Kayak Silver Springs State Park

Nestled just outside of Ocala State Forest is one of the larger state park we have visited – Silver Springs State Park. The entrance fee is minimal ($8 a vehicle), and while swimming in the springs is not allowed, there are a multitude of activities you can do while visiting the park. Among those are camping, biking, hiking, and best of all, kayaking.

When paddling at silver springs, you have a some choices. If you have your own kayak or stand up paddle board, you can bring it! There is a $4 launch fee to get going at the main springs area. Just check in at the kiosk and you’re ready to go. Need to rent a kayak? No problem. You can rent singles, doubles, and clear bottom kayaks from this website. I would recommend bringing your own if you’re on a budget, because the rentals are fairly expensive ($60-80 for a double).

From the launch area, the main kayak trail runs through a jungle looking area and into a more open area of springs. The water is so blue! You can paddle the main canal for up to 5 miles. If you’d like, you can catch a shuttle back to the launch and parking area for $10 a person. While heading down the trail, keep an eye out for wildlife, such as alligators, manatees, and birds. As you get a little further down the trail, you can stop to spot wild monkeys! We only caught one while we were paddling.

Once you’re in the main canal, you have the option to either paddle back (be aware you’re now paddling upstream!) or ride the shuttle. If a longer trip isn’t in your plans, another option is to take a lap around the island by using the Fort King Paddling Trail. This lap is about a mile and allows you to see all the best sights without wearing yourself out. You’ll head straight and then make a right after leaving the launch area. Currently (April 2024) this trail is closed for refurbishment, but hopefully it will open up again in the summer.

We hope you’ll take a adventure and kayak Silver Springs! Want to check out more springs? View our most on Budget Friendly and Free Springs.

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