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8 Springs in 8 Miles
 

8500 State Road 47, High Springs, FL

Reserve your Adventure today, and enjoy a relaxing down-river paddle on the beautiful Santa Fe River. 8 Springs in 8 miles. Enjoy such springs as Lilly, Mermaid, Rum Island, Gilchrist Blue, Devil's Ear, Ginnie, July, and Dogwood. (Read More)

Off season availability is Thursday - Monday (Tues. Wed. Closed)

How It Works

Meet us at Santa Fe River Park (8500 SR 47, High Springs, FL) We will come and meet you in our van at your designated time. We then have you board our shuttle van, so that we can shuttle you up river to Poe Springs Park, where your rented vessel awaits to begin your Adventure. Then down the river you go, finally ending at the same park where you left your vehicle.

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Forsake the daily grind and embark on a journey that will arouse the senses and your mind. The 8 Springs in 8 Miles trip is a one of a kind experience that will create everlasting Memories! Just imagine a down-river paddle alongside the Florida wild river banks where one is likely to see deer, cranes, and turtles galore. As the title says you have the amazing opportunity to visit at least 8 springs on this expedition. Below we will describe each spring so you can decide if you wish to visit them all or just a select few.

 

The first spring to visit would be Lilly Springs with its high rise embankment and a spring run that is shaped loosely like a “?”, provides for a tranquil stop along the way that is private property and lagoon like in nature. This spring pumps out over 20 thousand gal. a day and is a delightful place to picnic due it being one of the springs in this roster that is unreachable by road. 29°49'47"N 82°39'39"W

 

The next stop on your journey would be Mermaid Springs. Mermaid Springs is shaped like a mermaid tail and although it is small, it is practically breath-taking in appearance. The crystal clear water and shallowness, allows for a quick wading area to visit. Mermaid is only reachable by water so it is usually not crowded at all.

29°50'2"N 82°40'32"W

 

3rd on the list… Noneother than the famous Rum Island Springs. Rum Island splits the river for a short moment, which allows you the opportunity to view the entire island if you so desire. Many animals call this island home and during the months of January and February the spring itself is one of the best spots to view manatee. The spring of Rum Island is not located on the island at all. It, instead, is located directly behind the island, off of the shore of Rum Island Park. Rum Island Park is newly renovated and has restroom facilities along with stair access to the spring. There is no charge for river access to Rum Island Park. They do charge for parking though.

29°49'60"N 82°40'47"W

 

Directly after Rum, only ¼ mile down river on the left side sits the absolutely gorgeous R.B.K Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. As of 2022 it is still the newest State Park in FL. Objectively the most beautiful spring on the lower Santa Fe. Gilchrist Blue has a ¼ mile spring run that does have a decent current. It is able to be paddled though, and so worth it! As you paddle the spring run you will see another spring to your left. Naked Springs. This spring has been both naturally and unnaturally barricaded for turtle and spring conservation. Still worth the view even though you no longer can get in. How nature has once again kissed this spring, is nothing shy of magical. Continue further up the spring run and you will reach the head spring… Big Blue! This spring is a wide open bowl and pumps out over 40 mil. Gal. of crystal clear, fresh, spring water a day. This spring comes by its name honestly. The crystal clear water mixed with the depth and limestone, creates a blue mirage below the water’s surface. A perfect stop for a nice swim with restroom facilities and concessions, plus it being almost center point for the 8 miles. What more reason do you need? This park does require a $2 per person fee for those who exit their boat and enjoy the park's amenities. The $2 is worth it, if for nothing else than to get out and walk around to the land based side of Naked Springs that we mentioned before. Walking past Naked Spring there is a trail that will lead you back to another well hidden spring called Johnson, this spring is another beautiful hidden gem that is worth the walk. 29°49'47"N 82°40'59"W

 

Coming in at number 5 on the list is Devil’s Ear. This spring is part of the Ginnie Springs Campground. This area is private property and if you park your boat or get out of your paddlecraft, Ginnie Springs will charge per person (which at the time of this is $35). You can paddle in and view the spring though. Devil's ear is another large spring and very deep. This spring is a diver’s dream. Be advised, Ginnie Springs during the summer months can be a bit 18+ in a lot of ways. This campground is private property and can be extremely busy, especially in the summer months. 29°50'5"N 82°41'49"W

 

Next stop, July Spring. Directly across the river from Devil’s Ear lies this beautiful lonely spring. She is just as beautiful as many on this list but often overlooked due to her close proximity to Ginnie Springs. This spring is not accessible by road, and many who pass this spring are looking left at Ginnie so completely miss this quiet little nook of paradise. This spring is another free use spring. There is no cost to enjoy its stunning beauty, its calm composure, its mystical curiosity, and its serene compassion. 29°50'10"N 82°41'46"W

 

Ginnie Spring itself is number 7. This spring is part of the Ginnie Springs Campground. This area is private property and if you park your boat or get out of your paddlecraft, Ginnie Springs will charge per person (which at the time of this is $35). This spring is absolutely amazing, with the glass like water and 150 foot spring run, with the trees hugging the bowl it is extremely picture worthy! Be advised, Ginnie Springs during the summer months can be a bit 18+ in a lot of ways. This campground is private property and can be extremely busy, especially in the summer months. 29°50'10"N 82°42'00"W

 

Last on the list… Dogwood Spring. This spring is part of the Ginnie Springs Campground. This area is private property and if you park your boat or get out of your paddlecraft, Ginnie Springs will charge per person (which at the time of this is $35). A smaller spring of the Ginnie Springs Campground, but well worth the stop. A slight curve to the spring run itself allows for an interesting paddle in. Finally coming to rest in the bowl, which is like the cute little sister to Ginnie itself. Very similar in many ways to the main spring but charming where Ginnie can be overwhelming due to its size.  Be advised, Ginnie Springs during the summer months can be a bit 18+ in a lot of ways. This campground is private property and can be extremely busy, especially in the summer months.

 

There are a few springs that we left out of this Adventure description. The reason that we left them out is to keep a bit of the magic for you to find on your own. After visiting your last spring, enjoy a soothing paddle for approximately an hour to an hour and one half. This paddle is surrounded by trees and beautiful homes and can be a nice transition from the hum of Ginnie. Peaceful nature, the moving river, sounds of Florida and finally coming to an end at Santa Fe River Park. 

 

Don’t live your life wondering what the springs can do for your soul. Come and see for yourself and be whisked away on a magical Adventure with Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures. The only provider of the enchanting 8 Springs in 8 Miles Paddling Trip!