Today we spent the day at Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area, which is another great nature spot located in the Ocala National Forest. From where I live in Port Orange, it's about an hour drive to go to Silver Glen Springs. These springs are located very close to where Alexandar Springs and Salt Springs are.
Being that this is not a state park, the fee to get is per person, but it is worth it. It was $5.50 per person to get into the park, with those 5 and under being free. The park has a small store (where you pay the admission fee), a couple of hiking trails, picnic tables, canoeing, and swimming in the beautiful springs. They do not have a regular restroom, which was my only disappointment. They have portable toilets, which I always hate using. Plus, they have a large changing room for women and one for men. There is no privacy in them, they are just large rooms for people to all change together in. Luckily, we were in there by ourselves, but if it were busy it could get uncomfortable. Plus, the changing room does not lock, so you could be in a compromising position when someone just walks into the changing room.
From the little store it's a short walk down to the area where the picnic tables and springs are. There are plenty of tables available and most are close to where the springs entrance is. There were some nuisance vultures there trying to get into everyone's bags, but everyone kind of took turns shooing them off of each other's tables when we saw them digging into everything and dragging towels off of the tables.
Silver Glen Springs is a hidden gem that is in the middle of the forest. And it's beautiful! There is one entrance into the swimming area, and you enter it like a beach, just walking in. Most of the water is not very deep, with it coming up to around my waist in most areas, although there are not many shallow areas for toddlers. It does get deeper as you get to the spring head. Swimming over the spring head was awesome! It goes very deep and you can see fish swimming around. It was great! There area also areas on the sides of the swimming area with vegetation. In that vegetation area there were loads of fish, many of them large, all swimming around and eating off of the vegetation. Boats from the river can also pull up and use the springs and I was told by the store attendant that they do not have to pay a fee for using the springs.
Snorkeling, we are able to see the great spring head, lots of fish, shells, and it was a lot of fun. We really liked Silver Glen Springs a lot. We took a break to eat the homemade (vegan) subs I had made us for lunch.
Overall, Silver Glen Springs is wonderful and truly is a hidden gem. We really loved it and will go back!
- Jacqueline Bodnar