Free North Florida Springs – Part 1

Free North Florida Springs – Did you know that there are actually some springs you and your family can visit and not cost you anything to go and enjoy? Yes, our Florida State Parks has some great springs in the north Florida area and, generally, it only costs a couple of bucks per car load to visit such as Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Ft White, Florida; Lafayette Blue Springs State Park in Mayo, Florida; Troy Springs State Park in Branford, Florida and Madison Blue Springs State Park in Lee, Florida. You really need to check their website before you come to make sure the springs is open before you drive over for the day. These are day-use only state parks and are opened from 8:00am to sundown every single day. Now until Memorial Day weekend, when the summer season begins, you will have a better chance to get in at the lowest fees.

Most of our springs are maintained by either Federal, State, Counties or Water Management Districts. There are a few still owned by private individuals. Almost all of them charge an entrance fee of some kind. But you want to know which ones you can still go to and not be charged a fee. We have visited quite a few springs in the North Florida area over the last 3 years we have been full-time RVing and Workamping so some of the pictures may not be up-to-date. All our springs empty out into one river or another so you will need to know if the river has flooded recently or is on the rise. You do not want to get into any spring that is not clear because you just don’t know what is lurking in our waters. But if you can see to the bottom be prepared for a chilly water experience. We highly recommend that you wear water shoes while swimming to help keep you from slipping as much on the slick rocks or cutting your feet on them. Check out the Florida Springs website to learn more about all of these before you go.

Rum Island Spring Recreation Park
1447 Southwest Rum Island Terrace
Fort White FL, 32038
http://springsrus.com/map?category=parks
There are wooden platforms and stairs leading down into the springs, a boat ramp, a few picnic tables, trash cans and port-a-potties. Columbia County Landscapes and Parks Department maintains the park but does not charge a fee. There are no life guards and no park hosts on-site. The springs is located along the Sante Fe River so check out the water levels before you go and, of course, the area is first-come-first serve. During the summer months the park is extremely popular. We visited there this past week in the afternoon and it was hopping.

The park is closed a few hours every Tuesday for the county to clean up, mow the grass and maintain the area. Sadly, the property is surrounded by private property owners and they cannot afford to purchase more land that has water, septic and electricity to build a decent bathhouse and space for a volunteer workamping. Also, the Sante Fe River is notorious for flooding several times a year. Hopefully, some time in the future they may get one of the surrounding property owners to donate their land or sell at a reasonable price. There is a tube concessionaire on the corner of the county road and Rum Island Terrace where you can rent inner tubes and the like. They even have a small bus that they can drive customers into the park when it gets full. Below are the pictures we took while we were visiting. Enjoy!

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Till next time….Be Safe Out There!