Archaeological evidence indicates that people have been using this spring for nearly 10,000 years. Rainbow Springs is Florida's fourth largest spring and, from the 1930s through the 1970s, was the site of a popular, privately-owned attraction. The Rainbow River is popular for swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking. Canoes and kayaks can be rented at the headsprings. A picnic area at the spring includes tables, grills, and pavilions. For large gatherings, private pavilions can be reserved. Tubing is not allowed in the headsprings area of the park. Tubers can launch at the Tube Entrance on SW 180th Avenue Road. The Campground Entrance with a full-facility campground is about nine miles from the day use area. The Headsprings Entrance is located three miles north of Dunnellon on the east side of U.S. 41. The campground is located on S.W. 180th Avenue Road about two miles north of County Road 484 and two miles south of State Road 40. The Tube Entrance is located 1.4 miles south of the campground Entrance on SW 180th Avenue Road.
Great short paddle trip...beautiful place to paddle...kayak or canoe. The main boil is very deep and is one of Florida's largest springs (4th largest I believe). You can paddle right over top of the main boil but there are also MANY smaller springs along the river as you paddle through. Crystal clear, 72 degree year round water temperature.
This is a great place to explore it has a combination of dirt paved and boardwalk trails.
March is the best time to come when the Azaleas are in blossom. Make sure you ask for a map when you buy your entrance ticket. Trails are well marked and easy walking. We wandered for a total of 4.09 miles between all the trails. Many places and benches to rest or just listen to nature on the trails. Stopped for a drink at the snack bar on the way out. I will go back again.
Rated this as a walk because this is mostly a paved walk, although there are nature walks that extend several miles on unpaved areas. For florida, this is a very hilly little state park. It is a nice walk, but some very steep parts. There are a few water falls (manmade) that are very natural looking. This park is at the head spring to the Rainbow River. Incredibly beautiful spring that offers kayaking and canoeing. Great birding and flowers. Especially beautiful in early spring with azaelas and other flowering plants. There is a small wild flower area. This state park costs $1 to enter. There are nice facilities and a store and snack bar. The walk distance varies but can be as long as 3 miles. Plenty of benches. Pretty busy with families on weekends. During the warm months the springs are busy with swimmers. A great variety of wildlife. Pretty tame, but beautiful.