Swim at Ginnie Springs

Florida Ginnie Springs Outdoors Campground

Added by Jennifer Adler

  • Crystal clear water
  • Great spot for Swimming, Tubing, and Snorkeling
  • Camping located nearby

A few hours north and many worlds away from Disney, the Santa Fe River winds its way through the woods of north central Florida, headed for the Suwannee River. This is the real Florida. Although the river is dark during most of the year (except the dry summer months), there are dozens of crystal clear springs that add a burst of clear, refreshing water to the Santa Fe. Six of these larger springs make up Ginnie Springs Outdoors.

Hot summer days bring large crowds to the river and campground (they allow drinking, so it can get a bit crazy), but if you bring (or rent) a mask and snorkel, you will be rewarded with magnificent, clear water. Devil's Eye/Ear and the main Ginnie Spring are the most popular, but don't forget to check out July Spring (a quick swim across the river from Devil's Eye/Ear), Dogwood Spring (my personal favorite), Twin Spring, and Deer Spring - they're all smaller but pretty! Open water divers can explore the "Ballroom," an underwater cavern in the main spring that is as close to a cave dive as you can get with an open water certification. Get in the water and explore Devil's Eye, a circular spring vent that goes down to about 25 feet, and Devil's Ear about 50 feet closer to the river. When the river is dark, you can dive down into the Ear and look up to see what looks like fire in the sky.

If you're up for a trip in the off-season (late fall through early spring), you will be rewarded with no crowds and warm water - the springs are 70-72 degrees F year round. They cool you off in the summer, and warm you up when it's 40 degrees F outside. During the winter, they really feel like hot springs. It's getting out that's the hard part!

For those who are camping, there are charcoal grills, bathrooms with running water and showers, and a store with firewood, a few provisions, and camping supplies, just in case you forgot something. As for water activities, bring all your snorkeling and diving gear and something to float on, or alternatively rent everything on site. If you're an open water diver, don't forget your light for the Ballroom (but don't bring it in the water at Devil's Eye/Ear). You can rent tanks or get air fills at the store.

Pack List

CAMPING:
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Food (there are charcoal grills)
  • Towels
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, hat)
  • Bug spray
WATER ACTIVITIES:
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Fins
  • Wetsuit
  • Tube/flotation device (I've seen everything from blow-up pirate ships to air mattresses)
  • Light (open water diving)
  • Underwater camera or waterproof phone case
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Camping, Chillin, Diving, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring

Rating:

Features:

Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Groups
River
Swimming Hole

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

11 days ago

Amazing Springs

Crystal clear waters and clean campsites. We rented paddle boards and went up the Santa Fe river. You are guaranteed to run into a few turtles once you're on the river.

11 days ago

2 months ago

Great swim

Loved this place after a long day of being outside and being hot. The spring was very refreshing. Awesome place to go and relax with family or friends.

2 months ago

4 months ago

Little Slice Of Heaven

This place is by far one of the most beautiful places I've got to snorkel. I came around 1:00 pm on a Wednesday and had more than what I could do till I left around 5:00. The people and staff were beyond friendly and even showed on the map the places I had to go to before I left. If you aren't to sure u wanna make the trip or don't wanna pay the admission (which is a pretty penny depending what u are going there to do) I greatly encourage you to do it. YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED!

4 months ago

5 months ago

Central Florida's Party Spring

I love Gennie Springs. It has 6 beautiful springs, great diving, a relaxing river and a well maintained camping area. But if you go in peak season or on any holiday it is like a maze of belligerently drunk party goers and crying children. So make sure you are prepared. Especially since their prices are so high.

5 months ago

11 months ago

My Go-to Weekend Adventure

Great swimming, tubing, and camping on the river. The only negatives are the entry fee and the crowd.

11 months ago

Added by Jennifer Adler

Photographer, cave diver, and mermaid. Seldom found above water or without a camera in hand. Ecology/Journalism PhD student in my spare time...

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Dames Cave

Florida / Dames Cave Trailhead

28.709378°, -82.451328° Dames Cave (aka Vandal Cave) are mostly locally known, so finding the trail head is the hardest thing to do.

Paddle to Cypress Spring

Florida / Cotton Landing

Starting at Cotton Landing, you paddle about a quarter of a mile downstream until you encounter the spring run to the right/north.

Jeremy Clark
45 Saves

Paddle The Everglades' Wilderness Waterway

Florida / Wilderness Waterway - North

The Wilderness Waterway in the Everglades National Park can be navigated either by kayak or canoe. This is an endurance voyage that typically takes upwards of 10 days if you are solo-canoeing.

Mike Quine
16 Saves