Explore Rainbow Springs

  • by Kristen Wagoner
  • August 12, 2020

Photo by @jasonmillerphotography

Rainbow Springs State Park is one of the most popular State Parks in Florida. Located about 2 hours away from Jacksonville, it’s well worth the drive. As one of Florida’s largest springs, the headsprings of the Rainbow River originate in this beautiful 1,472-acre park. Rich in natural beauty and cultural history, it's a popular spot for swimmers, kayakers, tubers and campers.

At the headsprings, the crystal-clear water is a cool 72 degrees year-round and is incredibly refreshing to swim in. The average depth in the natural swimming area runs from 5 to 18 feet deep. Put on a snorkel and you can spot turtles, fish and forests of aquatic grass.

The spring then flows into the spring run, also called the Rainbow River. Paddlers and tubers can enjoy the same beautiful water as it flows out of the spring, eventually reaching the Withlacoochee River. The river supports abundant wildlife, including otters, alligators, many species of turtles and fish. Daily canoe and kayak rentals are available within the park.

If you don’t feel like paddling down the river, just kick back and relax and go tubing! The park has a shuttle service and rentals on site so you don’t have to worry about lugging your tube far.

Besides the beautiful water,  Rainbow Springs State Park is the perfect spot for a stroll. Walk thru gardens laced with azalea bushes, oak and magnolia trees and pass by three man-made waterfalls and a native plant garden. There are benches along the paths that allow you to fully enjoy the sounds of birds and flowing water. While on your walk, keep an eye out for woodpeckers, wading birds, hawks, songbirds and owls.

Rainbow Springs State Park’s campground is located along the Rainbow River at a separate facility about 6 miles from the main headspring and day use area. To reserve your spot or find out more info click here.


Photo by @carltonwardPhoto by @getupandgorainbowspringsPhoto by @offshoretomPhoto by @getupandgorainbowspringsPhoto by @sam_awatPhoto by @somewhere_samPhoto by @rosiethewreckerPhoto by @lsteffy48Photo by @sarahruwetvPhoto by @dpmooPhoto by @stepinthetripPhoto by @nature_freakkPhoto by @lais_wolf



Official Site

Phone: 352-465-8555

Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset, 365 days a year


Effective July 24, 2020: Rainbow Springs State Park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at the head springs. Tubing is available. Restroom availability may be limited. Visitors are expected to maintain distances of at least six feet apart. Rainbow Springs has very high visitation. The park will close when it reaches capacity and no vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians will be allowed to enter, except for registered campers. If you are renting a pavilion, hosting an event or have been invited to an event, please plan accordingly.

If you leave the park you will not be allowed to re-enter until the following day. For safety reasons, you will not be allowed to wait in line in the park when we are closed, nor can you park on the roads adjacent to the park. Vehicles left outside the park on the road or private property may be towed at the owners’ expense. 


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