Ginnie Springs is a mysterious Florida destination. It’s a serene collection of seven crystal-clear springs located in Florida’s Panhandle. The springs are a popular spot for divers and swimmers to take advantage of their cool waters.
There are all sorts of things you can do in Ginnie Springs. You can snorkel in the natural springs, tube along the Santa Fe River, and camp out under the stars – just be sure to bring your bug spray!
Here’s everything you need to know about Florida’s best-kept secret so you can plan your trip today!
History Of Ginnie Springs Florida
Ginnie Springs’ allure has been attracting visitors for centuries.
The Timucuan Indians had a reservation on Ginnie Spring before European settlers came to this area. Divers still find treasures from this old settlement, including pieces of broken flint, arrowheads, and pottery.
The springs began to grow in popularity during the 60s-70s as Florida became a popular scuba diving destination. The state is home to many underwater caves, both beautiful and dangerous.
During this scuba diving surge, many inexperienced divers lost their lives in these underwater caverns. As a result, the state began to close many public springs to divers. Divers in turn headed to private springs to get their fix.
Six of those popular private springs we now know as Ginnie Springs. Today, the Springs are a popular destination for more than just thrill-seeking divers. Hundreds of people visit the springs to camp, float the river, and kayak.
How To Get To Ginnie Springs Florida
Ginnie Springs is about an hour northwest of Gainseville and an hour south of the Florida-Georgia border. The tourist attraction is located at 12000 Ginnie Springs Rd, High Springs, Florida.
It’s situated off of Interstate 75 that goes from Tampa up through Georgia about six miles away from High Springs City Center.
If you’re visiting from out of state, you can fly into one of three airports:
- Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
- Tampa International Airport (TPA)
- St Petersburg/Clearwater International airports (PIE)
All three are 2-3 hours away from Ginnie Springs.
Things To Do in Ginnie Springs Florida
River Tubing at Ginnie Springs
There’s no better way to spend a day than floating on a tube down the spring!
The float from the Beaver’s Landing river access point down to the Twin Spring exit point takes about an hour. You’ll need to organize your own transportation as there’s no shuttle service provided.
The Ginnie Spring parking lot is only a 15-minute walk from the Twin Spring exit. Guests often leave a vehicle there and walk back after finishing the float.
Visitors can bring their own tubes or rent tubes at the Ginnie Springs General store. Tube rentals are $7 for single tubes and $14 for double tubes at the time of writing.
Up-to-date pricing information can be found on the Ginnie Springs website.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving at Ginnie Springs Florida
Ginnie Springs is home to underwater cave systems which have attracted scuba divers for decades. A few popular dive spots are Devil’s Spring, Devil’s Eye, and Devil’s Ear.
To explore the underwater caves of Ginnie Springs, you must be a certified cave diver. It’s also worth noting that at the time of writing, open water divers are restricted to only diving Ginnie Spring.
If you’re not a certified cave diver, you’re not out of luck. You can hire a guide to dive near the entrances to the caves and springs.
Snorkeling is also a great experience in the clear waters of Ginnie Springs. You can rent all the gear you need for diving or snorkeling from $8-12 at Ginnie Springs from The Ginnie Store.
NOTE: Check the Ginnie Springs website to confirm the availability of snorkel equipment rentals. Rental availability is subject to change due to COVID-19.
Stand Up Paddleboarding, Canoeing, and Kayaking the Santa Fe River
The Santa Fe River is the perfect place for a lazy day of canoeing, kayaking, or stand up paddleboarding. It’s also great for beginners since it has a slow current and many natural features to explore along the way.
You can rent kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes for $15 per 3 hours. These rentals include paddles and floatation devices. Visitors can also bring their own gear and launch at their leisure.
There is no shuttle service for this rental, so be sure to paddle upstream and return the vessel to the launch site.
If you need a break from the water, try one of the many land-based activities the Springs’ have to offer!
You can rent volleyballs and footballs, and there are lighted sand volleyball courts throughout the campground.
After playing in the sun, you can kick back at one of the covered pavilions to grill and enjoy refreshments.
Camping at Ginnie Springs
Camping is a popular activity at Ginnie Springs. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.
Campsites start at $30 per adult per night in season or $25 in the off-season. Kids ages 5-12 are $8 per night, and children ages 4 and under camp free!
If you need your creature comforts, electricity and water hookups are available at the Ginnie Springs campground. Water and electric campsite hookups are $11 per site per night.
We encourage potential campers to check the Ginnie Springs website for the latest available pricing and hours of operation.
For the true adventurer: you are also permitted to “freecamp” if you decide to place your tent in a spot that is not a campsite like along the Santa Fe River.
If you’re visiting on a weekend, the earlier you arrive, the better chance to find the perfect water-front campsite. We recommend either early Friday or even better Thursday night.
Arriving late on a Friday could get you stuck in the more land-locked areas of the park.
What to bring to Ginnie Springs
Sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit
The Ginnie Springs outdoors are a far cry from an indoor water park – they’re the wonderful outdoor experience.
You can find all kinds of wild animals there, from Alligators to snakes to Florida’s state bird, the mosquito.
We strongly encourage all campers to bring an extra-strong bug spray, a hefty SPF sunscreen, and a first-aid kit. An emergency can happen when you least expect it!
The Perfect Tent for Ginnie Springs
You’ll see all sorts of tents at Ginnie Springs – huge mansions and cheap tiny tents you can’t even stand up in. Check out the Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent, big enough for the whole family.
Our new favorites are instant set-up tents. In less than five minutes you can get your tent set up and head down to the springs instead of spending hours searching for that lost tent pole.
Is Ginnie Springs pet friendly?
No, pets or emotional support animals are not allowed at Ginnie Springs.
Service animals are allowed.
According to their website, “service animals are ‘dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks with people with disabilities,’ according to the Revised Americans with Disabilities Act Service Animal Requirements.”
Where is Ginnie Springs Florida?
Ginnie Springs is located at 12000 Ginnie Springs Rd, High Springs, Florida.
It’s about an hour northwest of Gainseville and an hour south of the Florida-Georgia border.
Are there manatees in Ginnie Springs?
While it is rare, you may occasionally see manatees at Ginnie Springs. Ginnie Springs can get busy during the Spring and Summer seasons, which usually drives away any potential critters.
The Springs’ do however flow into the Santa Fe River where you’re more likely to run into turtles and alligators.
Can you swim in Ginnie Springs?
Yes! Swimming is allowed and is the main attraction of Ginnie Springs.
The water is crystal clear and a dreamy 72 degrees year-round, making it a perfect place to take a dip to escape the summer heat.
Are there alligators in Ginnie Springs FL?
You can bet on there being alligators in almost any body of fresh water in Florida. However, Ginnie Springs can get crowded during Spring and Summer, which means fewer critters will be present to bother you.
While you’re not very likely to run into alligators in the Springs, the Springs’ do flow into the Santa Fe River where you’re more likely to run into wildlife including alligators.
How cold is Ginnie Springs?
Ginnie Springs is always 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 degrees Celcius.
I know, it’s cold! But in the hot and humid Florida summer, it’s just right.
If the water’s not your thing, you can keep out of it with a tube, a kayak, or other watercraft, rentable at locations around the springs.
When to visit Ginnie Springs
Ginnie Springs Outdoors is open the whole year so you can enjoy central Florida’s mild climate almost anytime.
Weekend holidays are usually a party environment loud, wild and often drunk.
The best time to get a taste of the great outdoors is midweek or a weekend right outside of the busy season, either in September or April. Choose carefully, and most likely you will see more squirrels and birds than campers.
Winter can be somewhat iffy in Florida, so stick to warm spring or fall months if the weather has concerns.
How much does Ginnie Springs cost?
Up-to-date pricing information can be on the Ginnie Springs website. As of writing, pricing is as follows:
For adults, general daily admission is $20 in season or $15 in the off-season. Kids ages 5-12 admission is $5 year-round, and kids 4 and under admission is free!
Campsites are only slightly more, starting at $30 per adult per night in season, or $25 in the off-season. Kids ages 5-12 are $8 per night, and children ages 4 and under camp free.
Water and electric campsite hookups are $11 per site per night.
Tube rentals are $7 for single tubes and $14 for double tubes at the time of writing.
Kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes are $15 per 3 hours which include paddles and floatation devices.
Final Thoughts on Ginnie Springs Florida
Ginnie Springs is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The springs are crystal clear with 72 degree water year-round, making it an excellent spot to escape the summer heat.
There’s also plenty of land-based activities if you need a break from all that swimming!
If you want more information about Ginnie Springs, or are looking for a fun place to visit, check out the springs’ official website and have an awesome time!