Vicky Sosa
by Vicky Sosa
Posted March 15, 2022

Summer is the best time to visit the many freshwater springs, lakes, and rivers in Florida. One of the most popular in North Central Florida is Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring in Williston. It’s the perfect place to visit during your summer vacation in Florida. There are also plenty of Florida RV rentals nearby, so you can easily rent an RV and then drive over to Devil’s Den. Now let’s dive in (see what we did there?) and go over everything you need to know about Devil’s Den in Florida.

What is Devil’s Den Springs in Florida?

Devil's Den Florida
Image source: Devil’s Den

Devil’s Den is a sinkhole. It is fed by an underground river that stays at a constant 72°F all year long. A few centuries ago, the roof of the underground river collapsed, which exposed the water below. On cold mornings, water vapor rises from the surface of the river through the entrance to the cave. To early settlers, this looked like a chimney from hell so they named the cave “Devil’s Den.”

The inside of Devil’s Den Spring looks like an inverted mushroom. It is 50 feet deep and has a surface diameter of 120 feet. Don’t worry, there are no sharks or alligators in the water. The only critters visitors might see are the occasional fish and a small turtle named Nelson. Florida may be known for its beaches, but this is definitely an underrated body of water worth visiting this summer.

What to do in and around Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring

At Devil’s Den Spring, visitors can snorkel and scuba dive. If you don’t have your own, they offer all of the rental equipment you might need like masks, snorkels, and fins. While you’re in the water, be on the lookout for fossils and artifacts (some date back thousands of years!). Unfortunately, no general swimming is allowed.

When you’re ready to get back on dry land, there are some things to do nearby as well. Not far from Devil’s Den is Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens which is a beautiful Japanese botanical garden. Also within a few minutes’ drive is Two Hawk Hammock which has a flying trapeze experience! If you’re vacationing with kids this summer, we’re sure they’d love to try that.

Where to camp in and around Devil’s Den in Florida

There are many RV parks and campgrounds in Florida, but below are a few of our favorites near Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring.

1. Devil’s Den RV Park

Price: starting at $35 per night

You can’t get any closer than this! Devil’s Den Spring has its own RV park. It has 32 sites, most of which offer 30/50 amp hook-ups, water, and sewer. There is a dumpster near the front gate. Dogs are welcome at the RV park, however, they must be leashed at all times. RV park rates do not include admission into Devil’s Den.

Devil’s Den also has four cabins available for rental. They sleep up to four people and have a small kitchen. If you’d like to break out your tent, there are also tent sites available. Some tent sites even have electric and water hook-ups.

2. Rainbow Springs State Park

Price: starting at $30 per night

Did you know there are nearly 200 state parks in Florida? One of the most well-known is Rainbow Springs State Park. Once a theme park, it is now a designated National Natural Landmark.

It also has one of the best Central Florida campgrounds for spring lovers. It’s only 30 minutes from Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring and has 47 RV sites, all of which have full hookups. Sites also come with a picnic table, fire ring, and grate. Amenities include a camp store, showers, a dump station, playground, and laundry facilities.

3. Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Price: starting at $31 per night

Another great campground near Devil’s Den is in the Juniper Springs Recreation Area, inside of Ocala National Forest. This campground was named one of Reserve America’s Top 100 Family Campgrounds in the United States. It’s also one of the top places to view wildlife in Florida. The forest surrounding the recreation area is very dense and jungle-like, so visitors will often see wildlife that isn’t commonly seen elsewhere like albino gray squirrels, otters, and American eels.

The campground has 79 shaded sites that are equipped with a picnic table, grill, campfire ring, lantern post, and space for tents. There are no electrical, water, or sewer hookups. However, hot showers and flush toilets are available and there is a dumping station. Dogs are allowed in the campground only and must be leashed at all times.

4. Orlando Southwest KOA

Price: varies by date and site type

If you’d like to visit Devil’s Den Spring and some theme parks, the Orlando Southwest KOA is a great option. It’s one of the best Florida campgrounds with nearly 300 RV sites with back-in and pull-through options. Amenities include cable TV, complimentary WiFi, laundry facilities, and fire pits. There is also a pool, basketball court, playground, and dog park.

The campground also has Deluxe Cabins and Camping Cabins to rent. Or if you prefer to camp in a tent, there are six tent sites available.

devil's den florida orlando KOA
Image source: KOA

5. Crystal Isles RV Resort

Price: starting at $81 per night

Less than an hour away from Devil’s Den and on Florida’s west coast is Crystal Isles RV Resort. Located in Crystal River, it’s a good option if you’d also like to try and see some manatees. The resort has over 200 sites, some along a canal or lake.

It has amenities like a clubhouse, bike trails, shuffleboard, swimming pool, shower facilities, laundry facilities, playground, volleyball, basketball, and tennis court. The resort also has 10 cabins available to rent.

6. Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Price: starting at $18 per night, plus a non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park was the state’s first state preserve and is now a National Natural Landmark. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring, making it a perfect place to camp. This park is also unique because it is home to wild-roaming bison and horses.

Inside the park is Puc Puggy Campground. It has 30 back-in spaces, and each has a lantern pole, a ground grill to cook on, and a picnic table. Sites offer 30- or 50-amp electrical and water hookups. The campground also provides showers, restrooms, potable water hydrants, and a dump station nearby for registered campers.

7. Starke / Gainesville N.E. KOA

Price: varies by date and site type

Another great campground in the area is the Starke / Gainesville N.E. KOA. There are over 100 RV sites that provide full hookups with 30 and 50 amp electric and pull-through access. Amenities include a swimming pool, game room, shuffleboard courts, and a dog park. WiFi and cable television are also provided.

Be sure to bring your fishing gear! The lakes around the resort have some of the best bass fishing in Florida.

8. Williston Crossings RV Resort

Price: starting at $70 per night

Williston Crossings is an active 55+ resort. Spread over 135 acres, the resort has 450 spacious RV sites, each with its own concrete pad. They provide full hookups and both pull-through and back-in sites.

Their list of amenities is impressive! There is a newly remodeled pool and spa, as well as a fitness center, pickleball courts, horseshoe court, shuffleboard, shower and laundry facilities, and a sun deck park. They also have a dog park, so you can bring along your four-legged family members as well.

Where to eat near Devil’s Den Springs in Florida

You need plenty of fuel for all of the snorkeling and diving you’re going to be doing inside the devils den. Luckily, Williston has some great food options.

RV rentals near Devil’s Den Florida

The best way to explore Devil’s Den and the rest of Florida is by RV. Here are a few of our favorite rentals in the area:

  • 2021 Open Range – Plenty of room for a wonderful family weekend getaway. Two and a half baths and a completely separate bunk room to allow quiet time for the adults to hang out, watch tv, or enjoy the fireplace. King size bed in the primary suite with connecting door to the bathroom. Full-size fridge and stove compared to most camping units.
  • 2021 Runaway RangeRunner – 6’x 8’ all-composite lightweight camper. They are the most affordable mass-produced tiny (square drop) campers produced in the US. Features both driver and passenger side entry doors, 3 large windows w/screens, 5000 BTU air conditioner, and front storage shelf.
  • 2021 Coachmen Nova – Fully equipped with a king-size bed that converts into a sofa. Full kitchen with induction stove, microwave, large fridge, and sink. Pantry that pulls out and plenty of storage space. Maple cabinetry with soft close doors/drawers and custom trims. Furnace, A/C, water heater system, and quiet generator.
  • 2020 Thor Motor Coach – Family-friendly RV with dual coffee maker, toaster, cookware, kitchen essentials, utensils for up to four people, comforters, and sheets (one queen bed and one full bed).
  • 2021 Jayco Precept – 3 slides, 50″ TV inside w/ blu ray, 40″ outside TV and outside stereo speakers, LED-lit power awning, sleeps 6, clean and comfortable RV, great modern design and layout, low miles. Full set up of dishes, cutlery, 4 folding outside chairs, outside carpet.

Ready to explore Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring?

It’s time to get in the water! Devil’s Den is one of North Central Florida’s best attractions and exploring this underwater marvel is something you’ll be talking about for years to come. Rent an RV, get your gear ready, and head on over. You’ll be making incredible memories before you know it!

Vicky Sosa

Digital nomad and house sitter!

 

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