If you are a water sports fanatic, then Ginnie Springs should be on your radar! It is Florida’s best location for unique water sports. It’s home to seven crystal clear springs that contain many submerged rock formations, making for some incredible dives. The area’s natural freshwater springs are all relatively constant in temperature — about 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Native Americans initially utilized the spring to cure sick individuals.
The park is an excellent place for diving, snorkeling, and kayaking, among other sports. It features year-round activities and events such as concerts in the park, paddling clinics, and endurance races. We also share everything you need to know about camping at Ginnie Springs below.
Things To Do In Ginnie Springs
1. Freshwater Diving
Ginnie Springs is not called the “world’s favorite freshwater dive” for nothing. It has seven crystal clear springs where you can go diving. The deepest is around 45 to 50 feet deep, but the visibility is up to 111 to 120 feet! You must be a certified diver to dive Ginnie Springs.
These springs attract a profusion of certified dive enthusiasts every year. Many diving companies across the U.S. make Ginnie Springs trips a regular offering. With the constant 72-degree crystal clear water, it is an excellent choice for divers looking to take freshwater dives.
Divers can choose to dive the Santa Fe River or the Ginnie Ballroom. Note that there are no dive lights allowed in this system.
Ginnie Ballroom Dive
The Ginnie Ballroom is like a candy store for diving enthusiasts. You’ll spot some amazingly unusual geologic formations. These formations are unique to the Floridan Aquifer. Among the formations, you’ll see spongework, which can be thought of as a gigantic piece of limestone swiss cheese.
2. Cave Diving At Ginnie Springs
Jacques Cousteau, the world-renowned conservationist and scientist who studied the sea and all water life forms, said this about Ginnie Springs: “No wind, no waves, and visibility forever.” In talking with a few of my diver friends, these are three of the best reasons to visit Ginnie Springs.
Hand in hand with scuba diving, Ginnie Springs also features a network of underwater caves, which you can explore with the proper training and equipment. You must be a certified cave diver to dive the Devil’s Spring system. It’s fascinating because various chambers feature beautiful formations made from calcium carbonate. Cave divers from across the globe come to cave dive at Ginnie Springs.
The Devil’s Spring underwater cave system at Ginnie Springs encompasses three separate springs: Devil Spring, Devil’s Eye, and Devil‘s Ear.
Devil Spring Cave Dive
You must be a certified cavern or cave diver to enter the Devil’s Springs system. It is the only place in Ginnie Springs where dive lights are allowed. Devil Spring boasts one of the most awe-inspiring views as you look up toward the sky after descending through a 4-foot-wide fracture at the head of the Devil’s Spring and descend 50 feet. From the bottom, the water is so crystal clear you can see leaves on the overhead trees!
Devil’s Eye Cave Dive
Devil’s Eye is approximately 20 feet across and 20 feet deep. You’ll find the entrance to a small cavern at the bottom. Divers can explore as much as they can using the available sunlight.
Devil’s Ear Cave Dive
Devil’s Ear is a slit-like opening that’s located at the joining of the Santa Fe River and the Devil’s Spring. At the bottom of the slit, the force of the water is like a water cannon or fire hydrant. The coolest thing to do here is sit in the clear water of the basin and look up at the sun and trees. The river water creates an ethereal, stained-glass visual effect.
For those who love snorkeling, Ginnie Springs is perfect! There’s no need to worry about strong currents since the spring is fed by underground sources that guarantee a gentle water flow.
There are designated areas in some of the springs where you can snorkel. This is perfect for people who would like to explore more of what Ginnie Springs offers or want something easier and less physically demanding than diving.
Each run of the springs is different, but when you reach the river, the water is a bit warmer than the springs, making for a great ending. As you snorkel (or dive), you can spot fish skimming along the bottom, darting in and out of the rocks.
Pro Tip: Like almost any body of water in Florida, there are snakes and alligators. If you see an alligator, stay away from it and get out of the water as quickly as you can. And do not feed it.
The spring-fed lagoon is a very relaxing spot to spend time. It’s deep enough for adults to swim, perfect for snorkeling, and has a gentle current where you can float along.
The water is very clear and was so refreshing, especially since we were there during summer when the heat was intense during the day!
5. Kayaking The Santa Fe River
One of our experiences was kayaking on the Santa Fe River. It’s not only exciting but also relaxing, and you get to enjoy flora and fauna such as ospreys, kingfishers, snakes, and turtles, among others.
Ginnie Springs is perfect for adventure-seeking kayakers since it has boat ramps and easy access to the Santa Fe River. Starting here, you can begin your journey through the designated areas. It’s about 7 miles from the campground down to High Springs. Paddling through the river is easy and relaxing as you go from spot to spot where you can stop for a picnic or a swim.
6. River Tubing
Another great Ginnie Springs experience is river tubing. Tubing is an exciting form of recreation that’s perfect for those who want to lay back and relax while the current pulls them along.
You can bring your own tube, rent an inner tube at the springs, or purchase one to keep. The tubes come in singles or doubles, so you can float down the river together or alone! It’s a great way to explore the springs while taking in all of their natural beauty.
Ginnie Springs has designated areas for tubing, which you can reach by driving or walking. It’s perfect since you can choose what kind of adventure suits your preference and capability.
Pro Tip: Pack a picnic lunch, add in some music, and then stop along the river for a relaxing lunch.
Ginnie Springs Camping
The best way to enjoy everything Ginnie Springs offers is to book a campsite. The campgrounds have ample camping spaces with electricity and water hookups. There are tent sites and RV sites, so whichever form of camping you prefer, Ginnie Springs is a perfect getaway. In addition to tent and RV campsites, you can also book a stay in Ginnie Cottage.
Ginnie Springs is very popular for its campsites with amenities. This wonderful spot has everything you need to make your camping trip memorable with modern restrooms, showers, grills, picnic tables, electricity hook-ups, and more. Rest assured you’ll have everything you need to make your overnight stay comfortable.
Ginnie Springs is a must-visit camping site for everyone who’s into outdoor adventure. It’s a beautiful place where you can escape the modern world and connect with nature.
Camp rules include quiet time after 10 p.m., no pets, no fishing, and no loud noises. There are also restrictions on alcohol that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with when you book. Also, expect that there will be no lifeguards on duty, so you swim at your own risk. Remember to supervise children at all times.
Pro Tip: Arrive early as tent sites are first come, first serve, starting at 8 a.m. On weekends, people will be lined up before opening time.
Bonus: Visit High Springs
Less than 15 minutes away from Ginnie Springs is the town of High Springs, Florida. Don’t miss a stop here! High Springs is a small Florida town where it’s fun to just walk the streets and discover unique offerings.
Start your exploration of High Springs with a stop at High Springs Brewing Company. The brewery has a variety of local brews on tap — the perfect sustenance for a hot day. After a cool sip, head over to the High Springs Museum. Located Behind City Hall, the museum focuses on the settlement era, the Native Americans who resided in the area, and the local history and culture of the area.
Take a stroll through downtown High Springs. You’re sure to find a restaurant or two to tempt your taste buds as well as interesting shops and boutiques.
If you’re looking for an adventurous weekend away and a chance to just relax and unplug, Ginnie Springs is definitely the place to be. For more Florida vacation inspiration, also consider