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Silver Springs State Park, Silver Springs

(1,100+ reviews on the web)
State Park
Silver Springs State Park, formerly known as Silver River State Park, is a Florida State Park located on the Silver River in Marion County. The park contains Silver Springs, Florida's first tourist attraction.The Silver Springs attraction dates to the 1870s. In 1985 the state purchased the land surrounding Silver Springs to spare it from development, creating the Silver River State Park. In 1993 the state acquired Silver Springs as well, though it continued to be operated privately. In 2013 the state took over control of Silver Springs, merging it with the adjacent parkland to create Silver Springs State Park.HistorySilver SpringsState parkIn 1985, the State of Florida purchased approximately 5,000 acres of undeveloped land around Silver Springs to keep it from being developed. The land was turned over to the Department of Recreation and Parks in 1987, creating the Silver River State Park. The same year, Marion County Schools constructed the Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center on the property. There was little else at the park until 1999, when the state began construction on a ranger station, campground, and kayak launch.In 1993, the state purchased Silver Springs with the ultimate intention of taking it over. The previous owners continued to operate the attraction under lease. It went through several operators before Palace Entertainment took over management of "Silver Springs Nature Theme Park" in 2002. In January 2013, after years of declining profits and increasing environmental problems, the state took over control of the park, releasing Palace Entertainment from their obligations. The same year, they merged Silver Springs into Silver River State Park, creating Silver Springs State Park.
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  • Spent one morning walking around here and another kayaking and both days were tremendous. The kids and wife loved it as did I. What a wonderful place to spend some time. We will be back!  more »
  • We had gone here as children and walking into the park brought back many memories of coming here in the 1960's .It was very laid back, glass bottom boat was really nice saw manatees, beautiful gardens...  more »
  • We did the Glass Bottom boat and it was such an educational experience. The springs are amazing. The tour guide was informative. We even saw alligators up close. Their grounds are in pristine conditio...  more »