Silver Springs Nature Theme Park
The natural beauty of Silver Springs has attracted visitors from around the world since the mid-19th century. Silver Springs, one of the largest of Florida’s 33 first-magnitude springs, is made up of a group of springs that occur in the headwaters, coves, and edges of the Silver River. The Silver River is the largest tributary on the Ocklawaha River.
The average water flow from the Silver Springs group is over 550 million gallons per day!
Tourists have flocked to see the naturally crystal-clear waters for centuries. The Silver Springs Nature Theme Park is possibly most famous for its glass-bottom boat rides, from which the numerous springs and associated aquatic life may be viewed. Wildlife include alligators and turtles, catfish and mullet, and birds such as cormorants, great blue herons, great egrets, ibis, and limpkin. Rhesus monkeys that were first introduced in the 1930s have also established a population in the park. The Silver River and its springs are in Silver River State Park, where access for canoeing and kayaking up to the springs is possible. Other attractions include a river cruise, animal shows featuring both exotic and native animals, a Lighthouse Tower Ride, and a carousel ride. There is also a museum, gift shop, water park, and food services. Over the years, Silver Springs has been the site of many Hollywood films, including a number of Tarzan films as well as the Sea Hunt television series.
Silver Springs is located about 6 miles northeast of downtown Ocala. From the intersection of U.S. Highway 301 and State Road 40 in Ocala, drive east on State Road 40 for 6.1 miles to the entrance to the Silver Springs Theme Park. To access by water, boats can be launched at the boat ramp on State Road 40 at the west end of the bridge over the Ocklawaha River, and then go west on the Silver River to the springs.
At a Glance:
Activities: Boat tours, amusement rides, wildlife shows, photography, picnicking, wildlife viewing
Entrance Fee: Yes
Scuba Diving: No
Onsite Camping: No–camping and other lodging are available in Silver River State Park
Dogs Allowed: Shaded kennels available
Type of Park: Private amusement park
Location: Marion County–Latitude 29°12'58.2" N., Longitude 82°03'10.0" W.
Address and Contact Information:
Silver Springs Nature Park
5656 East Silver Springs Boulevard
Silver Springs, FL 34488
Phone: (352) 236–2121
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