Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area - Ocala National Forest, Florida
Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area - Ocala National Forest, Florida
Silver Glen Springs
One of Florida's most beautiful first magnitude
springs, Silver Glen Springs is a natural, historical,
scenic and archaeological landmark.
Silver Glen Springs
An average of 60 million
gallons of water per day pour
from the two vents of the main
Silver Glen Springs Run
The magnificent springs feed
a short run that is lined by
noted archaeological sites.
Shell middens found along
the run predate pottery.
Silver Glen Springs - Ocala National Forest, Florida
A Major Florida Prehistoric Site
Copyright 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: May 3, 2013
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Florida Springs & Waterfalls
Bartram at Silver Glen
Naturalist William Bartram
viewed the springs in 1774,
calling them a "vast fountain"
surrounded by palm trees.
Prehistoric Village Site
Human beings lived on the
banks of the springs for
thousands of years, leaving
behind enormous shell piles.
Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area is a
major natural, archaeological and historical
landmark of the Ocala National Forest in

Located in the Big Scrub region of Central
Florida, a locale made famous in such books
The Yearling by novelist Marjorie Kinnan
Rawlings, Silver Glen Springs is a first
magnitude spring that produces an average
of 60 million gallons of water per day. The
main boil is considered one of the purest
springs in Florida.

Like nearby
Salt Springs, Silver Glen Springs
is a major archaeological site. Researchers
indicate that human beings have lived
around the beautiful springs for thousands of

So many shells accumulated from so many
thousands of meals over so many
thousands of years that the main spring
basin became surrounded by a manmade
"amphitheater" of shell. Archaeologists
believe that the massive shell middens at
Silver Glen Spring began to grow as far back
as 5,600 years ago.

Evidence uncovered by researchers
indicates that the area around the springs
was first inhabited by prehistoric Paleo
hunters who first entered the region
thousands of years ago in pursuit of large
game animals and other sources of food.
They left behind stone artifacts.

The arrival of these early hunters opened an
era of human occupation that continued for
thousands of years into the Late Woodland
Period. The refuse that accumulated over the
centuries created massive middens or piles
of shell and other debris around the banks of
the main basin. A sand human burial mound
was also constructed.

Please click here to read more about the
archaeology of Silver Glen Springs.

The need for shell to be used in construction
projects led to the establishment of a mining
operation at the springs during the early 20th
century. Large parts of the shell midden were
carried away for use in building materials,
but significant portions still remain and can
be seen today.

Silver Glen Springs was visited by the famed
naturalist William Bartram in 1774. In
describing his exploration of the vicinity, he

...[P]adled near a mile up & come to a vast
Fountain, almost in ever respect like the
other great Spring that I visited before [Salt
Springs]. I went a shore, mounted very high,
hills very steep next to the Creek, but fell
away more gradually back, & entered a
beautifull grove of Palm Trees, mounted a
very high ridge, from whence had an almost
endless view of a vast bared desart, although
together impenetrable so thickly over grown
with short schrubby Oaoks, Bays, Yapon,
Prinos & short laurel bushes.

The "vast bared desert" described by Bartram
was the noted "Big Scrub" made famous by
novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Much of
the famed Scrub is now preserved in the
Ocala National Forest.
Rawlings also inspired the imaginations of
generations of lovers of American literature
with her description of Silver Glen Springs in
the first chapter of
The Yearling.

The best-selling novel of 1938,
The Yearling
sold over 250,000 copies during its first year
of release and won a Pulitzer Prize the
following year. Written from Rawling's
imagination but based on her observations
of life in the surrounding area, the book tells
the story of a young boy, Jody, and his
adopted fawn, Flag.

In its opening chapter,
The Yearling tells of
Jody's visit to a beautiful spring. Complete
with descriptions of the sand boils that rise
from the periphery of the main basin, the
account of Silver Glen Springs has fired the
imagination of readers for 75 years.

The springs became part of the Ocala
National Forest in 1990. Now the centerpiece
of a beautiful recreation area, the main
spring basin and the spring run are vital
habitat for manatee.

Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area is
located at 5271 FL 19, Salt Springs, Florida.

The complex is open to the public daily from
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with closing times varying
somewhat with the seasons. Admission is
$5.50 per person. Snorkling and swimming
are allowed, but the U.S. Forest Service does
not allow scuba diving in the springs.

Amenities include interpretive panels, a
picnic area, canoe rentals, restrooms and
two hiking trails. Directly across FL 19 from
the entrance is the
Pat's Island Trailhead,
which proves access to an interpretive trail
that leads past many sites associated with
The Yearling.

Please click here for more information.