Alexander Springs is located within the Ocala National Forest. The Ocala National Forest which is located in northern Florida consists of 383,000 acres and spans 4 counties. The Alexander Springs Florida day-use area is located off US-445 in Altoona Florida. This park is open year-round.
Day Use Fees
As you turn into the park you will come upon a booth where you can pay your entry fees. At the time of our visit, the entry fees were $4 per person. After paying your day-use fees you continue along the road to a decent-sized parking lot. Before you get to the parking lot you will pass a road on your left side.
Note: The current day-use fees are now $7 per person weekdays and $10 per person on the weekends.
If you were to make a left onto that road you would be brought to the camping area. The camping area consists of 4 loops and has 67 sites in total. Both RV and tent camping are allowed but the maximum length of an RV can be only 35 feet. Sites can be obtained in two ways. Some sites are first come/first serve and others can be reserved on the website recreation.gov. There is a maximum stay of 14 days within a 30 day period.
There are no water, electric, or sewer hook up sites so if you are in an RV fill your water tanks before you enter the park. There is a bathhouse and a dump station within each loop of the campground. There is a building that sells things like snacks, groceries, ice, charcoal, firewood, and other beach & personal items.
Once you pass the road to the campground and have continued to the day-use parking area you will notice the parking area is set up as a big loop. At the backside of the parking area if you were to walk in a bit you would see an amphitheater. We are not sure what it is used for as we couldn’t get any kind of information on it while we were there. If you know what they use it for let us know by leaving a comment below.
Main Building Area
Ok, so now you are parked. Time to head towards the office building area I mentioned earlier. This area consists of the main office building where you could buy supplies. Inside that building was the area where you would rent canoes. There were also bathrooms located here.
As you walk past the office building area you find yourself heading towards the springs/beach area. Here you can go swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving (for those certified to do so) or just relax on the beach and enjoy the views of the water, forest, or maybe even do a little bird watching.
A Constant 72 Degrees
The spring waters stay near a constant 72-degree temperature which makes for some very comfortable swimming. The bottom of the spring consists of mostly sand and aquatic plants. One thing you may want to keep in mind here is that there are alligators that may be present along with turtles, deer, raccoons, and maybe even bears. Hey, you are in the forest after all!!!
Fishing and canoeing are allowed away from the swimming area. You can either bring your own canoe or rent one in the area we mentioned earlier. There are fishing platforms located along the springs and also along the Timucuan trail.
The Timucuan Trail is a nice little 1-mile nature trail that takes you on a boardwalk, over a spring, and through the palm trees. It is about a mile and if you take your time and enjoy nature it will take you about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Along the trail, there are 2 observation/fishing areas that you can look out over the springs.
This recreation area can easily provide fun for the family for an entire day. It would be a great way to relax and enjoy the different types of nature and beauty that can be found in a forest and around water. We enjoyed our day visit here even though we didn’t take advantage of the swimming or canoeing. Fishing is another whole story. Maybe one day we will learn…lol.
The camping area although primitive looked clean and well maintained. It looked a little too tight to try and get our 35-foot travel trailer into so we would just enjoy the day-use facilities here.
Date Of Visit: December 2016
Day Use Fees: $4 Per Person
Current Day Use Fees: $7+Tax PP M-F & $10+Tax Sat&Sun
Pet Friendly: Campground only. No pets in Day Use Area
Have you been to this park for camping and/or day use? How did you like it? What was your experience? Let us know by leaving a comment down below.
This Article Was Updated 7/29/20