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Juniper Springs

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Swimming at Juniper Springs

Showcasing sparkling springs in a subtropical setting, Juniper Springs is one of the oldest and best known recreation areas on the East Coast. Located between Ocala and Ormond Beach along SR 40, this complex of swimming and picnic area, campground, and trails was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The setting is unlike any other found in the United States, with hundreds of tiny bubbling springs and massive springs gushing out of crevices in the earth beneath a dense canopy of palms and oaks, an oasis within the heart of the desert-like Big Scrub.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: 8 AM to 8 PM; closing hours vary by season.
Rentals & Guides: On-site concessionaire with canoe rentals. Fees
$33.00 + tax (includes shuttle transport). (+$20 deposit for canoe use)

If you bring your own canoe/kayak:
$6 launch fee
$6 haul-back fee
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees Day Use $5 per person
Overnight parking $12.72 per vehicle
Camping $21 per site at the Juniper Springs Campground
Call 1-877-444-6777 or reserve online

Fees are subject to change without notification. 
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: No wading in the spring runs; no fishing in the springs or runs.
Closest Towns: Astor to the east 9 miles along SR 40, and Forest Corners to the west, provide grocery stores, hardware, gas stations, and ATMs.
Water: Potable
Restroom: Flush toilets
Passes: Ocala National Forest Recreation Area Pass - $60 per person; good from date of purchase through end of the year. Provides entrance to our concession-managed recreation areas: Juniper Springs, Salt Springs, Alexander Springs, Silver Glen Springs, Clearwater Lake, and Wildcat Lake. Purchase at a recreation area entrance station.
Operated By: Recreation Resource Management
Information Center: Download the Juniper Springs Recreation Area Map (PDF)
Download the Juniper Springs Nature Trail Map (PDF)
Download a map of the Juniper Springs Canoe Run (PDF)

General Information

Parking:

Large parking area for day use. Overnight parking available for backpackers for a fee.


General Notes:

Day use activities include picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, bird watching, paddling, and hiking.  At night, relax in the heart of the forest within our historic campground.

A barrier-free self-guided interpretive trail paralleling the spring outflows of Juniper Run and Fern Hammock Run provides information on the semi-tropical vegetation plus beautiful views of the waterways.

For hikers looking for a day in the woods, the statewide Florida Trail passes through the recreation area, leading hikers through the rugged Juniper Prairie Wilderness to the north and through the tall pines of the Big Scrub along Farles Prairie to the south.

Canoeing is extremely popular year-round. The seven-mile journey down Juniper Run offers a unique perspective on the Juniper Prairie Wilderness, where you might see otters at play or alligators drifting through the shallows. Private canoes can be used, or canoes can be rented from the concessionaire on the premises. Haul-back services are available.


Accessibility:

Paths are wheelchair accessible from the parking area to the bathhouse, swimming area, and along the spring run Nature Trail.


Directions:

From Interstate 75 at SR 40 in Ocala, drive east through Ocala and Silver Springs to reach the Ocala National Forest. It's about 28 miles from I-75 to the recreation area entrance road on the left.


Recreation Map

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Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Hiking

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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Water Activities

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Boating - Non-Motorized

Canoe rentals are available on site, and include haul-back from one of the most spectacular canoe runs in the United States. Juniper Run is a narrow, winding waterway set under a dense canopy of old-growth forest and few places solid enough to get out of your canoe. Just before the take out point near SR 19, the waterway broadens to encompass wetlands teeming with wading birds and wildlife.

Canoe rentals are available at the concession stand until 11:30 a.m.

Fees
$33.00 + tax (includes shuttle transport).
(+$20 deposit for canoe use)

If you bring your own canoe/kayak:
$6 haul-back fee

Fees are subject to change without notification.

Status: Open
Hours of Operation: Since the run is 7 miles long, the cutoff for daily launches is by 11:30 a.m.
Rental info: Canoe rental: 352-625-2808.

You are welcome to bring your own watercraft and work out your own shuttle, or pay a haul-back fee to the recreation area. Reservations are a must for haul-backs, and, on most days, for canoes.

Areas for Boating - Non-Motorized at Juniper Springs

Swimming

Juniper Springs is notable as a crystalline pool of spring outflow, shallow at one end and deep enough to jump into at the other. Natural tapegrass grows along the bottom of the spring. Don't be surprised to see an American eel amid the greenery.

Status: Open
Fees: Included in recreation area fee
Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 8 PM

Amenities

Camping trailer Shady spaces. RVs welcome.
Toilets Flush toilets
Accessible Most pathways and the nature trail are wheelchair accessible
Picnic tables At the springs
Parking Ample parking
Fee charged for some activities Day use fee
Tent camping Shady spaces
Interpretive Site Old Mill House
Drinking water Potable water