Sapphire blue waters, gardens, and waterfalls abound at the headspring of the Rainbow River in Rainbow Springs State Park. A wildlife lover's dream, Rainbow Springs State Park is home to abundant wildlife including water birds, alligators, turtles, otters and fish. This 1,472 acre park is home to one of Florida’s largest natural springs, and is a perfect RV destination for nature walks, swimming, fishing, and tubing.
Its history goes back 10,000 years to the first native peoples that utilized the natural springs they found here. By the early 21st century, the springs were a favorite tourist stop, and man-made waterfalls and gardens were built for public enjoyment. In the 1990s, the natural landmark and aquatic preserve was designated as the State Park you find today. If you plan to visit in the early spring, you’ll be greeted by the park's famous pink, purple, and white azalea blooms.
Although some activities such as tubing are seasonal, from April to September, Rainbow Springs State Park is a popular swimming and paddling destination year-round. Arrive to the headsprings day use area early on weekends, as the park is often filled to capacity. Warm Florida weather makes Rainbow Springs State Park a gem of an RV stop on the Gulf Coast of the Southeastern United States.
RV Rentals in Rainbow Springs State Park
Transportation in Rainbow Springs State Park
Located on the western Gulf coast of Florida, west of Ocala, Rainbow Springs State Park is easily accessible from major routes in the area and closest to Routes 41, 75 and 40. The RV campground entrance is separated six miles from the headsprings day use area and visitor center so be conscious of which entrance you choose.
There is a large parking area by the visitor center with plenty of spots to park your trailer while you explore the day use area. The day use area can fill up quickly during the peak times of the weekend.
Campgrounds and parking in Rainbow Springs State Park
Campsites in Rainbow Springs State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park campground
Rainbow Springs State Park campground is located about six miles from the headsprings in a separate facility from the day use area. Enjoy direct access to the river from this location for fishing, swimming, or paddling activities. There are 47 sites with full hook-ups, each provided with a picnic table, fire ring and grate. The maximum RV length is 103 feet. Amenities at the campground include a recreation hall, camp store, showers, comfort stations, dump station, playground and laundry facilities. Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance.
There are no first-come, first-served campsites in the park.
There are several nearby private RV campgrounds if you prefer to park your rig outside the park. These private campgrounds can provide modern amenities such as WiFi, swimming pools, laundry facilities, and on-site activities. You can choose your style of accommodations from rustic to luxurious.
Seasonal activities in Rainbow Springs State Park
Famed for its crystal clear natural spring water, pack your swimming gear in the trailer and take a dip. As one of Florida’s largest springs, more than 400 gallons of fresh water is pumped out each day for visitors to enjoy. This spring water is also 72 degrees all year round, so it is especially refreshing on hot summer days. Head to the designated swimming area in the day use area, or off the RV campground to make a splash in these beautiful blue waters.
The clarity of the natural spring water gives snorkelers a picture perfect view of fish, turtles and other wildlife in the Florida waterways. Snorkeling the headsprings is allowed in the buoyed swimming area and group expedition programs run seasonally. Additional snorkeling spots are located near the campground and from boats. So make sure you bring your snorkel in your camper!
Rainbow Springs is a great place to leave the motorhome behind and take a garden stroll through shady gardens dotted with benches for resting. Paved walkways lead through shade gardens filled with azaleas, oaks, and magnolias, and pass by three man-made waterfalls. There is also a native plant garden popular with the local butterflies and hummingbirds.
Tubing the Rainbow River is a great two-hour experience to add to your RV getaway. Sign up with guest services to take the shuttle two miles upstream and get rolling down the Rainbow River. Leisurely float back to your starting point while taking in the natural beauty of flowing Florida waterways. Tube rentals are available with guest services for a fee.
Get out on the water in a kayak or canoe, available for rent at guest services. An on-site launch will have you cruising over crystal clear waters through moss-draped cypress forests. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the river and keep an eye out for wild otters, fish and wading birds.
If you’re ready for an outdoor adventure, try your luck Geocaching. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt that uses GPS devices to find hidden caches in the park. A great way to learn geography and explore, this game will lead you to discover areas of the park you might not otherwise have found.
Rainbow Springs is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, and a great RV stop for any birding enthusiast. Florida is along the Atlantic Flyway and home to a diverse array of migrations and resident species. Frequent bird sightings in this area include woodpeckers, wading birds, hawks, songbird and owls.
The beautiful waters of Rainbow River and Springs attracts not only human visitors, but many species of wildlife. Aquatic and land-loving wildlife are abundant such as turtles, otters, snakes, deer, turkeys, water birds and even the occasional alligator. Bring your camera in your camper and get some great shots of the local flora and fauna any time of year.
Picnic tables and grills tops are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Covered picnic pavilions are also available to reserve or use if unoccupied. Pleasant Florida warm weather during the winter months makes this a perfect place to spend a day grilling and taking in the sunshine any time of year.
Designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway by the State of Florida, the Rainbow River is a great place to park the trailer and cast some lines. Fishing the river is allowed by boat, kayak, canoe and from the campground. The crystal clear water is home to many species of fish including bass, and the water is so clear it can be a uniquely challenging and satisfying way to fish. You’ll love the chance to bait your hook during your RV getaway to Rainbow Springs State Park.