Brochure of Rainbow Springs State Park in Florida - a mixture of cultural gardens, a spring-fed river and a natural headspring. Published by Florida State Parks.
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RAINBOW SPRINGS STATE PARK HISTORY AND NATURE The area surrounding the park has been inhabited by human cultures for at least 10,000 years. People we now call the Timucua lived here at the time of European contact. The city of Ocala is named after a nearby Timucuan village and chief called Ocale. Pioneers first settled the headsprings in 1839. By 1883, about 75 people lived in this agricultural community, which had a railroad station, sawmill, hotel, stores and a post office. In the 1920s, Blue Springs and Blue Run were favorite spots for tourists and locals. As the attraction grew, the river was dredged for glass bottom boat tours; and waterfalls were built on piles of phosphate tailings. A zoo, rodeo, gift shops and a monorail with leaf-shaped gondolas were added. In the mid-1970s, when larger theme parks lured the tourists away, Rainbow Springs was closed. In the mid-1990s, it reopened as a state park. In 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated Rainbow River as a National Natural Landmark. It is also an aquatic preserve and an Outstanding Florida Water. The river supports abundant wildlife, including otters, alligators, many species of turtles and fish, and every variety of water bird—waders, divers and dabblers. Osprey, hawks and swallowtail kites soar along the river corridor while smaller birds and animals hide in the lush vegetation. Many animal species, including the endangered gopher tortoise, Florida pine snake, indigo snake, Sherman’s fox squirrel and the Florida mouse inhabit the uplands surrounding the springs and river. 19158 S.W. 81st Place Road Dunnellon, FL 34432 352-465-8555 PARK GUIDELINES • Hours are 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year. • An entrance fee is required. • All plants, animals and park property are protected. Collection, destruction or disturbance is prohibited. • Pets are permitted in designated areas only. Pets must be kept on a handheld leash no longer than six feet and well-behaved at all times. • No fishing, tubing or diving is permitted in the headsprings area. • Fishing is available to registered campers only from the campground. A Florida fishing license may be required. • Fireworks and hunting are prohibited. • To become a volunteer, please inquire at the ranger station. • For camping information, contact Reserve America at 800-326-3521 or visit ReserveAmerica.com. • Florida state parks are committed to providing all visitors equal access to facilities and programs. If you need assistance to enable your participation, please contact the ranger station. Visit us online at FloridaStateParks.org Follow us on social media FloridaStateParks.org #FLStateParks RAINBOW SPRINGS STATE PARK A mixture of cultural gardens, a spring-fed river and a natural headspring Rainbow Springs State Park EXPERIENCES AND AMENITIES Rainbow Springs is a wonderful mixture of Central Florida’s natural and cultural heritage. It is a popular destination to swim, snorkel, tube, canoe, picnic or stroll the gardens. The day-use headsprings area, tube launch area and the campground differ in the activities they allow, so be sure to ask in advance. 000 Feet Gardens Canoe Launch Hiking Canoeing Parking Concessions Pavilion Inset 1 Picnicking Showers Restrooms Snorkeling Inset 1 Wildlife Viewing To Headsprings Entrance Inset 2 Park Boundary Entrance Station & Gift Shop Camping Sites 0 250 500 1,000 Feet Public Canoe & Kayak Storage Trailhead Hiking Hiking/Biking Dock US Highway US Highway County Road County Road Park Road Paved Park Road Stabilized Park Road Stabilized Park Road Unstabilized Park Road Unstabilized Structures Structures Parking Lots 1,000 Feet ad Campground Entrance Inset 2 0 1,000 2,000 Inset 2 4,000 Feet 0 1,000 2,000 Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation and Parks Date of aerial; 2016 Tubing Entrance SW 180th Avenue Road Parking Lots 500 venu e Ro 250 Rainbow River Park Road PavedCamping Check-in 0th A 0 Campground Entrance SW 1 8 Tube/Canoe/Kayak Launch Hiking Walkways Concession Store Laundry Canoe & Kayak Rack for Registered Campers Only Park Boundary Hiking/Biking Walkways Campground Inset Tram Station Inset 2 Camping Sites Swimming Dock N W E S 4,000 Feet Inset 2 To Dunnellon Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation and Parks Date of aerial; 2016 Tubing Inset 1 Headsprings Entrance Directions STATE PARK Visitor Center Inset 1 The headsprings and campground have a variety of ranger-guided programs and canoe trips at different times of year. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the headsprings. A food concession, gift shop and visitor center add to the pleasure and education of visitors. The picnic pavilions are perfect for family reunions and weddings. Headsprings Entrance: 1-75 to State Rd. 40 west which dead ends at U.S. 41; turn left. Park is on left. Campground Entrance: 18185 SW 94th St., 3.1 miles 1,000 Feet south of State Rd. 40 or 2.3 miles north of County Rd.484. Tubing Entrance: 10830 SW 180th Ave. Rd., 4.5 mile south of State Road 40 or 0.9 miles north of County Road 484. Swimming Headspring Inset The gardens and waterfalls are cultural assets that remain from the days when the headsprings were a private attraction. They have been renovated and replanted while preserving their historical significance. In early spring the entire headsprings area bursts into pinks, purples and whites with its famous azalea blooms. Nature trails invite hikers to meander into the park’s natural areas. The campground, about six miles from the headsprings, provides access to the river. More nature trails wind through the sandhill and oak hammock communities. Campground activities are for registered campers only, and a camp store offers further amenities for overnight guests. Camping Inset 1 SW 180th Avenue Road Welcome to Rainbow Springs State Park. One of Florida’s largest springs, the headsprings of the Rainbow River originate in this beautiful 1,472-acre park. Rich in natural beauty and cultural history, it is also a popular spot for swimmers, kayakers, tubers and campers. The magnificent azaleas bloom in early spring, attracting visitors from around the country. BASE MAP PAGE 1 BASE MAP00000 Rev_00.19 PAGE 1