Juniper Springs, Ocala National Forest, FL

My first visit into Ocala Nation Forest, Florida had been to Juniper Springs. Upon arrival, I had realized the area was perfect for a family and/or church outing with young adults (13-17). This site had been less than ideal for small children (under 7) and perhaps limiting in scope for adults (18 and above).  Juniper Springs Recreation Area had a certain photogenic quality, appearing bigger in scale versus reality.  The park was composed of three water areas; the pool, river and springs. This drive had been just under a two hours from Orlando, Florida. There had been ample parking, rangers, canoe rentals and camping sites.

1. Juniper Springs Pool and Wheel House.

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2. Juniper Springs Run

The main portion of these waters had been parallel to the wooden boardwalk. It was overly shallow throughout with overgrown vegetation. During my walk alongside Juniper Run, there had been a lack of anyone on this water. In passing the canoe launch point, I had overheard a ranger joke about the lack of activity to a young girl. This had been because of snakes and gators in the water way.  I had seen neither reptile, only a raccoon and some fish. Joking aside, the story was not a selling point for the little girl or myself.

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3. Juniper Springs

At the end of the boardwalk had been the springs themselves. Despite the front loading people of the park in Juniper pool, very few had been appreciating the visual treat at the back of the property.

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For more park information and status:

Juniper Springs US Forest Service Website

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