Juniper Springs Recreation Area
Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Yes, we are still open during the government shutdown.

The Sweetwater Cabin lotter is now open for 2020.  Choose up to three weeks for the lottery.  The entry form is here.

  • Showcasing sparkling springs in a subtropical setting, Juniper Springs is one of the oldest and best known recreation areas on the east coast. Located between Ocala and Ormond Beach along SR 40, this complex of swimming and picnic areas, campground, and trails was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The setting is unlike any other found in the United States, with hundreds of tiny bubbling springs and massive springs gushing out of crevices in the earth beneath a dense canopy of palms and oaks; an oasis within the heart of the desert-like Big Scrub.

    Note: The dive platform in the day use area is closed, and jumping and diving into the swim area is no longer allowed. Dogs are allowed in the campground on the roadways and on the Florida Trail, but not in the day use area, the boardwalk, nor on any trails leading to the day use area. Dogs must also be on a maximum 6 ft. leash at all times and never left unattended.


    • Canoeing Canoeing
    • Grills Grills
    • Hiking/Trekking Hiking/Trekking
    • Kayaking Kayaking
    • Pet Friendly Pet Friendly
    • Store Store
    • Swimming Swimming


    Day Use

    Large parking area for day use. Overnight parking for a fee is available for backpackers.

    Day use activities include picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, bird watching, paddling, and hiking. At night, relax in the heart of the forest within our historic campground.

    The dive platform in the day use area is closed, and jumping and diving into the swim area is no longer allowed.

    Please note: all fees listed below are before tax.

    Campground (78 total sites)

    Campsites are arranged into three loops near the creek and springs. All sites are shaded and equipped with a picnic table, grill, campfire ring, lantern post, and space for tents. There are no sites with full hookups. Other amenities include hot showers, flush toilets, and dump station.

    A convenience store with camping supplies, beach supplies, food, drinks, and ice cream is nearby. Restaurants, shopping, and gas are just 10 miles from the campground.

    Please note: all fees listed below are before tax.

    Reserve Campground Now

    Marina / Boat Rentals

    Canoeing is extremely popular year-round. Canoes and kayaks are available to be rented between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m daily. The seven-mile journey down Juniper Run offers a unique perspective on the Juniper Prairie Wilderness, where you might see otters at play or alligators drifting through the shallows. Private canoes can be used, or canoes can be rented from the concessionaire on the premises. Haul-back services are available.

    Watch this video to learn about the run, best techniques, and an overal guide on how to get through it:

    You can also watch this video for a quick sample of what an average run looks under optimal conditions:

    PLEASE NOTE: By US Government rules, no disposable items of any kind are allowed down the canoe run. All items must be removed from the manufacturer’s packaging and placed into reusable containers such as Tupperware, sports bottles, canteen, etc. Only hard and soft sided coolers are allowed, no styrofoam coolers.

    All fees listed below are before tax.

    Cabins (1 total sites)

    This cabin is so popular we have to hold a lottery each year for reservation dates. It is a great way to escape from it all, and has its own spring, swimming area, and canoes.

    The Sweetwater Spring Rental Cabin is located in the Juniper Prairie Wilderness Area of the Ocala Naional Forest in the Silver Springs area. Gated access to the cabin is approximately 1/2 mile via a maintained, sandy lane. The cabin, built in 1935, is a rustic 2 bedroom cabin that sleeps 12, has a 3/4 bath, and an equipped kitchen which includes a microwave, coffee pot, toaster, dishes, and silverware. All you need to bring are your linens, pillows, and food.

    For active leisure fun, two canoes with paddles and life vests are furnished for guests. Canoeists can negotiate the famous Juniper Canoe Run and egress at Juniper Wayside on SR 19. Or, if you are looking for a more passive activity, you can enjoy nature at it’s finest by sitting on the screened porch, the observation deck, or by taking a leisure walk in the surrounding woods.

    If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, Sweetwater Cabin is the place to disconnect. Cell phone service is limited, but there is a landline phone available for local and emergency calls only.

    Sweetwater Cabin rental reservations are awarded through an annual computerized lottery selection process. The lottery is open from January 1st through May 31st each year. The best way to enter is via our online portal. Weeks run from Friday to Friday, and Sweetwater is closed the third week in January, first week in May, first week in August, and the last week in October for maintenance. Only one entry per household allowed.

    For information on the Cabin call: (352) 625-0546

    Due to high demand, staying at the cabin requires participation in a lottery. The entry form is here.

    Please note: all fees listed below are before tax.