You’ve had a busy week filled with work deadlines, shuffling your kids to and from soccer practice, and the never-ending chore that is laundry.
So it’s time to get back to nature to reconnect and recharge.
And what better place to do so than a 350-acre nature park with crystalline, blue waters and lush, green trees? You deserve a trip to Silver Springs State Park.
The state park rightfully takes its name from the beautiful springs that serve as the head of the Silver River. The Silver Springs are one of the largest spring formations in the world (in some places water can reach 80 feet deep!), making it an excellent place to feel “wowed” by Earth.
During your visit, you’ll be able to enjoy the restorative nature of the great outdoors in a variety of ways, from witnessing what’s below the springs on a glass-bottom boat tour to seeing the springs from above on a nearby hike.
Ready to get away from Orlando and take a visit to Silver Springs State Park? Keep reading to learn about everything the park has to offer, including its location, pricing, and hours of operation.“ ”
Things to Do at Silver Springs
Silver Spring State Park is a great place to get your adventure on if you love the outdoors, and there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy nature at this park.
Take a Glass Bottom Boat Tour
One of the best ways to experience Silver Springs is by taking a glass-bottom boat tour on Mammoth Spring. These tours allow you to see directly into the crystal clear waters of the spring, enjoying the numerous species of fish that call the park home. You might even have the opportunity to see Native American and Spanish artifacts that are still in the water today!
Visitors can choose between two different tour lengths. The park’s 30-minute tour runs 365 days a year and reservations aren’t required. If you’d prefer to take an extended tour, however, plan to book in advance. Extended tours are available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM. The prices for a glass-bottom boat tour are listed in the table below.
|Age||30-Minute Tour Price||Extended Tour Price|
Kayak Silver River
If sitting next to other people on a tour isn’t quite your idea of enjoying nature, don’t be dismayed. You can still get out on the water (and away from other humans!) by renting kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes.
Once you have your boat, you can choose to paddle by the hour or do an extended paddle, which takes around three or four hours. For the extended paddle, you’ll journey about five miles downstream on Silver River, enjoying the sights and sounds of the water sans tour guide. At the end of your ride, Silver Springs staff will drive you and your boat back upstream to your car.
And if you already have a boat or vessel of your own, you can bring that instead. Just remember to bring along an extra $4 to pay for the park’s boat launch fee.
Visit the Silver River Museum and Cracker Village
After you’ve seen Silver Springs, why not learn more about the park at the Silver River Museum? This museum has two main exhibits, one of which covers natural history topics like geology and paleontology, and the other that covers the history of Marion County and Florida more broadly. The museum is only open on the weekends and admission costs $2 per person.
Additionally, visitors to Silver Springs may enjoy a trip to Cracker Village, which is a replica of a 19th-century pioneer settlement. Individuals will get to tour replica cabins, outbuildings, a schoolhouse, and a church as part of this visit. Additionally, tours of Cracker Village are available on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month at 10AM.“ ”
Take a Hike or Go Camping
If you’d rather enjoy Silver Springs while keeping your two feet on solid ground, you can choose from five different hiking trails. These hikes range in length, with the shortest trail being Creek Trail at ¾ of a mile and the longest hike on the Spring Connector Trail at 4.6 miles.
For those who’d like to extend their stay beyond just a day, why don’t you set up your tent at one of Silver Spring’s 59 campsites? In addition to tent camping, you can also bring your RV and find a spot in either of the two campground loops. Primitive group camping is also available, with reservation preference going to youth groups, like boy scout and girl scout troops.
Or if glamping is more your thing, Silver Springs also offers cabin rentals. These rentals can accommodate up to six people and have two bedrooms and one bathroom.
Location, Pricing, and Hours of Silver Springs State Park
Whether you want to recharge with a visit to Silver Springs State Park on a Saturday, Tuesday, or a holiday, you can! This park is open 7 days a week, including holidays, from 8AM to sundown.
Keep in mind, however, that while the park as a whole might be open, not all of the attractions will be. There are specific operating hours for glass-bottom boat tours and canoe/kayak rentals. You can visit the Silver Springs park rules page for more information about the hours of individual activities.
The park is located about 90 miles north of Orlando at the address below, making it a perfect day trip escape:
5656 E. Silver Spring Boulevard
Silver Springs, Florida 34488
Upon arrival, you’ll need to purchase a $2 entry ticket for each person above the age of six in your family. Some of the attractions discussed above, like the glass bottom boat tour and kayak rentals, cost extra.
It’s high time you took a step away from your never-ending to-do lists for some deep breaths of fresh air. Silver Springs is a great place to do just that. No matter what your outdoor proclivities are, you’re sure to find a way to decompress and enjoy the natural beauty of the springs during your visit to the enchanting Silver Springs State Park.