Visiting Alexander Springs: All the Information You Need

Are you interested in visiting Alexander Springs Recreation Area? What a wise decision.

Florida has more huge springs than any other state, or even country in the world, due to the thick, water-filled limestone that lies beneath its surface.

A spring of the first order can be found in Lake County, Florida, near Alexander Springs. The biggest kind of spring is called a first magnitude spring.

A spring’s daily water output must be at least 64.6 million gallons in order for it to be categorized as first magnitude.

A staggering 80 million gallons of water are released each day from Alexander springs. There are 33 First Magnitude Springs in the state of Florida out of a total of 75 throughout the country.

These 33 springs are dispersed over Florida’s panhandle and northern peninsula.

A type of deciduous forest wetland known as a hardwood swamp forest makes up the majority of Alexander Spring. These kinds of wetlands play a crucial part in lowering floods in areas downstream.

They also help naturally by filtering nutrients, breaking down organic wastes, and reducing the amount of sediment that gets into open water.

Nearly thirty million acres of the South-eastern United States were covered in these kinds of wetlands 200 years ago. Sadly, just around 40% of the thirty million acres are still in existence today.

Visitors swarm to the 7-mile river that the spring feeds to take advantage of the water sports, refreshing water, animals, and stunning landscape.

Activities at Alexander Springs

You might have an exciting vacation or a restful day if you intend to visit Alexander Springs.

Regardless of what you want to do during your trip or how long you want to stay, there are activities for everyone.

Swimming, biking, picnics, hiking, canoeing, watching birds and other wildlife, snorkeling, and scuba diving are among the most well-liked pastimes.

Since at least 10,000 years ago, Alexander Springs has been a well-liked bathing spot in Florida. The spacious swimming area is located in a very natural environment that appears to be unspoilt.

The spring served as a nice place to cool off and take a dip for both visitors today and the ancient Timucua tribe.

The spring is a fairly large, shallow basin with gorgeous, sandy bottom and clear water. Swimming is the ideal activity for families here.

After a refreshing swim in the cool sea, it’s lovely to relax on the sandy beach area, and the picnic area next to the beach is a perfect place to refuel in the middle of the day.

Planning a Visit to Alexander Springs State Park

Alexander Springs is where? County Road 445, Altoona, FL 49525

Near the intersection of County Road 445 and Florida State Road 40, six miles to the northeast is where Alexander Springs State Park is situated.

There is never a bad time to go to Alexander Springs because it is always open.

The busiest season of the year for tourists is typically from January through May. It’s a good idea to get to the spring early during the popular season to avoid the throng. The park only has a certain number of parking spots.

The park is open daily from 8AM to 8PM, but depending on the season, it might close earlier. When making travel arrangements, it is always a good idea to check with the park.

The park’s entrance gates are locked and shuttered from 8 PM to 8 AM, but campers are given a code that provides 24-hour entry.

There is an entrance fee if you plan to visit Alexander Springs, so be aware of that. It will be less expensive to go on a weekday than a weekend.

If you intend to visit frequently throughout the year, you may also buy yearly passes.

If you intend to visit frequently throughout the year, there are also annual passes available for purchase.

The Adventure Ocala concessionaire, which has locations in Alexander Springs, Juniper Springs, and Silver Glen Springs, sells this pass.

The following are the entrance fees:

Weekdays: $8 per person, tax included.
Weekends: $11 per person, tax included.
Day Use Pass for the Year: $70 per person plus tax

Alexander Springs Recreation Area

The Ocala National Forest, Florida’s second-largest national forest, has the Alexander Spring Recreation Area. One of Ocala’s top springs, this location draws tourists from all over the world.

Visitors can partake in a vast variety of activities at Alexander Spring, which also has one of the top swimming holes in the state. All year long, the water there stays at a consistent 72 degrees.

The 300-foot-wide fresh water spring has a stunning sand bottom and is incredibly transparent. And The head spring can be seen if you gaze toward the northeastern corner of the spring.

The head spring is a stunning turquoise color and is difficult to overlook

The head spring is a stunning turquoise color and is difficult to overlook. This is where the 56 thousand gallons of water that bubble out every second feed the spring.

The headspring features a 25-foot-deep slope and a rocky entrance. The flora surrounding the spring creates a tranquil, tropical atmosphere.

A retaining wall divides the spring from a picnic area and a sandy beach area, and steps help tourists enter the spring safely.

A private concessionaire has a contract to provide the park’s amenities. The concessionaire is where you can purchase food and other necessities.

Along with selling food, they also sell snacks, personal items, beach accessories, and other items at their convenience store.

Additionally, they provide equipment rentals so that you can rent kayaks, canoes, scuba gear, and other items to use at the park.

At the concession stand, you may also sign up to snorkel (for an additional fee).

Please be aware that Adventure Ocala, a private concession firm, just took over the concessionaire. The concessions are not currently open throughout the year. However, they typically remain open all summer.

Additionally, there have recently been COVID-19 limits on what can be bought, so if this is something that worries you, it might be a good idea to contact them beforehand.

Alexander Springs Camping

Visitors can camp in the Alexander Springs Recreation Area, which is quite delightful. The swimming pool and picnic area at Alexander Springs are easily accessible from the campground.

The location of the campground is shaded by a natural forest canopy. There are 67 total campsites at the campground.

Both tent camping and RV camping are permitted at the camp sites.

The campsite provides spots for RVs up to 35 feet long if you intend to travel there in one.

Hot showers, flushing toilets, a baby changing station, a sink for washing dishes, a public phone with an email connection, and a trash dump station are among the amenities provided by the campground.

There are no available power, sewage, or water hookups. A tent space, picnic table, grill, fire pit, and light post are all included with each campsite.

Private concessions that are open to the public sell ice

Private concessions that are open to the public sell ice, charcoal, food, snacks, firewood, beach essentials, as well as a variety of other personal things.

Off-road vehicles such as ATVs are not permitted in the park. You must keep all food in a container because racoons and bears frequently visit the region.

The most time you can spend camping in Alexander Springs is 14 days within a 30-day span. In this campground, half of the campsites are first come, first served, and the other half need reservations.

You must make a reservation for a site that accepts reservations at least four days in advance. You must book a minimum of two weekend nights and a minimum of three holiday weekend nights.

They ask that you call in advance if you plan to be at the park after 6:00 PM so that the entrance can be opened for you. There can be two vehicles and up to five people per campground.

The overflow parking lot will require the parking of more vehicles. Parking there costs $10.00 per car, per night. There is a surcharge for those who stay over the check-out hour of 1 PM.

Hiking at Alexander Springs

The 1-mile Timucuan Nature Trail at Alexander Springs Recreation Area is worth checking out if you enjoy hiking.

A magnificent display of four different habitats, including aquatic, swamp, oak hammock, and sand pine scrub settings, is traversed by the paved trail as it loops around.

You will come across instructive signs describing the flora that the Timucua tribe used all along your trek.

Elevated boardwalks are built into various parts of the trail so you can cross over dense foliage and streams. Through the course of the trek, you’ll witness several wildlife species in their natural settings.

There are two observation platforms along the path where you may enjoy stunning views of Alexander Creek. If you want to go fishing after a hike, you can even cast a line.

What are the chances of seeing wildlife at Alexander?

The resort features a deli that is open daily from 8 AM to 4 PM and serves breakfast and lunch.

You will likely see Black bears if you are camping at Alexander Spring since the park is in what’s considered “Bear Country”.

Although black bears are often timid and like to stay to themselves, it’s always a good idea to make noise when strolling through the woods.

Be prepared and keep food in containers that are bear-proof. You should also clear up any trash if you are leaving the property at night or during the day. Make a lot of commotion to try to shock the bear away if you do happen to see one.

Many different bird species can be seen when visiting Alexander Springs. The Florida Scrub Jay and Sandhill Cranes are a few examples of some of the species that are more prevalent here.

Northern Cardinals, American Robins, American Crows, Tree Swallows, Turkey Vultures, and Downy Woodpeckers.

Downy Woodpeckers, Tree Swallows, American Crows, American Robins, and Northern Cardinals.

Tree Swallows, American Crows, American Robins, and Northern Cardinals are among the bird species.

No matter if they are toxic or not, snakes can be dangerous. If they feel threatened or unhappy, they may attack.

Never swim in or close to thick vegetation

Never swim in or close to thick vegetation, and preserve your distance and use caution when moving through areas of dense undergrowth.

Keep your distance and proceed with caution when traveling through areas of dense undergrowth, and never swim in or close to dense vegetation.

A smart tip is to steer clear of any dense vegetation. Avoiding these areas will help you stay safe from alligators.

You can also witness otters, wading birds, and various kinds of turtles in and around the water. Fish come in a wide variety of species.

You can pay to sign up for snorkeling at the concession stand and then go to the head spring.

In the spring’s crystal-clear waters, you can swim alongside a wide variety of fish species. These are only a few of the many species that may be found in this area’s thriving environment.

Accommodations near Alexander Springs

There are various local hotel alternatives to pick from if you don’t like to camp but still want to experience the spring for longer than a day.

The Historic Artisan Downtown Hotel, in the heart of the thriving Arts, Culture, and Entertainment District in Downtown Deland, Florida, is the option that is most nearby.

It has outstanding reviews and is a distinctive boutique hotel.

The hotel features a variety of boutique suites and was constructed with contemporary elegance. There is a bar inside the hotel that provides meals if you want to grab a drink and some food.

State parks, museums, and a variety of stores are all close to the hotel, as are several fantastic restaurants and cafes.

The adjacent Hampton Inn & Suites Deland is another option worth considering. This hotel provides complimentary internet access, a business center, a fitness facility, and a pool.

Enjoy the complimentary breakfast in Hampton

Enjoy the complimentary breakfast offered each morning at the Hampton Inn. It provides hot breakfast options such as cold cereal and yogurt, fresh oatmeal with a variety of toppings, sausage, bacon, and eggs.

Grab one of their recognisable “Hampton On The Run” breakfast bags if you are in a rush in the morning and don’t have time to sit down and eat so you won’t have to skip the most significant meal of the day.

The Hontoon Landing Resort and Marina is the third choice in the area. On a bend in the St. Johns River is where you’ll find this marina-style property. Directly across from Hontoon Island State Park is where it is situated.

On a 3-acre plot, the resort has 18 riverfront accommodations, the majority of which have kitchenettes. The resort rents out boats and conducts trips.

The resort has a deli that is open every day from 8 AM to 4 PM and serves breakfast and lunch.The resort has a deli that is open every day from 8 AM to 4 PM and serves breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast and lunch are available daily from 8 AM to 4 PM at the resort’s deli.

Breakfast and lunch are offered at the resort’s deli, which is open daily from 8 AM to 4 PM.

Frequently Asked Questions about Alexander Springs Recreation Area

Can you drink at the springs?

While it is not allowed in the day use leisure areas, such as the spring and trails, alcohol is allowed at the campsite.

Can you park at Alexander springs?

At Alexander Springs, there is paved parking. Even spaces for large cars are available. Remember that the parking lot fills up quickly on busy weekends, so getting there early is recommended.

Does Alexander Springs Take Credit Cards?

For park entrance at Alexander Springs at the Main Gate, they now take cash, credit cards, and debit cards.

Now only open during the summer, the concessionaire is no longer open all year. They also take those methods of payment when they are open.

Are there alligators in the spring?

There is paved parking at Alexander Springs. There are even spots for large cars. On busy weekends, keep in mind that the parking lot fills up rapidly, so arriving early is advised.

Here is some further information that may be of interest – Alexander Springs Ocala’s history

The history of the Native Americans in and around Alexander Springs is very extensive. Historic Native American sites that date all the way back to 12,000 B.C. have been found over the years.

At this time, mammoths and Paleo-Indians coexisted in the region.

There is proof that between 4000 and 6000 B.C., hunter-gatherers appeared along the St. Johns and Ocklawaha rivers, as well as along the spring runs, and left behind vast mounds of snail shell waste known as “snail-shell middens.”

The first Spanish inhabitants arrived around 1600. Unfortunately, the majority of the nearby Native Americans were wiped off by the new settlers’ wars and diseases.

More British and Spanish immigrants came here during the 1700s through the 1900s and established sizable towns. Africans were also transported here through slavery to reside and labor in the villages.

The St. John’s River and Alexander Springs

The St. John’s River and Alexander Springs are connected by Alexander Springs Creek. Alexander Spring Creek first appears on maps in the 1830s.

In 1895, the federal government acknowledged the creek as a navigable waterway on a national level.

The springs continued to grow in significance on the national scale after that. The woodland served as exercise grounds for the US military during World War II as well as a site for Civilian Conservation Corps initiatives.

Students of the Air Force will practice dropping bombs. The facilities at Alexander Springs were initially built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and ever since, the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service has been in charge of their administration (or USDAFS).

Karl Lehmann, the Lake County Chamber of Commerce’s secretary-manager, launched a project to develop a public recreation area around the springs in 1946, following the end of World War II.

The Florida Parks Service, the Lake County Commission, and the US Forest Service were persuaded by him.

Together with the State Road Department, the Florida Forest Service developed a location where guests could take advantage of everything spring has to offer.

The Alexander Spring Recreation Area was ultimately made available to the public in 1953 after several years of preparation. Ten years later, in 1963, the park had welcomed one million visitors.

At Alexander Springs, we have a pet and dog policy

You might want to verify the park regulations if you intend to bring your pet to Alexander Springs.

In the campground at Alexander Springs, dogs are welcome to join their owners while they are camping, so feel free to bring Fido along.

Dogs cannot access either the day use area or the spring, though. This is due to a number of reasons, including the concern that your pet might come across a gator or other dangerous animal and being injured.

No pets are allowed in any day use areas or the springs, with the exception of registered service dogs. If your animal is brought, At the campground, they must be with you at all times and be kept on a leash no longer than six feet, unless they are in your car.

To reduce barking, it is advised that you tether your dog to a tree at your location that is shady and offer them lots of attention.

Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water and is able to escape the sun if it gets too hot. You are allowed to hike along the trail with your dog by your side.

Just keep in mind that since this is a shared trail, you can run into other hikers, cyclists, or even horseback riders. In more populated portions of the path, be sure to keep the leash short.

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