If you’ve to tick off from your bucket list or have to create new lists, I recommend adding “exploring springs near Jacksonville, Florida”.
First, I’ve to agree that you’re lucky, to be in Florida, getting endless chances to explore the natural springs in Orlando, beaches, food, and theme parks.
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Now coming to it, today’s world is pretty stressful and with that, the temperature keeps on rising. Therefore, to charge your internal battery you need to have fun!
People of Jacksonville, I’ve got a piece of good news. Florida has the largest collection of springs, with more than 700. This is because the limestone and dolomite rocks get dissolve easily.
To recharge your energy with fun and happiness, nothing is better than visiting places to swim in Jacksonville, Florida with your loved ones.
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Prettiest Springs near Jacksonville
So, this blog takes you around the best springs near Jacksonville and things to know before getting there.
The list of springs to visit in Jacksonville is amazing – from diving, snorkeling, floating, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and relaxing, you can do anything you want.
Let’s explore the best Jacksonville Florida Springs. Mostly every place has a restroom. So, no worry, about basic amenities and let’s enjoy!
1. Lafayette Blue Spring
- Distance from Jacksonville: 110.8 miles, 1 hour 50 min
- Fee: $5 per vehicle
If there was ever the best thing to do by getting out and exploring the great outdoors, it’s soaking up the essence from Lafayette Blue Springs in North West Florida.
As Suwannee River pays off its tribute to the Gulf of Mexico, it becomes wide giving birth to a spring near Jacksonville in Tallahassee, Mayo, west of Live Oak.
It is said that during drought the amount of water can be as low as 14 million gallons per day whereas, at other times, it might raise to 168 million gallons per day.
This natural pool is a spring outflow that you’ve to reach by hiking through woods, wooden bridges, and steep slopes. So, get the best hiking boots for yourself!
The pool is mostly shaded and limestone rocks surround the Lafayette Blue Springs making it ideal for parking your car, soaking in water, and having a fun picnic!
I loved every part of Lafayette Blue Springs as the place is quiet and picturesque. I guarantee you’ll love canoeing, or renting a vacation cabin.
Also, certified drivers are welcome to dive the 12,000 feet karst passageways, Green Sink Cave System. Watching wildlife is one of my favorite things to do here.
Note: You can bring your dog to Lafayette Blue Springs.
2. Troy Springs
- Distance from Jacksonville: 91.9 miles, 1 hour 34 min
- Fee: $5 per vehicle
Do you know what the best part of Troy Springs is? Once you reach here you see special benches installed for scuba divers to keep their wetsuits and tanks off!
Troy Springs is a spring near Jacksonville in Branford, North Central Florida which is a 70-foot depth first magnitude spring. It is one of the off-beaten paths.
It is a haven for snorkelers, swimmers, and scuba divers. Troy Springs State Park also offers picnic tables, natural hiking trails, and riverside docks for boaters and canoeists.
The site holds rich history since the 19th century. The diverse aquatic life and gorgeous green nature make it one of the best places to visit in Florida in February.
I came here last year with my sister, Bellie, and went hiking through mesic flatwoods, upland pine, mixed forests, and sand hills. The place is very rustic and quiet.
The best memory I’ve of this place is taking the boardwalk to reach the dock and down the stairs to enjoy the view of the springs. It looked so pristine blue!
Know that it is a large spring for swimming and has a lot of shallow areas for kids to get into. Also, it has limestone rocks and remnants of a sunken ship from the Civil war.
Note: Only open-water scuba diving and certified scuba divers are welcome. No solo diving
3. Fanning Springs Park
- Distance from Jacksonville: 111.8 miles, 2 hours 2 min
- Fee: $6 per vehicle
If you’ve been waiting for a long to get on the best natural springs near Jacksonville Florida, then it’s time to come to Fanning Springs Park to taste the adventure.
You’ll be stunned to see the gorgeous 200-acre blue-green spring water shining under the shades of an oak tree on Suwannee River. It is one of the deep spring basins.
The state park sits on the border of Levy and Gilchrist, famous for historically known “Fort Fanning” which was built in 1836 during the Second Seminole War.
If you wander down the boardwalk, you’ll see the main spring with dozens of small bubbling springs. In the pool, you can spot seasonal manatees and tropical fishes.
This Jacksonville Florida spring is popular among every Floridian as the swimming blue hole spring temperature is 72 degrees, perfect to cool from Florida summer.
The vibrant white sand is perfect to bring your volleyball and play as much as you want. Do not forget to get your GoPro to click photos of freshwater flounder, and so more.
Not only fishes, but you can spot red-shouldered hawks, white-tailed deer, barred owls, and so many other animals. The spring has spectacular things to spot!
Note: Leashed dogs are welcomed but not allowed inside or around the swimming area. However, for the past few years, people have shown concern over the level of nitrates in the water.
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4. Gilchrist Blue Springs
- Distance from Jacksonville: 82 miles, 1 hour 33 min
- Fee: $6
This remote spring near Jacksonville is a dazzling swimming pool sitting under the lush green forest canopies making it ideal for families to chill and relax.
Gilchrist Blue Spring sits along the Santa Fe River near High Springs in Gilchrist County. It is a second-magnitude spring producing 44 million gallons of water a day.
Above the spring’s main boil sits a jumping platform from where you can plunge into a beautiful swimming hole. Also, plan to hike to see a 350-year-old giant cypress tree.
Gilchrist Blue Spring is also known as “Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park” with 20-foot deep vents and a lot of shallow areas.
In 2017, Gilchrist Blue Spring was ranked as the 175th state park in the summer. The significant ecological habitat found in the spot is turtles, invertebrates, and fishes.
This clear spring in Jacksonville has outstanding water clarity offering scenic vistas and photographic opportunities to all visitors and explorers.
If you’re planning to snorkel in the clearest water of Florida then enjoy the chance to spot largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redbreast, and other sunfishes.
Note: The tranquil track of Gilchrist Blue Spring is perfect for canoeing, paddling, and kayaking
5. Madison Blue Springs
- Distance from Jacksonville: 106 miles, 1 hour 35 min
- Fee: $ 4 – $ 5 depending on the time of the week
What better way to spend summer than by taking a dip in the best swimming Springs near Jacksonville Florida? Madison Blue Spring is the newest in State.
USA Today ranked Madison Blue Spring as the #1 swimming hole in America. It sits in Lee along the west bank of the Withlacoochee River.
Its crystal clear water is 82 feet wide and 25 feet deep making it ideal for swimmers, and snorkelers. However, there is no separate diving platform here.
To reach you’ve to walk through scenic woodlands, rocky bluffs, and pines. From dozen of miles downriver from the park, Withlacoochee meets Suwannee River.
In this Jacksonville Florida Springs, you can also spot the manatees. Behind the spring there is a picnic ground where you can chill and have fun lunch.
The small beach also has an underwater cave system that makes it highly desirable among certified divers. It takes you more than 26,000 feet passage.
Note: Swimming is closed in Madison Blue Spring State Park due to a spring blowout caused by rising water levels.
6. De Leon Springs
- Distance from Jacksonville: 97 miles, 1 hour 36 min
- Fee: $4 per vehicle
As the temperature warms up and the humidity in Florida increase, let me take you to De Leon Springs, the best springs near Jacksonville.
People know De Leon Springs State Park because of the old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant. Mayaca Indians termed this water “Acuera” or “healing water”.
De Leon Springs State Park sits an hour north of Orlando and to reach here you’ve to pass the massive old-growth bald cypress tree.
No doubt, this place is fueling with history. If you are looking for a warm winter destination in the US, this is the place. It also has a great swimming area, picnic spots, outdoor grills, and an area for kayaking, canoeing, and hiking.
The water is 72 degrees year-round, making it a great spot to soak the sun in the winter and float in the water in summer.
The deepest point is 30 feet from the surface. From here the spring boils bubble up forming a network of underground caverns.
7. Ichetucknee Springs
- Distance from Jacksonville: 80.1 miles, 1 hour 28 min
- Fee: $6 per vehicle
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is the holy ground with a spring sitting on 2,669 acres of lush forest on the Ichetucknee River.
Ichetucknee River is nothing but a mix of eight major springs. U.S. Department of the Interior declared the head spring of the river a National Natural Landmark in 1972.
If you’re looking for rigorous fun and adventure then no place is better than Ichetucknee water. It is well known among Floridians for tubing and canoeing.
October through March there is a huge crowd of certified scuba divers in the Blue Hole or Jug Spring to explore the crystal clear and gorgeous underwater world.
You can spot wood ducks, blue herons, deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, and so more. There are countless underground vents that bubble up underground springs.
The place mostly sits under the canopy of trees. I came here solo for a nice morning hike. I’ll never forget the experience. I saw a raccoon 200 meters away from me. I was scared to death.
In 2008, New York Times states published an experience stating” “It’s a warm late-winter afternoon in northern Florida, and three young women are gingerly descending a half-dozen wooden stairs to a mouthwash-blue pool of translucent water ringed with cypress trees.”
Note: Among the eight other springs – Devil’s Eye, Mill Pond Spring is my favorite. It is unique and peaceful. You should visit Riverside Grill and Store for food.
8. Alexander Springs
- Distance from Jacksonville: 108 miles, 1 hour 57 min
- Fee: $6
Alexander Springs is a beautiful spring near Jacksonville which is great for small children and families. It is a first-magnitude spring sitting in Lake County.
It is said that it discharges 80 million gallons of water per day. You should once come to this Ocala National Forest spring for camping. It has 67 campsites.
The spring water is clean and you can see the sand below, with aquatic grasses and some limestone in places.
Alexander Springs has a constant 72-degree temperature making it ideal for swimming. Mostly it is a swamp forest with plenty of deciduous forest wetlands.
I suggest heading to head spring because you cannot miss taking a photo with the turquoise color. It sits in the northeast corner of the park. This water is 25 feet deep.
This place is packed with action trips and hence from hiking, canoeing, bird watching, snorkeling, and wildlife spotting – you get everything.
Note: TimucuanTrail and the boardwalk are currently closed due to repairs issues
9. Blue Spring State Park
- Distance from Jacksonville: 82 miles, 1 hour 34 min
- Fee: $6 vehicle
Let me take you to the hidden crystal Jacksonville Springs along St. Johns River in Orange City. Blue Spring State Park is a remarkable spot for all spring lovers.
Add some sweat to your spring exploring diaries, and take the Pine Island Trails. Come here in the month of late March and Early April, to see fireflies all around.
This is one of the best springs for freshwater who wants to swim around the green Shangrila. You can also get your cycle to ride along the shady path.
I came here in the month of November and spotted so many manatees in the water. I did not know that it is one of the most important manatee research program areas.
During summer, people come to Blue Spring to chill and enjoy the cool 72-degree water. Also, scuba divers are welcome to dive and explore the underwater world.
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10. Bob’s River Place
- Distance from Jacksonville: 97.6miles, 1 hour 47 min
Let me take you to the 6th hidden gem of Florida, Bob’s River Place, a beautiful spring near Jacksonville for unforgettable summer memories on the Suwannee River.
It is a swimming hole for old Florida fun! People of all ages are welcome here to enjoy sunbathing, floating, jumping from a rope or swinging, or diving into adrenaline-pumping activities.
The pool is surrounded by large trees making it ideal to climb on any of the trees and jump into the water. There is also a 55-foot waterslide for fun!
Have you ever tried to balance yourself on the log roll and be crowned as “King of the Dock” on the floating docks? Well, you can do it here, then.
Telling you how beautiful Bob’s River Place is, I forget to tell you that this place sits in Branford. It is a private waterpark. The location is great!
So, next time you’re searching for freshwater springs near Jacksonville – full of fun mixed with Tarzan swings, giant slides, and much more, you know where to come.
I hope this blog convinced you to plan your next trip to Jacksonville with your loved ones. Also, do take rent glass-bottomed boats tour for more fun!
If you’re searching for the best tubing springs near Jacksonville, I recommend going to Ginnie Springs. The underground cave system is so amazing.
These springs near Jacksonville have to relay the magic to offer you the best memories of life. So, pack your bags, and come to Jacksonville soon.
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FAQ: Springs near Jacksonville
1. What is the prettiest spring in Florida?
A. Alexander Spring has the most incredible clear water and is one of the prettiest springs in Florida. It is the first magnitude spring in Ocala National Forest which discharges approximately 100 cubic feet of water per second. Also, the place is surrounded by palm trees making it so romantic and poetic.
2. Is there spring in Jacksonville?
A. Yes, there are many natural springs near Jacksonville, Florida. Springs like Ginnie Spring, Ichetucknee Springs, Gilchrist Blue Spring, Alexander Springs, Devil’s Den, Juniper Springs, Lafayette Blue Spring, and so more.
3. What are the clearest springs in Florida?
A. Ginnie Spring in Gilchrist County is one of the clearest water springs in Florida. The water temperature is constant at 72 degrees and discharges millions of gallons of water every day.