7 Tips for Swimming in Freshwater Springs

The St. Johns River is home to some of Florida’s most beautiful freshwater springs in the entire state. Crystal clear water regulated by Mother Nature at a cool 72 degrees is what you will enjoy when you visit North Central Florida. Follow these seven tips when you go swimming in the freshwater springs.

girl snorkeling in freshwater springs
We have the seven tips you need to enjoy crystal clear freshwater springs in Florida.

Use Designated Paths

When visiting a spring, use clearly marked and established trails, boardwalks and paths to access the springs and canoe launch ramps. Foot traffic can alter the native plants and protected areas.

Bring Proper Equipment

You can’t come to a Florida freshwater spring without taking advantage of the crystal clear water. Be sure to bring the following items to enhance the quality of your visit:

  • A good mask and snorkel
  • Water shoes
  • A tube to float in
  • A waterproof card case and bag to hold your belongings
  • Beach towels

Stay Clear of the Bottom

We know how clear the water is and how exciting it is to see the marine life and vegetation all the way on the bottom of the springs when you’re diving or snorkeling. Avoid trampling the vegetation and stirring up the sediment at the bottom of the springs though. You’ll damage the ecosystem and disrupt the marine life.

Dispose of Trash Properly

The freshwater springs near the St. Johns River are natural treasures that park rangers strive to protect. Please remember to dispose of your trash properly. Cans, bottles, cigarette butts, plastic bags and more harms the water quality and wildlife that make the springs so beautiful.

freshwater springs Pinterest pin
Avoid trampling the vegetation and stirring up sediment at the bottom of freshwater springs.

Use Caution When Anchoring

Are you taking a boat on a trip to a freshwater spring? Use caution when using boat ramps and anchoring near the springs. Anchors disrupt the vegetation and cloud the water so make sure you are anchoring in proper locations. Also be advised there are some springs that don’t allow boats to enter. Read our blog to get up to speed on the proper boating signs along the St. Johns River.

Look for Wildlife at Freshwater Springs

While fresh spring water almost seems like it comes from a water park because of its amazing clarity, always remember that you’re sharing the springs with wildlife besides fish and turtles. The springs are a popular manatee sighting spot in the winter and are home to many other forms of wildlife. Read our blog to find out everything you need to know about wildlife near the St. Johns River.

manatee swimming in a freshwater spring
The springs are a popular manatee sighting spot in the winter months.

Plan Your Trip to the Springs Properly

North Central Florida’s freshwater springs, which stay a constant 72 degrees all year long, are popular for tourists and residents of the area alike, especially when temperatures climb into the 90s in the summer. Be advised the springs can be quite popular on summer weekends and long holiday weekends. Plan your trip to the springs earlier in the day or take a weekday trip if you’re looking to take advantage of the solitude of the springs.

Read a firsthand account of visitors utilizing all that De Leon Springs State Park has to offer here.

Read up on the local spring sensations you should visit near the St. Johns River with our 6 Hidden Gems blog.

Rent a Boat

No trip to the area’s freshwater springs is complete without renting a boat on the St. Johns River. Castaways on the River offers a fleet of rental boat options for your trip. Your marina rental boat operator will provide you with the tips and direction you need to navigate your rental boat to some amazing freshwater springs. Castaways on the River also offers quaint cottages and motel rooms with views of the St. Johns River. Call Castaways on the River at (352) 759-3442 to plan your summer trip on the river today!

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