Located just an hour and half north of Orlando, Florida is the 5,000-acre Silver Springs State Park. This top RV vacation destination is home to one of country’s largest springs that you can see from world-famous glass bottom boats. This unique state park has a rich history dating back to the 1870s and still enchants visitors today with serene gardens and the chance to see a magical underwater world. Glass bottom boat tours are the oldest attraction in the state, where you can take a guided boat ride and see into the underwater life of the crystal-clear springs.
There are loads of outdoor adventures waiting for you when you make the trip to Silver Springs State Park. You can bike or hike on miles of wondrous natural trails with scenic views of the Silver River and swamps. The historic gardens of Silver Springs State Park have been restored to their full glory where you can see native Florida flora and fauna, including beautiful wildflowers. You can take serene strolls through different gardens like the rock garden, Camellia garden, and wildflower garden.
During your RV adventure to Silver Springs State Park you’ll have the chance to see native wildlife including alligators, the Florida Black Bear, and gopher tortoises. You also won’t want to miss a chance to stop by the Silver River Museum and Education Center, which features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area. Another must-see site at the park is the Cracker Village, which is walk-through replica of a 19th century pioneer settlement. You’ll enjoy sunny days no matter what time of year you visit. Summers are typically in the 90s, while winters often hover in the 60s and 70s.
RV Rentals in Silver Springs State Park
Transportation in Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs State Park is easy to get to in your RV or other vehicle since it’s located off SR-35 and SR-40. The main local roads within the park will take you to all the major locations including trail heads, the campground, and the Silver River Museum. There are no driving restrictions for RVs or trailers within the park.
There are two main parking lots within the park. The first is located by the Entrance Station and the Sand Hill Trailhead. The other is located at the Silver River Museum, which is close to the Sink Hole Trailhead, River Trailhead, and the boardwalk. Both RV and trailer parking are available. You can also park at the campground if you are staying overnight.
Campgrounds and parking in Silver Springs State Park
Campsites in Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs State Park Campground
There are 59 spacious sites at the two loops of this campground, which are suitable for tents and RVs up to 50 feet long. You will have access to full hookups, as well as a picnic table, grill, and fire ring. A dump station is located within the park and you can buy firewood at the Ranger Station. This pet-friendly campground features restrooms and bathhouses. You’ll be close to hiking trails, the Silver River Museum, and the majestic waters of the Silver River. Reservations can be made from 1 day to 11 months in advance.
If you prefer, you can park your rig and stay in one of the park’s cabins. These vacation cabins are located underneath shady oak and pine trees and accommodate up to six people. These two-bedroom, one-bathroom cabins feature full dining areas equipped with a stove, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, and gas fireplace. The cabins also feature central cooling and heating and a screened porch. They are equipped with silverware, dishes, pots, pans, linens, and towels. You’ll also have access to picnic tables, rockers, grill, and outdoor campfire ring.
If you wish to stay outside of the park you can park at a private campground of RV resort in Silver Springs, Ocala, and the surrounding area. You can choose an accommodation experience that meets your needs from rustic to resort. These private accommodations may feature a range of modern amenities such as wireless internet, cable TV, and swimming pools.
Seasonal activities in Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs State Park offers a myriad of opportunities for hikers. Once you park your rig and head out onto the trails you can enjoy the serenity of the Silver River, swamps, and Florida forests. The Sandhill Trail is a scenic 1.7-mile loop that will take you through the park’s longleaf pine uplands. You can also take the Swamp Trail or the River Trail, which will take you along the majestic waterways and wetlands of the park.
Biking and Mountain Biking
If you plan on bringing your mountain bike with you to the park, you can ride on over ten miles of off-road trails around the park. Standard bikes can also be used on the paved road between the picnic area and ranger station where you can spot native wildlife among the shade of oak and pine trees.
A must during your RV vacation to Silver Springs State Park is taking a tour on the park’s famous glass bottom boats that have been operating for over 100 years. You can see nature’s underwater diversity from the comfort of the boat such as fish, turtles, and alligators. The 30-minute tour runs 7 days a week and you’ll be guided by expert boat captions through many amazing sites like the mammoth spring, the blue grotto, and abyss.
Boating and Paddling
If you are interested in venturing out on the waters on your own during your visit to Silver Springs State Park you can ride on five miles of the Silver River within the park. You can also take a canoe or kayak and paddle along the 1.1-mile loop around Ross Allen Island. You’ll love coasting on the serene waters of the park while spotting native wildlife and birds.
Walking in the Gardens
Another must-see during your escape to Silver Springs State Park is a walk in the gardens. You can enjoy the serenity of nature as you stroll through the rock garden, the Camellia garden, the Osceola garden, the reflection garden, and the wildflower garden. There are rocking chairs, benches, and picnic tables where you can take a rest and soak in the beauty of untamed nature all around you.
Wildlife Viewing and Birding
If you are packing your binoculars in your rig you are in luck since you can spot many native wildlife and birds at Silver Springs State Park. You can look for wild turkey, woodpeckers, and quail in the upland habitats. In the swamp and river area you can see ducks and limpkins. You will enjoy seeing native wildlife including alligators, the Florida Black Bear, and gopher tortoises.
Geo-seeking is like a modern-day treasure hunt where you can find hidden trinkets within the park. All you have to do is park your RV and find GPS coordinates posted on websites and smartphone apps to find hidden caches within the park. This is a thrilling way to explore the park that the whole family can enjoy.
One of the best ways to spend a quiet afternoon at the park is to enjoy a scenic picnic at one of the picnic areas. There are hundreds of picnic tables throughout the park or you can bring a blanket to find your own spot to eat. Charcoal grills are available for use at several of the picnic areas.
You can take a number of guided tours during your RV trip to Silver Springs State Park. These various tours are scheduled regularly throughout the year on weekends. Programs include nature heads, bird talks, park walks, garden tours, and the Florida safari.
Tour the Museum and Cracker Village
One of your RV stops during your stay should be at the Silver River Museum and Educational Center where you can see exhibits about the history of Florida and the natural history and geology of the park. Cracker Village is a another must-see where you can explore a replica of a 19th century pioneer settlement with a homestead, school house, and blacksmith shop.