Floridians - Does anyone else like swimming in Springs?

I have been in Florida for the past week. Near Orlando in a quiet little community on Lake Dora. Our host brought my wife and I on a tour of several natural springs with-in a 30 minute trip. We went to Silver Springs…Silver Glen, Alexander Spring and a few more I forget the names of.
This was a first for me. I had always been a diver, but I had never gone into a crystal clear fresh water spring and experienced such things as I did in FL. We saw fish that looked like alligators, schools of large mouth bass, and a few small gators when in the springs. One of the springs (Silver Glen I think) had a wonderful large cave in it, I didn’t venture beyond the lighted areas but it was amazing non-the-less. I could not get over how clear the water was.

I will be down there again in November, do any Florida Doper’s know of other Springs I should not miss? How about some experiences other than mine, any close encounters? Any other fascinating experiences in springs? How about other states with springs? I am only aware of Florida having Springs…

Native checking in – I love springs and will take them over the beaches ANY day. Blue Springs is my local favorite. Go in the off-season and you will likely see manitees – check the spring’s website and click on “special events”. A manitee observation program begins in November, so you could luck out. Be aware that you aren’t actually allowed to swim with them.

As far as I know, the crack is still open to divers. You can also rent inner-tubes and just float down the river. Me, I enjoyed snorkeling and swimming down into the source as far as I could dare.

The nearest spring to me is Wekiva Springs, but it’s been transformed into a faux swimming pool, squared-off edges and all. Entirely too commercial and I don’t think scuba is allowed. Stay away from this one.

However, parts of the Wekiva River are lovely for canoeing. The water isn’t nearly as crystal as in the springs, but it’s still very nice. Some brave souls do long treks all the way to the St. John’s river. Nine or so miles is enough for me – there used to be a place in Sanford called Katy’s Landing that dropped you off the afore-mentioned distance up river; it was then up to you to get back! I was very fond of using this trip to introduce friends to the wonders of Florida’s waterways. (Not to mention laughing at all the inevitable hysterics that come with first-time canoers).

One would think a native could spell “manatee” properly. :smack:

I second Blue Springs- I grew up swimming there! This was before they built the walkways and swimming area . We used to swing out on ropes over the deepest hole in the springs;the “boil” we called it. Absolutely insane that our parents let us do it!

I think that swimming in the springs feels nicer in the winter when the water is warmer relative to the external air temperature. I am spoiled (ruined?) by the warmth of the Gulf waters in the summer and can’t much take swimming in below 80 degree water except when it’s cold out. November should be perfect.

The last Florida Dopefest was at Rainbow Springs which is pretty nice. Maybe we could have another when you come down, if you’re not too busy.

crystal river makes for some nice swimming, manatees, clear water, the whole shebang

I live on Holmes Creek a short canoe paddle from Cypress Springs. We go swimming there almost every weekend in the summer. The cold water is very refreshing. There are quite a few springs in this area worth visiting. Here are a couple of links for anyone interested:

Florida Springs Database

Springs Fever: Florida Springs Guide