There are dozens of natural freshwater springs that are scattered across central Florida which offer a great way to enjoy the outdoors while escaping the shoulder to shoulder crowds of the attractions in Orlando. If you are looking for a way to relax on the water while floating down a crystal clear river with a beer in your hand, then look no further than Ginnie Springs!
When To Visit Ginnie Springs
Ginnie Springs sits along the Santa Fe River in the town of High Springs and is comprised of several different springs all with 72-degree crystal clear water. Since the temperature of the springs never change and Florida is in a warmer climate, Ginnie Springs is open year round. The park opens at 8:00 am every day but has various closing times depending on the time of the year and day of the week. Daily admission is $15.00 which can be paid with cash or card.
The summer obviously draws the largest crowds as well as weekends and holidays. With multiple springs and a fairly wide river, it doesn’t feel as crowded as it actually is. I have seen photos of the tubers packed into the river during those busy times, so always plan to arrive early. For the most part, Ginnie Springs is very organized and finding a spot to park was easy if you get there in the morning, but by afternoon parking was very limited.
What To Bring To Ginnie Springs
For the perfect day on the water with friends or family being prepared is key. When you arrive at Ginnie Springs, you’ll be directed to the camp store which is just to the right of the guard shack. Here you can find just about anything you may have forgotten at home, but also many items including tubes, goggles, kayaks or paddleboards for rent. Tubes are $6.00 a day and a very durable and come already blown up. Bringing your own tube is also allowed and there is an air station just behind the camp store where you can easily blow it up. Most people who bring their own tubes have the most fantastically elaborate floats I have ever seen including a unicorn with rainbow wings that fits probably fifteen people.
The Float Down Ginnie Springs
The float down the river, depending on the current, is about an hour from Devil’s Spring to Twin Spring. If the water is a bit higher than normal with a stronger current you may have to exit earlier. The walk back is about fifteen minutes along a sandy road. I recommend bringing along sandals for the walk and simply tying them to your tube or leaving them on during the float. When you check in at the camp store you will receive a map of Ginnie Springs which is easy to read, but also there are plenty of signs to direct you including small yellow signs that indicate the tubing trail.
The Perks Of Ginnie Springs
Ginnie Springs is one of the few that I’ve visited that allow alcohol on the water so pack some beers for the lazy float down the river. Make sure to only bring cans and dispose of any trash you have so that the park can remain clean for others to enjoy. Grab some friends and make your way to Ginnie Springs for a fun day on the water. For other paddling adventures around Florida, check out some of my other posts including my 5 Favorite Springs, Where To Swim With Wild Manatees and Paddling Weeki Wachee.