Juniper Springs, Florida
- Fact Sheet -
My Eyes Wide Adventures
Located in the Ocala National Forest east of Ocala, the Juniper Springs are set in a semitropical wooded setting. The spring forms a pool that is 135 ft long and 80 ft wide. The springs are the headwaters of Juniper Creek, which meanders to Lake George in the St. Johns River basin, about 10 miles northeast.
The spring is enclosed by a rock and concrete retaining wall. The bottom of the spring is mostly sandy, and 8 million gallons of crystal-clear water issues from three boils each day. The maximum water depth at the spring is 18 feet.
At one time a water wheel operated an electric generator that produced power for the buildings and grounds of the Juniper Springs Recreational Area. Although the wheel is still turned by the flow from the spring pool, the small rustic plant building to which the wheel is attached has been converted to a visitors center for the recreational area. The spring water is clean and clear and its dissolved solids concentration is low compared with most Florida springs.
The seven-mile run from the spring is one of the best paddles in all of Florida. The creek starts off quite narrow as it winds through an outstanding canopy of subtropical forest filled with large cypress, palmetto, palm and oak. With crystalline water and white sandy creek bottom, glimpses from your boat into the water are impressive. About two miles downstream from the spring, the run enters Juniper Prairie Wilderness, a sanctuary for wildlife.
Otters and alligators can often be observed on the creek. The paddle requires about 3-5 hours.
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