Take A Tour Of The Top 10 Natural Springs Near Jacksonville, Florida

We bet you never fully realized what a tropical paradise Florida actually is. Even though its biggest attraction is said to be its sandy beaches and immaculate summer vibes, Florida isn’t just a turquoise ocean and sunny vacations. Its extremely convenient layout in the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean makes it possible for some of the most unbelievably gorgeous natural scenes to come to life, including a big selection of mineral springs.

Aquamarine waters, the greenest of state forests, and countless opportunities to explore the world underwater: Florida has it all, particularly in close proximity to Jacksonville. 

Oh so conveniently, Jacksonville happens to be surrounded by a plethora of thermal springs, so if you live there or are just passing through the city, be sure to take a tour of the best natural springs near Jacksonville, and experience the heavenly side of Florida from a different lens. 

1. Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Ichetucknee Springs is one of the most unique destinations not only around Jacksonville, but in Florida in general.

What To Expect

Ichetucknee Springs is a mineral spring-fed river located in the state park of the same name. It has a light flow and in a way sits in limbo, making it the most appealing and frequented “natural lazy river” in Florida. 

The river’s crystal clear blue waters and lush enclosing landscapes are obviously the biggest attractions of this place.

Don’t Miss

Be sure to explore the entire park before or after you take part in their biggest selection of water activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling or tubing. 

Ichetucknee Springs State Park is rich with wildlife, so you can also go wildlife spotting.

Good To Know

It is located 81 miles from Jacksonville. 

As one of the most popular recreation destinations, it tends to get crowded, so be ready for enthusiastic soakers, or check out the tips on how to avoid crowds

Because of the capacity limit, you may find Ichetucknee Springs closed until a spot is available, so it’s definitely worth taking into consideration before heading out there. 

$6 per vehicle. 

Address: 12087 S.W. U.S. Highway 27, Fort White FL 32038

More info.

Stunning Ichetucknee Springs State Park. source: @landlocked_images on IG. 

2. Green Cove Springs

Located in the small city that is named in honor of the spring itself, Green Cove Mineral Springs has a little something for anyone who’d like to relax in nature’s thermal waters.

What To Expect

Apart from being named in honor of the spring, the city was also built around this thermal treasure, which now has the appearance of a commercialized destination. The sulfur-carrying spring flows into the community swimming pool – giving it a slight sulfurous odor – and then streams out into St Johns River. 

The spring water is 77°F, which is slightly cooler compared to other springs in Florida and around Jacksonville that consistently sit at 72°F.

Don’t Miss

There are many opportunities to chill and relax in the small and friendly city of Green Cove Springs. Apart from its main attribute (the spring itself), there are various parks for visitors to roam around and explore, but the best attraction is surely the city pier, which is directly exposed to the most gorgeous sunset ever. So once you’re done with your soak, be sure to head to the pier and see how the sun flies over the city and disappears straight into St. Johns River.

Good To know

It’s located just 33 miles from Jacksonville.

The facility offers swimming lessons as well as numerous admission packages. 

Daily admission fee is $5 for adults and $3 for children aged 2-17. 

Address: 321 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

Green Cove Springs pool. Source: @gcstoday on IG. 

3. Ginnie Springs

Immerse yourself in a world under (what is considered to be) the clearest blue waters in the state of Florida.

What To Expect

You should expect one of the most sought-out destinations by families and large groups in Florida. Located along the Santa Fe river banks, Ginnie Springs has it all and is equipped with all things necessary to make for a memorable visit. Whether you’d like to engage in sports games or water activities in the pure blue waters, Ginnie has something for everyone and comes with the best bonus – its one of a kind tropical beauty.

Don’t Miss

Don’t forget to take advantage of their countless sports and water activities, which is honestly the number one reason so many large groups of adventurers frequent this place. You can go tubing along the Santa Fe river, snorkeling in the springs and diving in breathtaking underwater caves that cover certain areas of this lake-size blue lagoon. Most of the gear and equipment can be rented onsite. 

You can also canoe, kayak and float on stand up paddle boards to your heart’s content.

Camping at the heart of beautiful canopies of tropical trees is also possible.

Good To Know

Located 85 miles from Jacksonville. 

According to state law, all snorkelers need to have a flag and a float with them at all times.

No pets or emotional support animals are allowed on the premises.

Campers must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Admission passes are needed in order to enter or exit the park.

The general off-season admission rate is $15, but turns to $20 at peak times. Diving is $24+

Address: 7300 NE Ginnie Spgs Rd, High Springs, FL 32643

Cave at Ginnie Springs. Source: @ginniesprings on IG.

4. Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring

Soak and travel back in time in the prehistoric underwater world of Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring.

What To Expect

Expect an unforgettable adventure in a cave from the Pleistocene epoch that’s marked all over by animals who lived a millennia before. With professional supervision, you can dive and snorkel in this fairytale-like aquamarine lagoon.

Don’t Miss

One of the perks of Devil’s Den is that everyone aged 6 and above can enjoy these waters, so don’t let your kids miss out on this adventure.

Good To Know

Located 96 miles from Jacksonville. 

Admission fee is $18 per adult on weekdays and $23 on weekends. 

Admission fee is $38 per adult for scuba divers. 

Snorkeling gear rental is an additional $12.

Scuba gear rental is an additional $45.

Cabins, campsites and RV sites are also available.

You can find further details on their official website.

Address: 5390 NE 180th Ave, Williston, Florida 32696

Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring. Source: their official page on FB. 

5. Gilchrist Blue Springs

Gilchrist Blue Springs is another blue-green lagoon situated on the banks of Santa Fe River.

What To Expect

Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is home to numerous springs for your soaking pleasure, but the biggest and prettiest of them all is the Gilchrist Blue Springs itself which, very true to its name, boasts the bluest waters in Florida.

Don’t Miss

Gilchrist is a 240-acre park, which naturally offers land activities (bird and wildlife watching, hiking, picnicking) aplenty, on top of the numerous water sport opportunities. 

RV parks and campgrounds are also available for those who are interested.

Good To Know

Gilchrist is located 82 miles from Jacksonville. 

Admission fee ranges from $2-$6.

Address: 7450 NE 60th St, High Springs, Florida 32643

Gorgeous Gilchrist Blue Springs. Source: @gilchristbluespringsstatepark on IG.

6. Juniper Springs

As one of two most popular mineral springs destinations in Ocala National Forest, Juniper Springs is every family’s favorite weekend getaway.

What To Expect

Juniper Hot Springs is an absolutely gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing concrete-built round pool at the heart of a subtropical forest. It’s the ideal destination for families who’d like to unwind and also give their kids the chance to have the time of their lives.

Don’t Miss

Be sure to take advantage of their kayaking opportunities and take a stunning scenic tour of the area. Naturally, the typical Florida springs water sports are also available here. 

There’s a tent campground with up to 79 sites, in addition to RV camping sites.

Good To Know

Located 104 miles from Jacksonville. 

This day-use pass is $75 + tax per person.

Address: 26701 FL-40, Silver Springs, Florida 34488

Gorgeous Juniper Springs. Photo taken by @shots_by_stephanie on IG.

7. Alexander Springs

Alexander Springs is a certified diver’s dream dwelling in the wilderness of Ocala National Forest.

What To Expect

You should once again expect a typical Floridian tropical heaven which has been (and still is) favored by locals and visitors alike for a long time, no matter the season. Make sure you’re prepared for crowds all year round, courtesy of Florida’s warm climate. 

The perks of Alexander Springs show in its size – bigger than typical mineral springs in Florida – and numerous dive trails housing a beautiful underwater universe waiting to be roamed by free divers with proper certification. 

Don’t Miss

Definitely hop on the Timucuan Trail before or after your soak and explore the beautiful flora and fauna. Once you’re done with this short hike, you can call it a night and camp out in one of their 67 camping sites that are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The selection of water activities also includes canoeing, kayaking, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving as well as activities on dry land such as picnicking, hiking, biking and wildlife watching.

Good To Know

Located 108 miles from Jacksonville in Altoona, FL. 

The entrance fee is $8 per person. $11 on weekends.

Address: 49525 County Rd 445, Altoona, Florida 32702

Alexander Springs. Source: @tyler.popham.7 on IG.

8. Madison Blue Springs

Have a soak in the spring that – at one point in history – was considered to be the best swimming hole in the state of Florida.

What To Expect

Huddled at the heart of endless canopies of pine trees are the clear blue-green waters of Madison Blue Springs, another extremely popular family-friendly destination. However, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be enjoyed by groups of friends as well. 

What makes Madison Blue stand out from other springs on this list is its small sandy beach that creates a personal, heavenly cocoon in which you can take cold plunges and sunbathe to your heart’s content.

Don’t Miss

Be sure to hop on a kayak and take a scenic tour of Madison Blue Springs State Park and the west side of the Withlacoochee River.

Madison Blue Springs is also popular with certified divers. It consists of an underwater cave/rock formation that requires professional skill to get to. However, there is also a big selection of other water activities.

Good To Know

It’s located 106 miles from Jacksonville. 

It operates on a first-come, first-served basis and tends to get really crowded. 

When Madison Blue Springs reaches its capacity limit, it closes. 

Admission fee ranges between $2-$5, 

Address: 8300 FL-6, Lee, Florida 32059

Madison Blue Springs captured by @homesintally on IG.

9. Blue Spring State Park

Visit one of the Manatee havens in Florida known as Blue Spring State Park, offering an unforgettable experience among the gorgeous flora and fauna of Orange City, FL.

What To Expect

Well… you should expect to have to make way for the natural dwellers of these turquoise waters to do their thing between November and May. However, from June to October, if you’re lucky, you may get the chance to have a warm soak in Blue Spring and even engage in some water activities to keep both body and mind refreshed.

Don’t Miss

Even though for a few months every year you’ll need to let the manatees enjoy their natural habitat to the fullest, you’ll still get the chance to have a look at them from afar.

For campers: there are 51 campsites available that you need to book long before your visit due to high demand.

Good To Know

It’s located 109 miles from Jacksonville. 

Engaging with manatees in the water is forbidden! 

Admission range: $2-$6

Address: 2100 West French Ave., Orange City, FL 32763.

Manatees at Blue Springs State Park captured by @bluespringstatepark on IG.

10. Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs is a massive warm spring boasting a breathtaking aquamarine lagoon almost straight out of heaven.

What To Expect

Wekiwa Springs is fed by a few springs and is considered more of a pond than a spring, but it’s big enough to be mistaken for a lake. Wekiwa is rumored to be the purest and most untainted water in the entire state of Florida, which is precisely what makes it a magnet for crowds of families and large groups of friends. 

In typical fashion, seeing as it’s part of a state park, Wekiwa is encircled by green lands all around with amazing flora and fauna both inside and outside the water.

Don’t Miss

Numerous hiking trails that can be explored on foot, bike and even horse. You can rent bikes onsite.

Glass-bottomed boats are also available to rent, so visitors can enjoy watching the underwater wildlife such as alligators, turtles, blue crabs, etc.

Plenty of camping options are also available for those who’d like to go all in and have a total outdoor adventure.

Good To Know

It’s located 135 miles from Jacksonville, making it the furthest destination from the city but still only a 2-hour-drive away. 

Despite its considerable size, Wekiwa Springs still gets crowded, so be ready for other warm springs enthusiasts enjoying this massive natural pool. 

Admission fee range is $2-$6

Address: 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka FL 32712

Scenic water tour at Wekiwa Springs State Park captured by @criistiang21 on IG.

The Do’s And Don’ts

Every hot spring has its own quirks. They all have a set of rules that visitors need to follow regardless of what kind of spring you’re visiting. Visitors need to be extra conscious of their natural hot springs destinations to maintain their authentic feel and allure.

 For more general and very important “hot springs etiquette,” we highly recommend you take a moment to check out our carefully compiled easy-to-read list of “dos and don’ts” here. And always, always respect our nature – pack out what you pack in and LEAVE NO TRACE.

To Wrap Up

As you can see, a trip to Jacksonville and the surrounding area is pretty worth your while. As a country that boasts one of the biggest numbers of natural springs in the world, you won’t find anything like this anywhere but around Jacksonville, FL.

So why not plan a weekend getaway at one of these amazing places- or, if you have the time, visit them all!


While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!

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