Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Visit to Florida's Rainbow Springs State Park

Located near Dunnellon, there are two entrances to the park depending if you are camping or just visiting the park.  To get to the park from the campground to the spring head and gardens, you either kayak about a mile upstream on Rainbow River, or drive about 6 miles to the main entrance.

There are two loops, A & B, in the campground.  Loop A has no shade or shrubs and is the adjacent to the walk-in tent area. Loop B has sites nestled in the shrubbery offering some side privacy and some have overhead shade.  Those shaded sites are on the west end of the loop.  All the sites are level gravel and are pretty spacious.  The campground and facilities are clean and well maintained.  All sites have Full Hook-Ups.  50/30/20 amp electric.


Loop B looking west.


 Loop B looking east.  Big difference in shade.

Along the river at the campground there is a nice picnic area with pavilions, picnic tables, grassy areas, a dock, boat ramp and canoe/kayak launch and swimming area.  Fishing is permitted off the dock or shore. There is another picnic area at the office building with a pavilion, horseshoe court, shuffleboard court and in the office is a rec room with a few games.

One can rent canoes or tandem kayaks at the campground or you can launch your own.  An alternative is to go into town and rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard from one of a few outfitters.

At the campground there are two trails.  At the beginning is signage regarding the wildlife in the area.  One being black bears.  So, make noise on the trails.  

 The nature trail is an easy loop about half mile long and there is a half mile cut off that leads to the entrance gate.  There is another short trail which is pretty much a service road that circles Loop B.  Easy hike.

Along the Nature Trail we spotted this huge cage.  So, maybe there are bears in the park.

This Black Swallowtail is the wildest thing we saw on the trail, desperately hanging on to a thin branch in a stiff breeze.

While down at the river's edge this armadillo searches for food.

The Rainbow River is normally very calm and crystal clear, but there is a current to be aware of.

 One way of traveling the river.

 Or, with man's best friend.  Woman's in this case.


Or, in fleet.  I think these folks entered downstream at an outfitter by the conversation as they passed by.

The entrance to the headsprings is on FL-41, north of the campground.  If you are camping in the park, bring your window sticker so you don't have to pay again.

The headspring is popular for swimming, snorkeling, tubing and kayaking,  and, the waterfalls and gardens throughout the park.  At the springhead are change rooms/restrooms, grills, pavilions, picnic tables, a museum and a small food concession.  This area was once a privately owned day park, but is now part of the Florida State Park system.

For the kids the swimming area is primary.  But, for us it is the waterfalls and trails:


And, a resident of one of the several ponds along the trail.

Also, there is a recreated Indian village depicting life of the Timucua Indians that once inhabited the area.

An interesting means of capturing rain water.


  1. good morning Doug,

    You are "on the right path" to be sure!! I had forgotten how extensive Rainbow Springs Park is....Andy and I inspired by your blog will make Rainbow a destination for this summer!!

    Thankyou to you and your wife (I am awful with names, please excuse!) for stopping by and chatting. Connections on the road are so great to have!!

    I wanted to shoot off a comment right away but now want to puruse the rest of your blog! I appreciate all the camping details!

    Keep on truckn'!!

  2. Vicki and I enjoyed chatting with you, also. Your information is much appreciated. Thanks! The garden looks great.