The Cool, Sparkling Springs of Florida's Gilchrist County
When it comes to cool parks with crystalline springs for swimming, diving and observing wildlife, Florida's Gilchrist County is a hot spot.
Check out these parks, along the Suwannee or Santa Fe rivers:
Ginnie Springs Park, near High Springs, is private, with lots of Santa Fe River shoreline and several springs. It can be busy, but it’s well organized and is a destination popular with younger visitors.
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, just up the road from Ginnie Springs, is quieter and recently became part of the Florida State Park system. The spring discharges about 44 million gallons of water per day to the Santa Fe River.
Fanning Springs State Park, along the meandering Suwannee River, offers 72-degree waters year-round, and an abundance of underwater wildlife.
Hart Springs Park, near the Suwannee River, is a bit more developed, with seawalls, canoe, kayak, and tube rentals, and several spring vents. There are some shallow, sandy enclosures for the kids.