Silver Glen Springs is an Outstanding Florida Spring and a first-magnitude spring with a large, semicircular pool that measures 200 feet from north to south and 175 feet from east to west. Most of the strong flow emerges from two cavern openings in the rock at the bottom of the pool, with large boils at the water’s surface over the vents. The vertical cave opening called the Natural Well in the southwestern edge of the pool is about 12 to 15 feet in diameter and 40 feet deep. The vent in the east part of the pool is a conical depression about 18 feet deep. Most of the spring pool has sand and limestone on the pool bottom, with areas of aquatic grasses. Large fresh and saltwater fish are common in the pool and around the vents. Additional flow is from sand boils in the bottom of the spring run downstream from the head of the springs. Water from the springs flows eastward down a run about 200 feet wide for 0.75 mile to Lake George.
According to the USDA website, the spring is designated as critical habitat for the manatee, and the spring and run have the potential to serve as a major manatee refuge. However, manatee use has been limited due to a high degree of human activity and damage to aquatic vegetation.
Recreational activities and public access
The spring is part of the USDA Forest Service’s Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area. The recreation area is used for swimming, snorkeling, picnicking, fishing and boating. Boating is not allowed in the spring pool, but the spring run is a popular spot for recreational boaters. Canoe rentals are available onsite. Diving and scuba diving are not allowed, but snorkeling is permitted. The park features two trails, the Spring Boils Trail and the Lake George Trail, and is an important archeological site.
State park fees apply for day-use and camping, and glass-bottom boat tours and other concessions also have related fees. See the park web page for more information.
Visit the U.S. Forest Service’s Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area webpage for information about camping and day-use fees, as well as hours of operation and alerts.
Silver Glen Springs is located 6 miles north of SR 40 along SR 19 along the eastern edge of the Ocala National Forest. The recreation area entrance is directly across from the Yearling Trail trailhead and lies north of the Juniper Wayside area.
From Interstate 75 in Ocala or Interstate 95 in Ormond Beach, follow SR 40 into the Ocala National Forest to its intersection with SR 19 at traffic light east of Juniper Springs and west of Astor Park. Drive north on SR 19 for 6 miles to the recreation area entrance on the right.