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19112406-mmmain Soaking in Florida’s springs

From the writers at

Dozens of springs in central Florida, big and small, merit exploration. Find a map and answers to questions about these natural wonders at

Here are springs I have visited:

Silver Springs:  I launched a kayak from Ray Wayside Park in Marion County and paddled up the Silver River to Silver Springs. On they way, we encountered wild monkeys, whose ancestors were put on a “monkey island” many years ago for tourists to see. We also saw plenty of alligators, swimming and on the banks, so we had no complaints about rules against swimming there. Glass-bottom boat rides are run from the state park.

Juniper Run: There’s plenty to explore from the Juniper Springs Recreation Area’s campground, hiking trails and a spring-fed swimming area. A canoe and kayak run starts as a narrow spring and flows through the Juniper Prairie Wilderness area in the Ocala National Forest.

To read the full story at, click here.

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