It was such great weather in Florida this weekend, we decided to go on an adventurous day trip to Rainbow Springs State Park. This is the first time we have been to this beautiful park and it was worth the trip.
Rainbow Springs is located in Central Florida, near the city of Dunnellson, in Marion County.
This would be a great day trip if you are visiting the Tampa or Orlando area. It is a bit of a drive, but a great state park to just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Rainbow Springs and the surrounding area had been inhabited by several cultures for thousands of years before the Europeans. The Timucuca were the most notable.
Pioneers began to settle in the area in the 1830’s. We happened to go to the park during Cracker Weekend, which demonstrated life during this time.
It was interesting to have a hands-on approach to this time period and to watch the different demonstrations going on about pioneer life. It was also fun to explore the booths that were set up.
Rainbow Springs was also a popular tourist location, but like most roadside attractions in Florida, once major theme parks were introduced their popularity went to the wayside.
The park became a Registered National Landmark in 1972. Rainbow Springs was made a state park in 1990.
Rainbow Springs is also known for its beautiful man made waterfalls. They made exploring the park a wonderful adventure.
This is a great time to visit Rainbow Springs because the azaleas are in bloom, making this walk even more beautiful.
After exploring the butterfly garden, we decide to take a short hike in the woods on the Yellow Nature Trail.
This way an easy hike, but my goodness it seemed longer than what it was posted to be. We were worn out by the time we made it back to the butterfly garden. We were definitely ready to cool off in the spring.
The swimming area was a very popular spot in the park on a warm Saturday afternoon. I imagine that during the summer time it is even more crowded.
Kayaking, canoeing, and snorkeling are some of the other water activities that you can participate in at Rainbow Springs. I did notice that you could rent a kayak or a canoe. I would have loved to have done this, but everyone was worn out.
There is camping available at the park. The campsite is located about 6 miles away from the headspring entrance. Click here to get more information. This would be a fun park to camp at, especially with kids. There is so much to do.
Make sure to bring bug spray and sunscreen. Pets are welcome in the park, just make sure to have them on a leash at all times. There is a concession stand, but a cooler of drinks would be nice to bring along. A beach blanket or folding chairs would be a great idea as well if you plan on lounging at the swimming area.
We love going on day trips in Florida and exploring all the different parks in the area. Check out my post on Blue Spring State Park if you are interested in other Florida Springs.
Definitely explore Rainbow Springs State Park if you are close by. This crystal clear spring is amazing. I can’t rave enough about the park itself. It was pristine. I’m sure the park staff had a lot to do with it. The staff seemed to really care about the park and were very friendly and helpful. It was just an awesome place to visit.
Find a new adventure and go explore this park!