Florida Springs: Spending the Day at Alexander Springs
Updated: Feb 1
With over 700 Springs in the State, why choose Alexander?
Florida has become a theme park staple, but those who know it best enjoy native Florida and it’s natural resources. Florida is home to the largest collection of fresh water springs on earth, over 700. Most are located in North or Central Florida. Year round they remain 68 - 72°. But how can you know where to begin or how to enjoy these wonders?
How does the aquifer create all of these springs?
Rains and freshwater over the years formed tunnels and cavities, collecting in what would become a giant reservoir. In some areas, where the crust is thin, the water bubbles to the surface.
First, location, location, location!
If you were coming to Florida for other reasons such as Orlando, or the beach you can find a spring close to you. All of them are beautiful while they each have a bit of a different vibe, the unique features draw the crowd. Located inside of Ocala National Forest, this is Old Florida at it's best.
Alexander Spring is centrally located about an hour north of Orlando, and 40 minutes west of Ormond Beach. The closest town to it is a small little village called Astor. For planning purposes you will want to stock up your cooler or grab your picnic lunch before arriving in this area as there is not much offered locally. That is part of the beauty of this very remote place.
While some springs fill to capacity early, we tend to avoid such hot spots as Wekiwa Springs, Ginny springs, and even Weeki Wachee because the crowd can sometimes take away from the nature. We do love the mermaid show at Weeki Wachee, and it’s fun loop to circle in your tube. Jenny Springs is definitely the place you want to go with your college buddies and party. And Wekiwa Spring is so centrally located that it’s an easy draw, all of these are worth a visit. They are all a great experience. Another favorite is Rainbow Springs. Further north and west, their set up is unique in that you can rent a tube, float and then be right back to your car! The amazing colors and tubing voyage is one of a kind. Each Spring has it's own characteristics making it special. Weekends and summer days all springs are likely to fill up, so factor timing into your planning.
~~Everything you need to know about Alexander~~
Entry Fee: $7.00 per person. Weekends = $10.00 per person.
Hours: Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; may close earlier seasonally.
Parking: The parking lot is pretty compact and there is not a lot of walking from your car to the spring. The grassy area in between is a great place to find your spot and set up. The earlier you get there the closer you will be to the spring itself.
Campground Fees: $28 per campsite per night; $8.50 per extra vehicle per night (after two vehicles on campsite);
What to bring:
Pack a cooler and Any other items you will need to make this day fantastic. I have seen people pack tents, and any variety of lounge chairs, and floats you can imagine. There are small grill stations set up allowing people to cook and the smell of barbecue will make you wish you had some if you don’t. If you grab enough charcoal, lighter fluid, and tinfoil you can do some thing mid day to feed your party and stay a little longer. Bring snorkels, goggles, sunscreen, and maybe bug spray. Towels, and flip flops.
Crystal clear and beautiful! Somewhere between the beautiful turquoise color, the refreshing cool temperature, and the serene wooded area you will find total Zen! Even with the kids playing and people playing music it’s like a little break from reality. It’s beautiful. If you float right over the actual spring itself, you can see the water coming up through the rocks in the ground.
Bring goggles and a snorkel for the full affect!
The swimming hole itself is not huge, it has ropes on either end to designate a safer place to stay. This is central Florida. There are gators. And bears...
I feel this is a great half a day.
There is no playground, the earth is the playground!
There is a concession stand (closed now - covid), public restrooms with showers and changing areas. They were very clean in my encounters.
Alexander Springs is a first-magnitude spring from which over 64 million gallons of crystal-clear spring water flows every day. The water is a refreshing 72 degrees year-round and is very clear. The spring has multiple boils and the area has a sandy bottom. The depth of the swimming area varies from knee/waist level on the periphery (perfect for young children) to around 30' at its deepest point. There are a few sets of steps into the Spring, and a launch area off to the side for those entering with kayaks or canoes. Many people dive, snorkel and explore the bottom area as there is a lot of cool rock and great There is no playground but a concession stand, public restrooms with showers and changing areas.
My recommendation: Get there earlyish and enjoy the morning wildlife. Birds and fish are especially visible earlier in the day. You may see turtles, alligators, otter, and bald eagle. Get your area set up and then hang out in the spring floating, swimming, maybe playing beach ball or frisbee and breathing the clean air. Enjoy a picnic lunch, BBQ or subs, whatever ends up being best. Then camp out for a few hours. Enjoy being. Hike the trails, or rent a canoe or kayak the afternoon. This is a great way to see more of the beauty of the world.
Timucuan trail was closed while we were there, but the 0.9-mile loop through an excellent representation of habitats found in and around the Big Scrub. It references the people who once lived along the shores of Alexander Spring.
Our memories there are priceless.
A growing body of research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress and promoting healing. Now, policymakers, employers, and healthcare providers are increasingly considering the human need for nature in how they plan and operate.
Studies have shown that time in nature — as long as people feel safe — is an antidote for stress: It can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduce nervous system arousal, enhance immune system function, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Attention Deficit Disorder and aggression lessen in natural environments, which also help speed the rate of healing. Psychiatric unit researchers found that being in nature reduced feelings of isolation, promoted calm, and lifted mood among patients.
The moral of the story is: If you can get to Alexander Springs, go!
Make the memories, explore, and live!
Here is a list of the top 70 Springs in Florida -
Based on popularity (This is not in popularity order)
They each have beautiful unique features standing out from the others....
1. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park 2. Silver Springs State Park 3. Wakulla Springs State Park 4. Ichetucknee Springs State Park 5. Silver Glenn Springs (Ocala National Forest) 6. Madison Blue Springs State Park 7. Rainbow Springs State Park 8. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park 9. Blue Spring State Park (Volusia) 10. Ginnie Springs 11. Fanning Springs State Park 12. Three Sisters Springs 13. Salt Springs (Ocala National Forest) 14. Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring 15. Manatee springs State Park 16. Juniper Spring (Ocala National Forest) 17. Wekiwa Springs State Park 18. Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park 19. Deleon Springs State Park 20. Warm Mineral Springs 21. Peacock Springs State Park 22. Troy Spring State Park 23. Alexander Springs (Ocala National Forest) 24. Ponce Deleon Springs State Recreation Area 25. Blue Hole Spring, Florida Caverns State Park 26. Rock Springs at Kelly Park 27. Poe Springs County Park 28. Lithia Springs Regional Park 29. Morrison Springs County Park 30. Hunter Springs Park 31. Lafayette Blue Springs State Park 32. Royal Springs 33. Rum Island Spring County Park 34. Otter Springs Park 35. Hart Springs County Park 36. Jackson Blue Springs County Recreation Area 37. Levy Blue Springs Park 38. Vortex Springs 39. Falmouth Springs Park 40. Williford Springs Recreation Area 41. Holmes Blue Spring 42. Mud Spring (Welaka State Forest) 43. Pitt and Sylvan Spring Park 44. Running Springs 45. Bluebird Springs Park 46. Shangra La Spring (Merritt’s Mill Pond) 47. Seven Sisters Springs (Chassahowitzka NWR) 48. Sanlando Spring 49. Branford Spring (Ivey Memorial Park) 50. Tarpon Spring (Kings Bay) 51. Green Spring County Park 52. Wacissa Soring 53. Little River Spring 54. Gemini Springs Park 55. Gator Spring (Merritt’s Mill Pond) 56. Rock Bluff Springs 57. Sweetwater Spring (Ocala National Forest) 58. Suwannee Springs 59. Wall Springs Park 60. Eureka Springs Park 61. Baltzell Spring 62. Emerald Spring 63. Jenkins Spring (Linda Pedersen Preserve) 64. Cow Spring 65. Cypress Springs 66. Green Cove Spring 67. Spring Hammock Preserve 68. Clifton Springs (Overlook Park) 69. Nova Spring 70. Heath Spring
Affordability meter: 10/10
On a scale of 1-10 how affordable is this day?
With 1 being utterly unaffordable and 10 being basically free, I rate this adventure a 10.
Aside from gas to get there, and our picnic lunch, this day was done on the $7.00 per person Entrance fee. This day was 100% worth the time as the peace of nature nurtures the soul, and it is hard to find a day with higher value and less cost.
Thank you so much for sharing our adventures and journey.
Please share your favorite Spring and tell us your travel tips!
If you love Springs, and want to see one more, Blue Springs Orange City is a great stop!
Click here to get the scoop on making the best day at Blue Springs.
Another great option is in Apopka. We've enjoyed both Kelly Park Rock Springs and the neighboring, connected King's Landing. Click here for the details.
A note from the editor:
The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning your trip. I hope this makes it easier for your planning process.
Thank you for stopping by today! Please share your thoughts and experiences, we are all on this journey to live and love together. I welcome your travel tips & tricks :-)
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