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Silver Springs State Park at Ocala, Florida

July 27th, 2015 by Lila Steinhoff

Summer Trip

In mid July, grandson Malcolm, neighbor Bill Jacqie Jackson and I headed north to ride the glass bottom boats at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida. Silver Springs is one of the largest artesian springs in the world. It was the summer trip I had promised my grandson.
Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park, Ocala, FL

Clearest Water Ever

If you haven’t been to Silver Springs, it should be added to your bucket list. It is an incredibly beautiful place with water that is so clear, you can see all the way to the bottom, even on the river.

springs and clear water

Crystal Clear Water

The springs produce 550 million of gallons of 98% pure water daily. Currently, while the water is clear, the white sand bottom is partially covered with algae. Still, well worth the trip.

 For you old movie buffs, it is also the place where the TV series Sea Hunt, several Tarzan movies and The Creature from the Black Lagoon were filmed.

Glass Bottom Boats

glass bottom boat at Silver Springs State Park

Glass Bottom Boat at Silver Springs State Park

There are 30-minute spring tours and a 90-minute trip that goes down the Silver River, both in glass bottom boats. There isn’t a bad seat on any of them. I recommend the 90-minute trip for the wild life, the trees and plants and the time to stop hear and see it all.

Abundant Wildlife

There are alligators, turtles, anhingas drying their wings, nests full of baby herons, fish everywhere and, occasionally, the rhesus monkeys that live in park. 


So much nature to see, eyes have a hard time taking it all in.When the sun hits the trees and plants, the greens are so bright they look fake. The cypress trees along the river take your breath away.
cypress trees along the Silver River

Cypress Trees Along the Silver River

And, it is quiet on the river. The only non-nature noise is the sound of a canoe paddle hitting the water.
Silver River

Canoes on the Silver River

Another good thing about the 90-minute tour is the boat that is used. It is open sided which allows a breeze and room to lean over the rail to see and take pictures. The shorter cruises use glassed-in boats. There is the option to open the windows, but open air is much better. Personal opinion.


Make your plans now. Don’t miss this beautiful, natural place. A preview of this marvelous place is in the gallery below. Click on any picture to make it larger, then click on the right or left side of the image to move through the gallery.


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  • Regular orange flesh sweet potatoes make a great indoor plant that tends to have a full drape vining downward. Just cut potato in half, position it upside down in a glass of water w/toothpicks, and ignore it til more water is needed. Replant in soil when healthy root structure. Another trick is to stack old rubber tires atop each other for a huge harvest in a tiny space for only 1 plant. Of course, start w/one tire and loose soil/hay as soil, as plant grows taller, add another tire w/loose hay soil, and so on.

  • Off topic..although the pictures of trip are beautiful

    Hello lila,

    I am a public school teacher/social worker teaching in a non-traditional school in Redding, California. I am currently working on my vocational legacy project: a sustainable, community, learning garden. This summer I am working on the plan that I will submit to my principal and district. First I see that you do not have any posts for this website..are you still using the website?..I hope you are well. If yes, would you consider an occasional consult email? And if yes, could I cite you in my bibliography?

    I am not sure I have a green thumb, but I come from a long line of gardeners and my dad was a potato farmer. I read in an essay on the LifeLab site, “the garden is the master teacher where we can learn all of the academics and social skills.” My grandmother lived until she was 93 and she was gardening a few months before her death.

    Thank you for any response.

    • Yes, the website is still active. I am on a personal posting sabbatical, but I still do answer comments.
      I would be very interested in hearing more about your project. I will email you.

  • Hi Lila,

    I bought a piece of land in Redlands, Miami area and planning to put all kinds of fruits to pass on to next generations. Alphonso mango is on my list and since we know your tree has been there for long time being adapted to local weather, will you let me use a piece of bud (3 inches of stem ) from your tree to graft and put in my land?

    • Hi, Mahesh. I would be glad to give you a piece of my tree. Let me know when you will be in the West Palm Beach area. When Andrew went through the Miami/Homestead area in 1992, it took out the mangos, avocados and whatever fruits people had growing in their yards. Good to know that you are starting again.