There are many excellent places to enjoy a variety of outdoor pleasure pursuits in Florida; however, few are as wonderful as Ginnie Springs, Florida. This privately owned park in Gilchrist County is a hidden gem in the northern part of the state. It can be found about seven miles northwest of High Springs, Florida.
What’s unique about Ginnie Springs for diving enthusiasts is that it features a cave system to explore, making it a great location to obtain a PADI Cavern, Cave, or Nitrox Diver certification. The cave system is carved into limestone near the Santa Fe River, and the clear water and sandy bottom make it one of the least intimidating dive spots for a first time cave diver. Ginnie Springs is popular among open water divers too, with consistently high visibility diving in warm water.
The waterfront at Ginnie Springs is picturesque, with a mix between cypress and hardwood trees lining the shores. Wildlife such as wading birds and turtles can often be seen here. Camping amenities include vehicle camping spots as well as wilderness sites.
Covered picnic areas, volleyball courts, and a playground offer fun activities for families to enjoy out of the water as well. An onsite shop sells camping supplies and rents out recreational gear, including diving gear with PADI courses from certified dive trainers.
While divers will enjoy the pristine open water diving and adventurous cave system, other water activities are popular at Ginnie Springs such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and canoeing. You should note that this is a private park, so there is an entrance fee.
There are also associated camping and scuba diving fees. Dogs are not allowed. The layout of the park is seven separate springs connected to the Santa Fe River, so there are plenty of places to escape the crowds both in the water and on land.