By Kevin Mims
Ahh Florida springs in the summertime. It's pure bliss to be able to splash into cool crystal-clear water when it's hot outside.
But don't let cooler degrees discourage you from visiting springs during the fall and winter months.
When the temps drop several springs are where you want to be to check out the endangered Florida manatee.
Here's something that might blow your mind. When the air temperature falls below the water temperature in springs (typically 68-72 degrees all year long) you can actually jump into the water to warm up. For those who have spent time trying to avoid the initial cold sting of spring water in the summer months this might seem a little weird. But it works and I've done it lots of times.
Even if you aren't interested in getting in the water just hanging out and watching the fog lift off the water early in the morning is a wonderful treat.
Afterward take a hike (most springs also have great trails) ride a bike or bring your camera and shoot some cool photos.
Don't forget about these spots when cooler weather comes. They are beautiful special places that are yours to enjoy throughout all seasons.
Here are a couple of links to visit to locate springs around the state:
www.floridasprings.org - Springs located in Florida State Parks and other places
http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ocala/home - Springs in the Ocala National Forest