If you’re visiting Northwest Florida, or anywhere close to there, Ginnie Springs should be on your list of places to visit in Florida. It is said to be the clearest water in all of Florida. It looks like a mermaid’s dream.
Where is Ginnie Springs, FL?
Ginnie Springs is a hidden gem nestled in High Springs, Florida. Located just 45 minutes northwest of Gainesville, Ginnie Springs is a nature lover’s paradise. With its crystal clear waters, enchanting underwater caves, and breathtaking scenic views, it’s no wonder why this destination is a favorite among adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts.
So, if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, Ginnie Springs in High Springs, Florida is the place to be! We can’t wait to welcome you to this captivating oasis.
It will take you about 2 and a half hours to get there from the Jacksonville metro & Tampa Bay metro areas. With it being near multiple cities in Florida, it’s accessible for a lot of travelers and remote workers. They have Wi-Fi on the premises so if you need to check your email, work on a couple of projects, or do something else.
Ginnie Springs is one spring in a series of five springs along the Santa Fe River. You can camp at the Ginnie Springs campground which is located around that spring. There are both RV camping spots and tent camping spots, as well as availability for Tent campers to stay in RV spots with electrical and water hookups. It can be really helpful if you’re camping in a tent!
Ginnie Springs Camping
There are many different types of camping available at Ginnie Springs, from tent camping to camping with RVs. There are various campsites in the park, all of which are situated close to the river and provide breathtaking vistas of the trees and vegetation in the surrounding area. The campsites provide guests with access to clean bathrooms and shower facilities, as well as picnic tables and fire pits to gather around.
To secure your ideal campsite, we strongly recommend making reservations in advance. Ginnie Springs offers 129 well-equipped water and electric campsites, conveniently located just across from the park’s store. These sites provide all the comforts of home, ensuring a seamless camping experience.
Cabins are also available for rent inside the park for campers who choose a more upscale version of the traditional tent stay.
Each water and electric campsite accommodates up to 8 people, 2 vehicles, and 2 tents. With spacious grounds and essential amenities, Ginnie Springs creates a welcoming atmosphere for campers of all ages. Enjoy the convenience of water and electric hookups, allowing you to power up your camping essentials and keep cool in the Florida heat. While these sites are not located by the river, their strategic positioning ensures a peaceful and serene camping environment.
Tips for Ginnie Springs from Locals:
We’ve been down the river a time or 2…trust us.
Bring a dry bag or 2
Do you want to be able to bring some driving down the river for when you get to the end? You can get a dry bag that will keep your phone, clothing, camera, or other belongings you do not want to get wet safe.
Go on a weeknight
It is cheaper and less busy if you go on weeknights. Awesome jobs may not be able to accommodate this it’s worth mentioning considering many people who visit are on vacation. Even if you do end up going for the weekend it’s only $30 a night during high season
Get up Early if You Want Pics Without Tons of People
Even though most pictures online seem serene, there will be a lot of people there unless you go in winter. If you want to get pictures (like the one below) get up early or go before the sun goes down.
Get an RV spot – even if you’re only tent camping
The electric and water hook ups will make your life so much easier. Whether you’re traveling with girlfriends or with your kids it cuts down on the hassles of camping. There’s a Spicket where you can fill water bottles pots and pans for cooking or other things like showers. There are electrical sockets where are you can directly plug in your phone charger, a speaker speaker, kitchen equipment, anything that needs power!
Plan to stay late in the day
If it’s possible try to plan to stay late on the day you’re leaving. Each pass is good until 8 PM the day you’re leaving, so take full advantage of your purchase.
Bring a floating cooler
There are cooler is that float, as well as inflatable cooler’s that look like tubes. This makes it easier to keep track of your drinks and bring snacks down the river as you go. Because you could spend a few hours on the river do you want to make sure you’re hydrated and well fed. Not to mention fully stocked on alcoholic beverages.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
Even though the springs are shady, the river it’s self is not. Do you want to make sure you’re protected from the sun so bring enough sunscreen to last all weekend. Consider even buy waterproof to last longer. You can also bring a hat… Don’t forget the sunglasses like I did.
Bring flashlights and lanterns
There are no lights inside either campground so be sure to bring ample lighting so you can see at night. You can see where you’re going if you bring mobile flashlights. There is a light at the spring so you could night swim but that is one of the only ones besides at the bathrooms.
Plan time to stop at the small Main Street near Ginnie Springs
When you’re driving into the springs he will pass a smog downtown area with a few shops and restaurants. It’s a cute little area so be sure to build in time to walk around.
Tell your group the campsite number before you go
There is not a good cell service at the springs so if you have an RV campsite be sure to tell the rest of your group the numbers before hand. We’ve gone in large groups before and been unable to communicate… Don’t let that happen to you. If you are staying in a tent camping there are not specified numbers for each campsite, it’s more of a free-for-all so we recommend going in as a group or ensuring someone has a reliable cell service cough cough AT&T.
Bring a large tube
I’m sure you’ve all seen a Instagram pictures of large pool floats in the ocean, pool and rivers. If you have the funds, grab one of these online before you head out so your entire group can hang out together on one raft. You can check out the one we brought here:
You want to be sure that you can tie all individual tubes together so that your entire group and stay together on the river. This will make it a lot easier to not lose someone as you’re floating down the river and trying to enter the springs. Tie your selves off as soon as you get in the water to avoid losing anyone…
Don’t start drinking till you’re tied up
Why do you involve alcohol in the mix it becomes on all more difficult to stay together. Make sure you’re sober enough to tie the tubes together!
Come during the off-season
The off-season is November to February, which means the prices are cheaper. The water is also colder so if you’re worried about alligators this is the safest time to go. Alligators are not active in cold water so the colder the temperature outside the safer you are in the river.
Bring a paddle if possible
This may not be something you are able to bring on your travels, but nonetheless it’s a helpful tip. Consider buying a pal to navigate along the river. This will make it easier to avoid trees and move your tube without having to get in the water and push it.
Try to get out early
The earlier you get in the water the less crowded it will be. It will also be cooler so the sun won’t be as harsh.
Don’t start floating too late in the day
You don’t want to start your float too late in the day where it will become dark while you’re on the river. Be sure to check sunrise time before you head out.
Don’t forget the bug spray
During some parts of the year there are quite a few bugs flying around the campground. Bring Brook bug spray to protect yourself from bug bites so you’re not miserable the whole trip.
Bring an air mattress
If you haven’t been camping very often, it’s wise to invest in a cheap air mattress from Walmart and a battery powered pump. Well I will probably run you about $40 for all pieces sleep is magical. You don’t want to have to sleep on a tree route or wake up feeling off kilter. I can speak from experience that it’s worth the investment.
Bring a fire pit
Even in September you’ll want to bring a fire pit so that you can keep warm. It’s also great for making marshmallows which is an essential camping activity! The campground does allow open flames so you can also use this to cook.
Be careful on the steps
They’re slippery. We recommend wearing water shoes or flip flops to protect your feet, but at a bare minimum be careful on the steps entering the water!
Other Amenities at Ginnie Springs:
Show me what we’re workin’ with…
Clean Showers & Restrooms
There are bathrooms spread out throughout the campsite that include showers. They are pretty regularly cleaned so they are nice for an outdoor bathroom.
Free WiFi at shop
One of the best things is the FREE Wifi! Even though you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere you can still stay connected. This is perfect if you have to get a little work done on your adventure…
Multiple Springs Nearby
There’s more than just Ginnie Springs. Along the river there are multiple springs you can stop at and hang out. Each looks a little different, so if you have time we recommend stopping at each!
They offer to parental to float down the river and visit the various Springs. The cost varies depending on the time of year so check ahead.
Air Fill Up:
You can also bring your own tube’s and they have an air Phillips station. This allows you to quickly fill up your two without losing your breath.
Shop & Restaurant
There is a café that serves various food items, as well as a general store that sells everything you might need for camping. If you forget anything on your trip chances are the shop has it.
There is a security gate at the front entrance as well as guards that ride around on golf carts at night. I never felt unsafe when I was visiting. They do a good job of ensuring the campsites are safe.
Stairs into Spring
There is an entrance directly to the spring at the Ginnie Springs campsite. You do not have to walk all the way up to the top of the tube entrance to get in the water or access the river. This makes it easy to take a quick swim if you don’t want to do the full tube Experience… Or if you want to do both.
Access to the Top to River
If you want to have a longer to ride you can walk your tube up to the top of the rivers entrance. There is a deck where you can get into the water and float all the way down to pass every spring. You have to do this at least once while you’re here!
There are five springs in all along the river. You can hop along from spring to spring using the river to float. Some of The springs also have other various campgrounds
It’s Campground has a grill that you can use to cook. So you don’t even have to bring your own stove… You can bring hotdogs and hamburger meat and make meals from that. You can also get more fancy and check out some festival meal ideas which are perfect for this kind of camping setting.
In addition to the girls each campsite has a picnic table where you can eat at. You can use this to prepare food as well which makes it easier to create a little kitchen while visiting. I can tell you from experience that having a sturdy table makes the world of difference when trying to cook in the wilderness… It’s a true blessing.
What is it close to?
The springs are close to Gainesville. They are about 2 1/2 hours from Tampa, four hours from Fort Myers and Naples area, two hours from Jacksonville, two hours to Daytona or Orlando… It is in northern Florida so it is not far from any places.
No matter when you choose to visit Ginnie Springs we guarantee you’ll have a good time. It’s a great place for a family vacation call mom get away with friends, bachelor or bachelorette party, family reunions, overnight dates, and everything in between.
Tell us your favorite thing about Ginnie Springs in the Comments so other travelers can take advantage of your tips as well…
Everyone has a different experience so sharing ideas helps everyone!