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Silver Springs offers lots of opportunities for outdoor activities – year round. The region is filled with hundreds of fresh water springs and lakes, as well as the Silver, Rainbow, Ocklawaha and Withlacoochee Rivers. Visitors can choose from fishing, boating, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling or diving and more. The Withlacoochee River and Lake Weir are unequaled for their bass fishing – although bass is just one of more than 100 species of fish found in these waters. The 560-acre Carney Island Park is located just outside Ocklawaha on Lake Weir. It offers swimming, canoeing, hiking, biking and picnicking. Marion County's KP Hole Park is situated on the Rainbow River in Dunnellon. It provides a sandy beach and protected swimming area, canoeing, a public boat ramp, tube rentals and picnicking. Rainbow Springs State Park is a very popular park located near Silver Springs that offers 600 acres of parkland with an additional 400 acres for camping. The cool, clear waters of the spring located in this park are great for snorkeling. There are also shaded walkways that wind along through the Park with benches along the way to stop and enjoy the scenery . If golf is your game, there are several public, private and semi-private courses in the Silver Springs area. One of the most popular is located on U.S. Highway 27, just west of I-75 and is known for its eight holes that were designed to duplicate famous holes from Scotland's St. Andrews course and the Masters Course in Augusta, Georgia.

Almost three quarters of the 383,573-acre Ocala National Forest is situated in Marion County near Silver Springs. Recreation areas of the National Forest include Alexander Springs, Fore Lake Recreational Area, Juniper Springs, Lake Eaton Loop Trail, Lake Eaton Sink Hole, Mill Dam Recreation Area, Salt Springs and Salt Springs Trail. There are designated trails for horseback riding, specially marked walking/hiking trails and hundreds of campsites throughout the forest – from full-service to rustic. Fore Lake Recreation Area is a day use and camping area that is open year-round, with a 250-foot sandy beach for swimming and sunbathing.

Of course, the world's largest artesian spring system is a major attraction to the town of Silver Springs. For more than a century, the springs has been a tourist attraction – in fact, it was Florida's first major tourist attraction with visitors arriving by steamboat and stagecoach. Today there is a 350-acre nature theme park at the springs with a water park situated adjacent to the park. Glass bottom boat tours give an exciting up close look at the underwater life in the springs and other attractions include wild animal exhibits and a concert series. The water park is six acres and includes a twin-tunneled water slide, a huge fan-shaped pool, flumes, a supervised children's water play area and wading pool.

Anyplace called “The Horse Capital of the World,” would naturally offer equestrian pursuits. Marion County has the largest number of horses and ponies in residence in the United States. You can enjoy international competitions, show jumping, polo, trail riding, take a tour of a horse farm, a carriage tour, or visit one of the many equestrian venues in the area such as the Florida Horse Park, which is an official U.S. Equestrian Federation training site.


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