Travel Guide to Visiting Juniper Springs: Everything You Need to Know



You’ve probably seen photos of Juniper Springs’ crystal clear waters and picturesque scenery without realizing that it was a little oasis located in Ocala, Florida.

For most Floridians, Juniper Springs is one of the most popular springs for cooling off and there are many activities you can do in and around the springs. Like hiking, swimming, kayaking, camping and much more.

We’re excited to get into our travel guide to visit Juniper Springs, so let’s jump in!

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About Juniper Springs

Juniper Springs is one of the oldest recreation spots on the East Coast. It is located in the Ocala National Forest in the city of Ocala.

The springs are approximately a 1-hour drive from Daytona Beach and a 1.5-hour drive from Orlando. So if you are visiting one of these cities, you should definitely take a day trip to Juniper Springs!

Juniper Springs is located between Ocala and Ormond Beach and is a beautiful natural area to visit. Juniper Springs is made from 13 million gallons of natural spring water and was developed in the 1930’s.

There’s a wide variety of things you can do at Juniper Springs Recreation Area, where you’ll find camping, hiking, swimming, and hundreds of springs ranging from small to huge.

This little Florida oasis is perfect for those looking for outdoor adventures!

Things to do

Swimming / Snorkeling

The water is cool, clear and refreshing, and Juniper Springs. Visitors can cool off and swim in the springs of the Ocala National Forest and even bring snorkel gear if they want to see the little fish swimming in the water below.

The water is crystal clear, so you may not even need snorkeling gear if you don’t want to get a close look at the fish.

Throughout the year, the water stays between 68º and 72º Farhenheit. When you visit this national forest, make sure you know where you can and can’t swim.


In the Juniper Springs Recreation Area, you’ll find the statewide Florida Trail. It passes through the state park and hikers can hike through the Juniper Prairie Wilderness and Big Scrub along Farles Prairie.

You can also hike the Florida Trail which is an easy 10 mile hike. Or you can hike the Juniper Springs Nature Trail, which is an easy 1.4 mile hike.


You can also go camping when you visit the park. Juniper Springs Campground is one of the most popular campgrounds in the Ocala National Forest for a variety of reasons.

The campground is surrounded by the natural beauty of Juniper Springs and also offers plenty of shade for campers. The campground is right next to everything you can do while in Juniper Springs.

You’ll have easy access to picnicking, canoeing, snorkeling, hiking, and bird or wildlife watching.


At Juniper Springs Recreation Area, you can also canoe or kayak down Juniper Run. You can bring your own canoe or kayak or you can rent a canoe from the dealer in the park. They also offer a $12 shuttle to take your canoe or kayak back to Juniper Springs.

Juniper Run is a seven mile long stretch of water that will take you through the Juniper Prairie Wilderness. As you float down Juniper Run you may have the chance to see some wildlife such as alligators making their way through the shallows or otters enjoying their day.


There are also several picnic tables. You can bring a picnic with you and eat it in the park or buy food at the canteen in the park. Alcohol is not allowed and make sure you leave the park better than you found it.

Where to stay

Homewood Suites by Hilton Ocala

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Residence Inn Marriott Ocala

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Sleep Inn and Suites

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Juniper Springs is a popular recreational spot in the Ocala National Forest. It’s not too far from some popular Florida cities and is an excellent place for a day trip.

There are a number of things you can do when visiting the springs, apart from swimming, visitors can hike, kayak, picnic, camp, etc.

Overall, it’s a fun way to cool off from the Florida sun and a great place to spend the day.

For more information on Juniper Springs, visit the Ocala National Forest website here.

frequent questions

How much does it cost to get into Juniper Springs?

The entrance fee on weekdays is $7 + tax per person and on weekends it is $10 + tax per person. If you bring your own kayak or canoe, it’s $10 per boat to launch it to Juniper Run.

Can you swim in Juniper Springs?

Yes, you can go swimming and snorkeling in the designated swimming springs.

Are there alligators in Juniper Springs?

Yes, there are alligators around the Juniper Springs Recreation Area. It’s usually not a problem with alligators getting close to people, just be sure to swim in designated swimming areas and use common sense when visiting Ocala National Park.


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