Rainbow River State Park

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March 2nd 2009
Published: March 5th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

Rainbow SpringsRainbow SpringsRainbow Springs

This is one of the man made waterfalls that recirculates back to the river through a pumping system.
We were on our way to Ocala from Crystal River and stopped in at Rainbow River State Park. Our timing was perfect - we hit the peak of azalia season in this part of Florida. Like other Florida State Parks, this started out as a "theme park" type attraction. It was "Gaudy Florida" said the engaging volunteer we talked to. It had glass bottom boats, man made waterfalls, a skyway tram shaped like two leaves, an aviay, wild animals, etc. It fell into disuse as so many theme park properties did when the Disney empire began its growth and when I-75 took visitors away from state highways. To their enormous credit, local folks protested to save Rainbow Springs from condo development and the State of Florida purchased it, and continues to put a great deal into it (with the help of many volunteers) as a restored natural area. The waters from the spring are crystal clear and 72degrees all year long, making for excellent swimming and miles of tubing along the river. We were here in early March. Azaleas and red buds and many other flowering shrubs were at peak. Everything is indiginous except three man made waterfalls left over from the park's "commercial" days. The falls were deemed so beautiful that the state decided to keep them. Oddly enough the waterfalls are turned off each evening. They operate through a pumping system circulating the water from the river up to beautiful man made rock formations, creating the falls that return the water to the river. A couple was planning their wedding at the park's gazebo when we visited. This little gem of a park has nice walkways and the option of more rugged terrain for hikers of all abilities. Great kayacking spot. For us it was a nice way to break up a trip, stretch our legs and enjoy some very fine natural beauty. You can "do it" in less than an hour OR savor it over most of the day. The price is sure right on this wonderful park - "$1 per person.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Crystal Clear Water, Fish and Mud PotsCrystal Clear Water, Fish and Mud Pots
Crystal Clear Water, Fish and Mud Pots

The bubbling mud indicates "vents" from the major springs. No vegitation here due to the constant activity.
Gardenia JaponicaGardenia Japonica
Gardenia Japonica

These look like roses; but no thorns!
Springs Make Great Swimming HolesSprings Make Great Swimming Holes
Springs Make Great Swimming Holes

We were told that this is a favorite place for local people to cool off during hot Florida summer days.
Rainbow Springs SceneRainbow Springs Scene
Rainbow Springs Scene

A couple were here with a clipboard finalizing details for their wedding the following weekend.

5th March 2009

Great Photos
The photo's are really great! Thanks for sharing and continue safe and fun travel.
9th February 2010

Wedding info
Hello we are trying to plan a wedding and were wondering if we could look at your open dates. We live locally and like the looks of the waterfall. Any infowould be greatly appreciated.
11th February 2010

Not from actual experience \ but it seems wonderful for a wedding - a couple were there doing a site inspection for their wedding - It seems ideal!

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