Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1/6 Silver Springs State Park, FL

This state park used to be called Silver River State Park, but now includes the old Silver Springs boat tour area which are now contracted out to a private company, but owned by the state.  That is nice because it has resulted in less of a touristy area, including removal of the jungle area where they had African animals and monkey island.  Actually, they still have some of the monkeys because they escaped decades ago and are now wild.

It is a nice, quiet campground with large spots tucked away in the natural vegetation.  Saw a gopher tortoise the other day, but did not have my camera with me.  He just munched his way through the grass in the open areas.

They have a really excellent museum here, plus an environmental study area and classrooms for school kids. 

If you don't have an RV, you can rent one of these rustic three-bedroom cottages.  Looks like the old Florida, doesn't it with the big screened porch?

Some friends from my RVing women forum stopped by for lunch today, and then we all went out for a hike from the museum area to the Silver River.  They are from left to right, Liz, Tina, Carol, and Irmi.  All are staying not too far away. Nice to know so many women who like to travel as much as I do.  

If you are ambitious enough to carry a kayak or canoe a half-mile from the parking lot, you can launch it here.  Most often, however, people launch from the spring area and haul up here, since this is downstream. 

After our hike, Liz drove us to the Silver Springs boat tour area where we checked out kayak rentals and the launch area.  They have kayaks, but I will need to rent one tomorrow.  Do you recognize this?  I remember coming here when I was five years old. 

They were having a controlled burn and I was able to get these photos.  They had lit a lot of little spots, and it did look controlled.  Very little wind and temps were low. 

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