Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Silver River State park ~ Florida

Howdee all,

While in Silver Springs,Florida, Jeff and I spent the day in Silver River State Park.

The park has a beautiful campground~it is booked months in advance and I wasn't able to get a reservation.

It was a Thursday, when arrived we were told the river would be busy on the weekends, so if we wanted to take the canoe ride to the springs…today would be the day to do it.

So… for five dollars and hour…a three hour trip…we decided to go.

It is a half mile walk to the river from the parking lot.

Notice Jeff wearing shorts..he only wears shorts when it is hot…and the last few weeks while in Florida the temps were mid to high 80s.

Silver Springs State Park_002We passed this fella walking on the path…I decided not to have it for lunch ..:)Silver Springs State Park_003Jeff unlocking our canoe.Silver Springs State Park_011This is where we put in…Silver Springs State Park_009Beautiful river…mellow..we paddle up river …Silver Springs State Park_014A bit of a wind made it slow going in a few places…Silver Springs State Park_019But all in all it is a very easy paddle…Silver Springs State Park_023With beautiful scenes…Silver Springs State Park_025I was in the front of the canoe…Silver Springs State Park_031

We passed all kinds of wildlife…Silver Springs State Park_035Great EgretSilver Springs State Park_041Common Moorhen Silver Springs State Park_047A tour boat passes us…Silver Springs State Park_054A Great Blue Heron fishes…Silver Springs State Park_058I love the cypress knees….Silver Springs State Park_059And the patches of green weed…Silver Springs State Park_060Double~crested CormorantSilver Springs State Park_065Look at the hairdoo…hee hee..Silver Springs State Park_069Beautiful blue eyes..Silver Springs State Park_085

We arrive at the spring area…A theme park is at the beginning of the spring

Silver Springs Theme park

Silver Springs State Park_100They have glass bottom boat tours…Silver Springs State Park_102To view the crystal clear waters of the springSilver Springs State Park_103Clear Blue….

The Silver River runs through the center of this 5,000-acre Theme park. The spring head is still run by the private company "Silver Springs Nature Theme Park" but the rest of the entire 5 1/2 mile spring run is completely pristine and undeveloped.


Silver Springs State Park_032

Silver Springs is the site of one of the largest artesian spring formations in the world, producing nearly 550 million gallons of crystal-clear water daily

Silver Springs State Park_110Looks like a great place for a swim…though , not allowed.Silver Springs State Park_113We leave the springs and head back to the State park…Silver Springs State Park_120On the way back I spotted  a Rhesus monkey on the fence…and we looked around and saw around fifteen…three babies playing..Silver Springs State Park_127

There is also a colony of non-native Rhesus Macaques which were introduced to the park in early 1938 by a tour boat operator, known locally as "Colonel Tooey," to enhance his "Jungle Cruise" ride. A local legend that they are the descendants of monkeys used to enhance the scenery for the Tarzan movies that were shot in the area in the 1930s is not true. Via Wikipedia

Monkey being preened….

Silver Springs State Park_134

Iris flowering in large masses on the sides of the river…Silver Springs State Park_151Our route back to the park~all easy float…Silver Springs State Park_154Pied-billed GrebeSilver Springs State Park_156I thought this looked like a birds body….Silver Springs State Park_164White IbisSilver Springs State Park_141Little Blue HeronSilver Springs State Park_143

Entering the State Park..Silver Springs State Park_167Reflections…Silver Springs State Park_173Turtles……….Silver Springs State Park_176Dinosaur…Silver Springs State Park_177Gnarly…Silver Springs State Park_178Its after noon and we see more people on the river…

We had the first part of the trip pretty much to ourselves…Silver Springs State Park_182Well, except for a gator or two..Silver Springs State Park_184

And Birds..Silver Springs State Park_192And..turtles…Silver Springs State Park_224And an occasional visitor on the boat…Silver Springs State Park_239I think this may be Cardinal flower…Silver Springs State Park_206Iris and wood sculptures…Silver Springs State Park_215The ride is almost over…Silver Springs State Park_219It has been a delightful three hours..Silver Springs State Park_226I highly recommend this trip…Silver Springs State Park_230Easy…beautiful…and full of wildlife..Silver Springs State Park_232After our canoe ride ..we took a short walk…

Down the swamp trail…Silver Springs State Park_250Thru the woods..Silver Springs State Park_253Past mushrooms..Silver Springs State Park_249Singing Towhees..Silver Springs State Park_255Turtles…Silver Springs State Park_256

Thru the swamp…Silver Springs State Park_263To the River…Silver Springs State Park_259And back …..Silver Springs State Park_264

A super day at Silver River State Park