Alexander Springs Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

Several people snorkeling in clear blue water.











Only 27 first-magnitude springs exist in Florida, and Alexander Springs is by far one of the easiest to enjoy. A broad and naturally gently sloped spring pool is a constant 72°F and extraordinarily clear. Ripples play across the sand bottom as small fish dart about. Surrounded by a floodplain forest of maples, sweetgum and cabbage palms, this recreation area feels almost tropical.


  • 67-unit campground accommodates tents and RVs up to 35 feet. All campsites require reservations by calling 1-877-444-6777 or at
  • Maximum stay is 14 consecutive days in a 30-day period.
  • No electrical, water or sewer hookups. Hot showers and dump station.
  • Concessionaire sells snacks, groceries, ice, charcoal, firewood, beach items and personal items.


  • Alexander Springs is one of several refreshing stops along the Florida National Scenic Trail. A 0.5 mile blue-blazed trail leads from the camping area to the main Trail, which is blazed orange. Alexander Springs to Clearwater Lake is 9.7 miles south. Alexander Springs to Farles Lake is 7 miles north.


  • An on-site outfitter rents canoes for the paddle down Alexander Run into the Alexander Springs Wilderness. You’ll need to paddle back to the springs unless you’ve arranged for your own take out farther downstream.

Nature Viewing

  • Birding is fabulous along Alexander Run.


  • Plenty of picnic tables are available under the oaks, all within sight of the splashing fun of the springs.

Scuba Diving

  • Alexander Springs is the only place in the Ocala National Forest where scuba diving is permitted. Open water diving enables you to explore the broad mouth of the spring.


  • Alexander Springs is one of the best swimming holes in the Ocala National Forest, with a gently sloped beach leading into the gently sloped spring basin.

Walking the Trail

  • Day hikers will appreciate the shady Timucuan Trail, a 0.9-mile interpretive loop with a boardwalk through a jungle of palms along the spring run and more challenging terrain leading into the Big Scrub.
  • Enjoy the beauty of a turquoise spring basin on a walk around Alexander Springs. A paved path leads along the south side of the basin from the canoe launch to the trailhead for the Timucuan Trail. There, the interpretive trail continues as a boardwalk through the lush palm hammock along the spring's edge to observation decks along the spring run.


At a Glance

Current Conditions: Expect full recreation sites during weekends. Have backup plans. Sites may close when capacity is reached.
Operational Hours:
  • Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; may close later seasonally. Campers have 24-hour access to the gates with an access code.
  • Campsites are available by reservation only - Call 1-877-444-6777 or visit
  • Ocala National Forest Recreation Area Pass - Ocala National Forest/Springs Hopper Pass.
  • The day-use pass is $80 + tax per person.
Rentals & Guides: Canoes and kayaks are available to rent at the concession stand. Limited quantity available.
Fees: For more information on fees, please visit the concessionaire at Fees are subject to change without notice.
Permit Info: All anglers must have a valid Florida Freshwater Fishing License and follow regulations of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Spring
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Pets are not allowed in the Day Use area: Forest Order #08-05-05-02-13-020736 CFR261.58(s).
Closest Towns: Alexander Springs Recreation Area is located between Astor and Altoona to the east of SR 19 and the west of the St. Johns River and CR 445-A.
Water: Potable water available
Restroom: Flush toilets and bathhouse
Passes: Ocala National Forest Recreation Area Pass - Ocala National Forest/Springs Hopper Pass. The day use pass is $80 + tax/person; good from date of purchase through end of the year. It provides entrance to recreation areas managed by Naventure: Juniper Springs, Alexander Springs, Silver Glen Springs, Clearwater Lake, and Wildcat Lake. This pass is available for purchase from Naventure at Alexander Springs, Juniper Springs and Silver Glen Springs.
Operated By: Naventure
Information Center: General information: 352-669-3522
Camping reservations: 1-877-444-677

General Information

General Notes:


  • Accessible picnic area and boardwalk portion of nature trail
  • Bathhouse with hot showers for swimmers
  • Drinking water
  • Interpretive site - Timucuan Trail through River Hammock
  • Parking
  • Picnic tables - shaded picnic area on a sloping hill down to the spring
  • Tent camping - nicely shaded sites
  • Toilets
  • Trailer camping - 67 sites


Sidewalks and boardwalks are fully accessible.

Bathhouse and restrooms are ADA-compliant.


Alexander Springs Recreation Area is located along CR 445 in the northeast corner of Lake County between Astor and Altoona. 

From SR 40 at Astor, take Butler Street to CR 445A and turn left on CR 445. The recreation area is 5.8 miles south on the right. 

From Altoona, drive north 5.2 miles on SR 19, and turn right on CR 445. Continue another 5.1 miles to the entrance on the left.


Paved parking with room for large vehicles. Large parking area is frequently crowded on warm weekends.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

Scuba Diving

Recreation areas with activity Scuba Diving :


Recreation areas with activity Swimming:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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