There are thousands of beautiful natural hot springs in Florida. Some of these are natural hot springs that only a small percentage of the population is aware of. Due to the depth of its spring water sources, the Earth’s core warms the water.
These hot springs, however, are not the same as those you may be acquainted with.
The hot springs in Florida aren’t as hot or as powerful as those found near active volcanoes. Scientists aren’t sure what the geothermal heat source in Florida’s hot springs is, but they know it’s not volcanic.
Instead, when groundwater interacts with heated rocks deep below the Earth’s crust, the water is geothermally warmed from the Earth’s core.
The hot springs in Florida are unique. Only a handful of the hundreds of springs are hot springs. Almost every other one is a cold 72 degrees all year. They’re warm enough to swim in on hot winter days, and they’re delightfully cold in hot summers.
Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River
Crystal River is a must-see if swimming with manatees is on your bucket list. Locals come to the region for a chance to watch these gentle giants interact in their natural habitat, which photographers and wildlife enthusiasts alike love.
You may either join a guided tour to see the manatees and learn about one of the most beloved endangered animals, or you can rent a canoe, kayak, or snorkel and explore the park on your own.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill
This “Old Florida” attraction is known for its renowned underwater theatre and mermaid performance, but it has more to offer than cheesy nostalgia.
Now a constructed state park, Weeki Wachee draws visitors seeking crystal blue water, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.
It’s a beautiful place to cool down and enjoy the fun for all ages slides that flow into Buccaneer Bay, especially when combined with a water park for the youngsters.
Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon
Rainbow Springs is Central Florida’s oldest and finest spring, with evidence that humans have been enjoying it for over 10,000 years.
Before taking a relaxing swim, visitors suggested strolling through the moss-covered Cypress trees to discover flower gardens, magnificent waterfalls, and five significant springs.
Rainbow Springs is known for its swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking, so anyone wanting to unwind will be spoilt for choice.
The more daring may rent a tube and float down the river or walk one of the paths where fox squirrels, turkeys, and deer can be seen.
Rock Springs, Apopka
Rock Springs is only 30 minutes from Orlando, near Kelly Park. This wonderfully shaded park, a local favorite, is ideal for avoiding the heat.
The freshwater overflows into a succession of pools, where crowds of people grab their tubes and float for a quarter-mile along with the crystal blue waters, losing sight of time.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Fort White
Ichetucknee Springs State Park will make your heart sing if you like tubing. Tubers may float to their hearts’ delight at one of Florida’s most peaceful places, which has nine crystal clear springs.
If you’re looking for a rush, the park is home to Blue Hole Spring, the only location where cave diving is permitted. Blue Hole Spring is the biggest of the nine springs and is popular among scuba divers seeking a unique experience.
Ginnie Springs, High Springs
Ginnie Springs is a prominent spring in North Florida and a hotspot for swimming, tubing, snorkeling, and diving. It is known as one of Florida’s cleanest springs. A river is a beautiful place for tubing and leisure, and it’s ideal for floating the day away.
The 1,000 feet of underground tunnels underneath a 50-foot head spring that lead to another mind-boggling 30,000 feet of passages are the crown and gem of this region, a haven for cave and open-water divers seeking adventure.
Blue Springs State Park, Orange City
Blue Springs State Park, which spans more than 2,600 acres and is a Manatee sanctuary, is the giant spring on the St. Johns River.
While swimming is prohibited during the manatee season (November to March), the 73-degree temperature in the spring is ideal for summer activities.
Swimming is the most popular pastime since the swimming hole’s wooded sides and light blue waters are a quarter-mile of perfection.
Silver Glen Springs, Ocala National Forest
The Silver Glen Springs is a sanctuary for the senses, set against the neighboring oak, cedar, and pine woods. The blue-green seas will take your breath away and are among Florida’s finest, but it’s what lies underneath that will spark your curiosity.
Tilapia, striped bass, and various other species may be seen floating over the shallow sandy bottom of this spring. It’s no surprise that this location, which dates back 7,000 years, was popular with Native Americans and European settlers.
Alexander Springs, Ocala National Forest
Alexander Springs, located in the Ocala National Forest, is a favorite destination for locals. This location is a beautiful site to snorkel and marvel at the variety of fish, with the possibility of seeing a turtle swimming among the lilies.
Kayaking, canoeing, and SUP, as well as exploring the nearby paths lined with cabbage palms, maples, and magnolias, are popular pastimes.
Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park, Live Oak
Peacock Springs is a complicated and intricate natural wonder with two clean springs, a spring flow, and six sinkholes.
With such a resume, it’s no wonder that Peacock Springs is a world-renowned cave diving destination, drawing cave divers from all over the globe eager to explore one of the world’s most comprehensive underwater cave systems.
There’s no need to be concerned if you’re looking for a more low-key encounter. There’s a tiny swimming hole to relax in and paths to explore, so visitors of all ages may enjoy this treasure in all of its beauty.
Does Florida have hot springs?
Yes, there are hot springs in Florida. Only a handful of Florida’s hundreds of springs are hot springs.
How many hot springs are in Florida?
Florida is fortunate in that it has the world’s most incredible collection of springs, with over 700. Each day, eight billion gallons of water from Florida’s springs flow steadily 72 degrees from deep below the underground aquifer.
The majority of the springs are found in the state’s central and northern regions. The state and national parks include many of Florida’s springs.
Are there alligators in Warm Mineral Springs?
In the warm mineral springs, there are no alligators. Alligators are primarily found in freshwater and do not dwell in saltwater. An alligator was basking in the rays of the sun.
Alligators are mainly freshwater creatures that live in marshy regions, rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. They can withstand saltwater for a few hours or even days.
Which Hot Springs are the Best in Florida?
1. Little Salt Spring
Little Salt Spring is one of Florida’s only three recognized hot springs and one of only two on land. It’s an important archaeological location.
Little Salt Spring is a great spring that has yielded incredible historical treasures, including rare ice-age human bones. Some of the bones, astonishingly, included brain tissue, scalp, and hair.
The meager amounts of oxygen in the water allow for this preservation. Bacteria cannot thrive in the absence of oxygen, which helps to avoid degradation.
Little Salt Spring is maintained as a private study site due to its historical, archaeological, and geological importance. It is not accessible to the general population.
2. Warm Mineral Spring
Warm Mineral Spring is the only publically accessible hot spring in Florida. Although it is classified as a hot spring, the term is a little too generous.
The water temperature is about 85 degrees. The precise temperature fluctuates based on the amount of rain and the velocity of water flow. It’s more like a warm spring than a hot spring.
Warm Mineral Spring, however, is a natural, authentic hot spring in Florida, located around 200 feet under the surface. Deep beneath the Earth, geothermally heated water gushes at a scorching 97 degrees F.
Mineral Springs is a fantastic location. Bathers come from all over the globe to enjoy the mineral-rich waters. Warm Mineral Spring is historically significant as well.
Native Americans have been using it for thousands of years. Deep within the spring, amazing archaeological discoveries such as ancient creatures and even human bones have been discovered.
It’s possible that while looking for the Warm Mineral Spring location, Spanish conqueror Juan Ponce de León was severely wounded. After being shot by a poison-tipped arrow from a Native American, he died of his injuries.
Although Florida has over 1,000 springs, Warm Mineral Springs is the state’s only naturally occurring warm mineral spring.
A mineral spring, by definition, is a natural body of water that includes dissolved minerals such as salt, sulfur, and gases. The water here is the essence of Southern hospitality — warm and welcoming, with up to 51 minerals and a year-round temperature of 85 degrees.
The mineral-rich water is believed to have therapeutic qualities for a range of illnesses, and visitors from all over the globe flock to taste it.
The water has also earned a reputation for being magical due to its high mineral concentration. According to research, magnesium aids neuron function, sulfate aids infection resistance, and potassium aids electrolyte balance.
All of these elements and many more may be found in abundance in the waters of Warm Mineral Springs.
Here, you may rest, relax, and take in the beauty of unspoiled Florida nature – gorgeous without the crowds. The steam coming from the springs resembles a sauna on a chilly day. The scent of minerals in the air is more pungent on certain days, signaling that the minerals are ready and active.
3. Hot Mud Spring
Hot Mud Spring is a great hot spring in Florida. It’s not accessible unless you’re a scientist, a fisherman, or a scuba diver. This hot spring, like Warm Mineral Spring, is located deep under the sea. It’s miles offshore on the Gulf of Mexico’s bottom.
Mud Hole Spring is one of around six geothermal springs found along Florida’s coast. Hot Mud Spring is as hot as Warm Mineral Spring because the spring system is deep enough to be warmed by the Earth’s geothermal core.
Like Warm Mineral Spring, the undersea vent releases hot spring water (97°F) that is exceptionally rich in nutrients and minerals. Because scientists have started investigating additional blue holes in Florida, Mud Hole Spring may get scientific attention in the future years.
Scuba diving and fishing
Large fish, sharks, turtles, and other marine life call Mud Hole Spring home.
The warm temperature and high nutrients, minerals, and microscopic life support a flourishing underwater ecology. For loggerhead sea turtles, it’s an essential grazing and feeding habitat. Scientists, scuba divers, and surface fishers go to Mud Hole Spring because of the richness of marine life.
If you’re looking for a hot springs vacation destination that’s a little bit different than the usual, look no further than Florida! With its abundance of natural springs, this southern state is a perfect place to soak your troubles away.
So pack your bathing suit and head to the Sunshine State – your stress will be gone in no time!