Juniper Springs Campground is one of the most popular campgrounds in the Ocala National Forest. The location offers deeply shaded sites within walking distance of some of Florida's most beautiful natural springs. The surrounding recreation area has plenty of activities to entertain visitors, including swimming, picnicking, canoeing, snorkeling, hiking, birding and wildlife viewing.
This campground was named one of Reserve America's Top 100 Family Campgrounds in the United States.
Visitors love swimming in a warm natural pool found in the day use area. Canoeing is also extremely popular year-round. The 7-mile journey down Juniper Run offers a unique perspective on the Juniper Prairie Wilderness. Private canoes can be used, or canoes can be rented from the concessionaire.
Back on land, campers can spend a day in the woods on a segment of the statewide Florida Trail, or walk a shorter nature trail within the facility. Interpretive programs are available during summer months.
The facility is divided into a day use area and campground. Campsites are arranged into three loops near the creek and springs. All sites are shaded and equipped with a picnic table, grill, campfire ring, lantern post and space for tents. There are no sites with full hookups. Other amenities include hot showers, flush toilets and dump station.
A convenience store with camping supplies, beach supplies, food, drinks and ice cream is nearby. Restaurants, shopping and gas are just 10 miles from campground.
The natural springs are at the heart of this recreation area. Hundreds of bubbling springs emerge from crevices in the earth beneath a dense canopy of palms and oaks - an oasis within the heart of the desert-like Big Scrub ecosystem for which the national forest is known.
Abundant wildlife inhabitant the area, including alligators, turtles, deer, black bear, turkey, raccoons and numerous species of birds, as well as uncommon species like the albino gray squirrel, river otters and American eels.
Lake George and its many activities are just a short drive away. The Ocala National Forest is also notable for its extensive off-road trail system catering to both ATV enthusiasts and Jeeps, as well as being a traditional destination for deer hunters from around Central Florida. These opportunities are available nearby.
ADA Access: N
We had a wonderful family camping trip to Juniper Springs. But here are a few things to consider when planning your next trip:
Pros: Very clean camping sites. No trash around. Close to walking trails. Firewood available for purchase. Picnic tables , grill , bear box and fire pit with grill available at each site.
Cons: Bathroom was not cleaned daily. Due to the park being a bit crowded, the women’s shower had hair and hair ties everywhere.
Sites are awfully close to one another, there are trees and shrubs in between but you could still hear your neighbors conversations.
Sites located in the middle of the campsites are much smaller than those on the outside.
Overall it’s a beautiful place to visit, the springs are crystal clear and if you like to kayak this place is for you. A wonderful weekend getaway.
We stayed at camp 54, the site was nice and secluded while also near the amenities.
I camp here quite often. My go-to camp site for weekends. Great camp sites for both RV and Tent but I’m a tent camper. Lots of room on the site, nice clean facilities, nice fire rings. Lots of hiking trails, kayaking at the springs and the best swim area…. I highly recommend.
I had an amazing time here. It is back to nature with water and electric hookups. The spring itself is beautiful and great swimming as long as you can stand the 72 degree water. We had a mama raccoon and her 3 babies stop by our campsite and our neighbor spotted a black bear…..not too close.
The kayak run was amazing. We used a double seater kayak and it was an adventure. We managed not to fall in the water but it was a team effort. The run even had a small rapids area, very small, but fun for Florida.
We tried to walk-in to camp like the website advised; however, we were informed the website was incorrect and we needed reservations.
We spent a day trip here to kayak in the run and then swim afterwards. The park does rentals in the store very easily and picks you up at the end. The.m mill and grounds are worth visiting.
small camping area with decent buffers. bathrooms are decent. as long as you stay in the right loop.
This pet friendly campground has many magical options. The Florida Trail runs right through this spot and has a natural spring connection as well. We camped out near the facilities and am happy to report everything was maintained and clean. The vibes are on point here.
There are several different camping areas, each with varying degrees of secludedness. Great trails through the trees you can hike for hours, but easily find your way out, they were well mapped out.
The springs/swimming area is really beautiful! Huge with room for lots of people, deep diving areas, shallows children's areas. It's really great. And cold, it's around 72 all year, so if its hot SWIM!
They also have a great river you can canoe or kayak, which they offer both for rental. its a gorgeous natural run, sometimes with obstacles depending on tide and fallen trees, that's one part I always enjoyed, maneuvering around new obstacles!
Great place for new or experienced campers, definitely and great way to introduce someone new to camping!
We loved our campsite - it was wooded in almost all directions so we had a good amount of privacy, and it was plenty large enough for our gigantic tent (10x20) and still had room for the kiddos to run around. Each site also had a bear locker for food - which was helpful but also freaked us out a bit about the bears - apparently they are not rare here (which is fine with me since it was their home first). We did have some "young uns" next door who has some colorful language and loud music into the night but the rangers did shut down their little shin dig around midnight (even though quiet hours start at 10pm, not to be the old stick in the mud). The site had a paved parking area and then the rest of the site was dirt. There was no water which is always sort of a pain, but it was near the bathhouse which we found clean and adequate.
While we loved the campground, the real gem is the crystal clear blue spring and Juniper Run. We brought a canoe and a double kayak (for two adults and four kids) and absolutely loved the trip down the run - though I would definitely suggest a kayak over the canoe due to its increased maneuverability (but we only had one adult in the canoe so it may have been more doable with two adults). If you visit, you cannot miss a trip down the river, but if you're renting from their outfitters be sure to arrive early because the river gets busy on the weekends.