Thursday, May 19, 2016

What I Did on My Summer Vacation (part 2) - Juniper Springs

Juniper Springs Recreation Area is located in Florida's Ocala National Forest. The swimming area, trails, and campground were constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. I think they describe it well on their website:
"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."

 The swimming area is a curious cross between a natural pond and a swimming pool; the bottom is natural, but the CCC put walls around it, and terraced it so that people could sit.

 The old mill house, which works by water coming UP instead of down.

Walking along one of the hiking trails beside the creek.

This is the beginning of the kayak run, which a local kayaker told us was "hard as hell", with many hairpin turns and lots of obstructions to watch out for and get around.We opted out on this one.

There were 3 or 4 different types of turtles of pretty good size...

... and a very obliging and photogenic alligator...

These bright blue spots in the water are the places where water is bubbling up.

Here, I tried to photograph one; the water bubbling up reminds me of the "paint pots" and "sulfer pots" at Yellowstone.

Juniper Spring was a very unique and fascinating experience - a good place to relax, swim, hike, and kayak (if you're very experienced).


  1. when i was growing up we went to juniper springs for christmas a few times. we'd drive down from VA and camp at the campground... these pics made me smile, sharmon... : )


  2. Lynne, I'm glad if these photos brought back happy memories for you. I can imagine a family celebrating Christmas here; I think it would be lots of fun!


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