Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
3rd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

Silver Glen Springs

Marion County

Summary of Features

  • Scale - 1st magnitude
  • Scenery - fine
  • How Pristine? - land cleared around springhead, fence and paths near water, houseboats in run, exotic tilapia in water
  • Swimming - very good, deep water; snorkeling outstanding
  • Protection - excellent
  • Crowds - heavy on warm weekends
  • Access - excellent
  • Facilities - fine
  • Safety - very good
  • Scuba - no
  • Cost - $5.50 per person

Directions (Address and phone: : 5271 FL-19, Salt Springs, FL 32134, (352) 685-2799)

The spring is six miles north of the junction of State Roads 19 and 40 along SR 19 in the middle of the Ocala National Forest. Look for signs for the spring recreation area on the east side of SR 19.

Spring Description

Two main spring openings create a large pool about 250 feet across. Modified banks, a fence, and concrete walls frame the spring into a rough square. One spring, called the "Natural Well," is in the SW corner of the overall pool (to the right as one approaches the spring from the parking area). It is a cylindrical shaft, 15 feet in diameter, 40 feet deep, and thick with large, circling fish including striped bass and mullet. The 3-5 foot bottom around the spring is covered in eel grass. Water flowing from the Natural Well creates a visible slick at the surface and is very clear and blue. Fish swim in corkscrew patterns up and down the shaft. An employee at the spring said the Natural Well had a large resident alligator. A photograph of this ‘gator sitting on the bottom was on the wall of the concession shop when the authors visited in 1998.

The second and larger spring is about 60 feet from shore in the left center of the pool. Water flows from cavern openings. While the general spring pool is 5-7 feet deep, the bottom funnels down to the limestone openings about 20 feet deep. Water flows strongly up and out of the vents, "blowing" snail shells, sand, and fish that congregate near the openings. Striped bass and tilapia may be seen in the spring in large numbers, paying little heed to swimmers and divers. The water is blue and very clear except when stirred up by swimmers. The spring run is also fed by a small stream that has many small sand boils (Hartnett, 2000).

Land rises around the spring in an area of hardwood and pine forest. The area above the spring was burned in by wildfires in 1998, and many trees were scorched and killed. The pool forms a wide run that flows about 0.5 mile to Lake George, one of the chain of lakes along the St. Johns River. Many large houseboats anchor just outside the spring pool in warm months.


Local Springiana

Personal Impressions

Silver Glen is a large, powerful, and attractive spring. The density of fish in the Natural Well is even greater than that at Homosassa Springs and gives a sense of the abundance of life that Florida’s springs had before the advent of civilization. The spring is an excellent spot for snorkeling and exploring and is also blessed by lovely spring neighbors (Salt, Alexander, Silver, Sweetwater, Juniper, etc.). It is best to visit anytime but on a summer weekend, when crowds will be very large.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features