Alexander Springs dazzles with its incredibly clear water in a pristine forest setting. Listed among the most powerful springs in the world, the waters remain a constant 72 degrees year round, attracting humans and wildlife alike. In fact, this is a listed stop along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
Located in the beautiful Ocala National Forest, Alexander Springs Recreation Area has a nearly primal feel, removed from the hustle and bustle. A wide variety of recreational opportunities are available: Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, camping, fishing, biking…and it’s the only spring in this forest where scuba diving is permitted. Lots to do, yet it’s also a perfect place to sit back and relax, maybe have a quiet picnic.
On this trip I paddled down Spring Creek about five miles, then turned around and paddled back. I forgot sunscreen and didn’t wear a shirt, so I got burned to a brilliant red. Nevertheless, it was a mellow, scenic paddle. I stopped frequently to take pictures and videos. Little fish nibbled my toes as I stood in the creek. Shade was not plentiful.
When I got back to the spring, I swam and snorkeled for a little bit before calling it a day. No doubt I’ll be back to enjoy the spring and creek, but also the nearby 22-mile Paisley Woods Bicycle Trail and the Florida National Scenic Trail, which winds 66 miles through the Ocala National Forest. Truth is, this park would be an excellent base camp for an extended visit to explore this forest, where the amazing Florida Trail was born.
Check out the Photo Gallery, Map, Video and links provided for more information on this outstanding slice of Florida. Looking for more of Florida’s great outdoors? Visit our Bucket List and Where-to-Go for more awesome outdoor locations and activities.
Bonus: Right across the street to the south is Paisley Woods, where you can hike the Florida Trail or ride a really nice mountain bike loop.
USDA Forest Service: Alexander Springs Recreation Area
Alexander Springs Recreation Area MAP
Timucuan Trail MAP
Alexander Springs Creek MAP