Juniper Springs Recreation Area
Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Juniper Springs Recreation Area

  • 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 area, 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, on the Florida Trail but not in Day Use, the boardwalk nor on any trails leading to the day use area. They also must be on a 6ft leash at all times and never left unattended.

    Please note all fees below are before tax.


    • 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 available for backpackers for a fee.

    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.

    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 campground.

    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.

    Cabins (1 total sites)

    This cabin is so popular we have to hold a lottery each year for reservation dates. The lottery for 2018 is closed, and will reopen early next year for 2019. It is a great way to get away 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 via approximately 1/2 mile of maintained sandy lane. The cabin, built in 1935, is a rustic 2 bedroom cabin that sleeps 12, and has a 3/4 bath, equipped kitchen including microwave, coffee pot, toaster, dishes and silverware. All you need to bring is your linens, pillows and food.

    For active leisure fun, 2 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 spotty but there is a landline available at the cabin 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 3rd week in January, 1st week in May, 1st week in August and the last week in October for Maintenance. Only one entry per household.

    The cabin is rented through a lottery system. For information on the Cabin call: (352) 625-0546

    Due to high demand, staying at the cabin requires participation in a lottery. The lottery has been opened and can be found at this link: