We departed the rest area at Mile Marker 133 on I-95 at 8:30 a.m. We had spent a comfortable night there and were eager to get to our next destination.
We arrived at the Salt Springs Campground in the Ocala National Forest at 12:15 p.m. This was one of two campgrounds we wanted to check out, the other one is the Alexander Springs Campground. Salt Springs was not to our liking. The RV campsites have water, electric and sewer hookups. They were all occupied, but did not provide adequate privacy for our preferences. The primitive section of the campground the Park Ranger directed us to, was not suitable for RV’s, in our opinion.
We departed Salt Springs and traveled about 30 miles south to Alexander Springs Campground. There are no hookups at this campground, but what a jewel! There is plenty of privacy between campsites, beautiful scenery and a scenic spring-fed pond.
Alexander Springs has crystal clear water that remains at a constant temperature of 72 degrees F throughout the year. There are several surface tributaries that direct the underground spring water into a shallow pond. The pond then evolves into a shallow river. The width of the pond and the river is approximately 25 yards with a maximum depth of about three feet. The bottom is composed of pure white sand, mostly covered with lush green vegetation. Despite the alligator warning signs posted, there is a designated swimming area, approximately 25 yards square. We witnessed adults and young children swimming in the pond, and also scuba divers, with their wet suits and tanks on, exploring the pond.
Alexander Springs provides canoe rentals for those visitors wishing to explore the river portion of the spring. Quite a few campers bring their own canoes or kayaks. The water surface is so smooth with a gently flowing current, it looks like it provides a relaxing way to enjoy nature on the water.
There is a self-guided boardwalk tour around the pond and along a portion of the river. Under the boardwalk flow the various tributaries of the crystal clear spring water, just a few inches in depth. This area is populated with several varieties of trees; among the most prevalent are cedar, cypress and pine. The boardwalk ends at an overlook area that protrudes out onto a portion of the river.
We are presently paid up for three nights, but will probably stay longer after we have had a chance to check out other campgrounds within the Ocala National Forest.
The cost for a campsite is $10.50 per night with our Golden Age Passport.
Total miles traveled today: 218
Tomorrow, another new adventure begins!