah”. People loved it and we made a ton of new friends and admirers!
To date, this might be the hardest post we’ve written, because there are so many mixed emotions and feelings about this place. This is one of those moments when we’re grateful to not get paid for our opinions, because it gives us the full and complete freedom to share our honest thoughts.
Unlike a large portion of the springs in Florida, Ginnie is a privately owned which brings with it a whole load of upsides and downsides. Let’s break it down…
- Privatization means better amenities. This includes, nicely maintained restrooms and bathhouses, a full dive shop, and a complimentary air fill stations for river floats.
- Ginnie Springs is one of the clearest springs in the entire state- supposedly. We haven’t been to all of them but without a doubt the viability here was pretty fantastic.
- If you can’t have fun here, you probably can’t have fun anywhere! There’s is so much to do; floating down the river, rope swinging, cave diving, and the best of all people watching! It’s a great time if you can accept it for the party town it is!
- Cost. At $22.43 per person per night for camping, this place can get expensive fast. We had a total of 11 people in our group, staying for 3 nights, for grand total $740.19 for all of us. That might just be the most expensive camping we’ve ever done!
- Crowds. Because of the immensely clear waters, and the lack of alcohol enforcement this place can draw a humungous crowd. If you want to camp ( especially on a weekend) go early! They have tons and tons of campsites, and we’ve been told, they “always” have room, but to avoid the chaos and frustration of trying to find a decent space arrive early in the morning!
- Trash. With crowds come trash. The crew at Ginnie does a pretty good job of keeping up with it, but at the end of a long day if you take a night stroll past any of the spring entrances you could easily collect a vast array of discarded t-shirts, popped floats, and who knows what else!
- This is a personal opinion but Ginnie Springs honestly feels like the kind of place you have to go to with a big group of people. It’s a bit of a rowdy place. Unlike State Parks, no one really bothers to enforce “quiet hours”, or any other rule for that matter. So if you’re looking to party this is a fantastic place for it- just don’t expect to get a whole lot of sleep.
If you can accept the craziness, and embrace the costs, Ginnie Springs is most definitely a good time to be had! We really enjoyed our visit despite it’s “different” more crowded vibe!
Visited one or more of Florida’s Springs? Which are your favorites, drop us a comment! We’re always on the hunt! As always thanks for being here!
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