Exploring Silver Springs State Park

Tuesday January 26th 2021

For the third day in a row the day began with fog. It didn’t last long today. By the middle of the morning the sun was out and the day was starting to warm up from its start in the sixties. The temperature peaked on the plus side of eighty degrees with lots of humidity. The next cold front is due tomorrow afternoon.

Pileated Woodpecker

I spent the day exploring this part of Silver Springs State Park. There are several trails to explore. Today I hiked the most popular River Trail. It is about a three quarter mile trek to the Silver River with a loop trail along part of the river. Overall it’s listed as a 2.1 mile hike. To launch a canoe or kayak from the campground you need to get it down the three quarter mile trail to the river.

Looking up the Silver River over the head of a floating kayaker.

The Silver River is less than five miles long, but it flows through largely untouched cypress swamps and hardwood forest areas. It starts at the springs located at Florida’s original attraction of Silver Springs home of the glass bottom boats and flows east to the Ocklawaha River. The state park is located about half way along the river’s path.

Turtle posing on a log. Its hind flipper feet are stretched out in the air.

Today there were many kayaks and canoes on river. Four people with two double kayaks followed me down to the river. At the launch area there were already four other kayaks getting ready to paddle up river to the springs. Later after I walked the additional loop trail along the river four other people were at work dragging their kayaks out of the water after a paddle along the river. This is another one of those times that I wish I was carrying a kayak with me on the Rambling Road Trip. Boat rentals during the pandemic seem to be few and far between.

I wasn’t well prepared for hiking today. The warmth and humidity started to catch up with me on my way back to my RV home. I should have worn cooler clothes and carried water. The rest of the day was pretty much an exercise in recuperation. Tomorrow I’ll be better prepared for the Swamp trail, a two mile boardwalk enhanced loop to the river through the swamp.

Very tall cypress behind the Great Egret.

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