I had the opportunity this week to meet some friends at the Silver River State Park near Ocala for a few days.
Actually, Silver River State Park, combined with Silver Springs Nature Theme Park late in 2013, and is now known as Silver Springs State Park.
The Silver River is a short spring-fed river located east of Ocala, FL. Fed by Silver Springs, it connects the springs to the Ocklawaha River, passing through a pristine woodland environment.
The River Side of the Park...
|Entrance to trails|
|Trails are beautiful and well marked|
|Swamp trail bridge|
|Palm reflection in the water|
|Taken from about 6' above the water, this guy was swimming about 4' below the surface|
The Spring side of the park was very quiet the day we visited
|Entrance to what used to be Silver Springs Nature Theme Park|
|Original settlers - Timucuan Indians|
|Horseshoe Palm - it's supposed to be lucky to take your picture here|
|Kayakers paddling into the headwaters|
A little bit of Hollywood Trivia - Six Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller were filmed here. The old 1950s The Creature from the Black Lagoon was also shot here at Silver Springs Florida. My favorite... Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges filmed more than 100 episodes here. In the 60’s the TV show “I Spy” filmed here as well and is responsible for the underwater statues you can still see here. Other movies filmed at Silver Springs include
The Yearling --- Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman
Distant Drums --- Gary Cooper
Underwater --- Jane Russell and Richard Egan
Blindfold --- Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale
Legend --- Tom Cruise
Never Say Never Again --- Sean Connery
Smokey and the Bandit 3 --- Jackie Gleason
The park also has a population of Rhesus monkeys... Brought in by one of the concessionaires in the 1930’s, we didn't see any during our visit, the best way to see them is by kayak.
This is my favorite Florida park by far and I will definitely go back.