Landscape and Nature Photographer
Silver Springs State Park
We took a day trip to the Ocala area to visit Silver Springs State Park. I had been looking at the State Parks web site and in particular Silver Springs. The springs actually refer to a group of artesian springs and a historic tourist attraction. In the early to mid 1800's it began attracting visitors from across the United States. In the mid 1870's glass bottom boat tours began. In the 1920s, W. Carl Ray and W.M. "Shorty" Davidson, after leasing the land from Ed Carmichael (upon whose death the springs were left to the University of Florida), developed the land around the headwaters of the Silver River into an attraction that eventually became known as Silver Springs Nature Theme Park. The attraction featured native animal exhibits, amusement rides, and 30 or 90-minute glass-bottom boat tours of the springs. In 2013, the State of Florida took over operations of Silver Springs and combined it with the adjacent Silver River State Park to form the new Silver Springs State Park.