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“Great canoe trip- some advice if you're going...”

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Rainbow Springs State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Great canoe trip- some advice if you're going...”
Reviewed 27 May 2013

Rainbow Springs State Park is a beautiful park to visit! We visited the Head Springs area- so this post refers to that area.

There are several man-made waterfalls and some very nice walking trails. If you are going to visit, there are some important things to know:
- If you're going to swim, bring a pool noodle. The swimming area is restricted to a specific location and it's very deep. You'll need a float just to hang on to, unless you're going to tread water the whole time you're there.
- There is a large field for picnics/set up. People bring tents, cabanas, their own grills, etc. If you're going during a busy season, the picnic tables will be staked out early. Make sure you bring your own chairs/blanket/table if you want that stuff.
- The walk from the parking lot down to the field/swimming area is long and hilly. If you have a lot to carry, bring a wagon or something to help you carry the stuff.
- If you want to bring your own canoe or kayak, it's a VERY long walk to the dock carrying your boat. Just FYI. :)


The water is so clear- it's really amazing. We're definitely going to be returning in the future!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank alicia0325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Anthony, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2013

We stayed at the campground for Rainbow Springs State Park. Site was big and clean. Restrooms were kept well. Staff very helpful and friendly. Lots of work done by camp hosts. Helps to preserve our state parks and saves money too! Attending the head springs part of the park included in camping fee. Campground a great place to walk and/or bike. Fishing available on the River! Will definitely return. Good central location to visit other state parks and places of interest. Very reasonably priced.

Room Tip: Select campsite depending on your camper size. Use web to view all sites in park.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dreamchaserwem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2013

I rated the campground as very good. But if it had more shade at the campsites, I would have rated it as excellent.

We enjoyed our stay very much. We had unusual weather for this time of year. We had one sunny morning & the remainder of our stay it rained or was VERY CLOUDY & it looked like the skies would open up.

We brought our own kayaks. We parked the car at the ranger station & used the little carts that are available to carry the kayak down to the waters edge which is about 1/4 & a very easy walk. Leave the cart on the side & it will be there when you return. As we put in we went to the right which took us by the state park swimming area. Remember to bring the pass that the ranger gave to you when you checkled into the campground. That will allow you to park your kayaks & get into the swimming area. It's a kayak pleasant ride to this area. Beautiful homes to see.

We were in Loop B at site #36 which is next to the comfort station. This is a very nice site & being close to the restroom didn't bother us. The comfort station is one of the nicest & modernest statioins that we have seen. We have stayed at MANY FLorida state parks in northern Florida recently. We arrived on a Monday & stayed until Friday checkout. I do not feel the comfort station was maintained on a daily basis. My clues were - when we arrived on Mon. the trash container was empty. Someone put a little bag of garbage into the waste basket that day & it sat there all week. Another clue - there was a large dead spider lying on the floor all week. We left at one today & the basket was still full & the spider was still there. Also, there were tiny dead bugs on the counter all week. I always took a paper towel with me to wipe off the counter before I used it. I believe whomever was responsible to do this whether the campground host or the rangers they didn't do what they needed to do. This is the first time this has ever happened at any state park that we have occupied in Florida.

The sites are large but not many trees to provide shade. We had our canopy to provide shade and only had one day of sun. It would be very hot in the summer. There are small shrubs between the sites to divide them.

One day we took a trip to the headspring to check it out. Remember to taken the pass that the ranger gave to you upon admittance into the campground. You will get into the park free. If you forget, you will have to pay the admittance charge. The walking trails are large and the foliage
beautiful. The restrooms in this area need severe help. You can get to the swimming area but there is no beach for little children. They can bring little arm floaties or foam noodles.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank nclark62044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 April 2013 via mobile

It is very tranquil and has lots of wildlife. Beautiful spring and gardens. They have an area for kids to play. The park offers canoe rentals, kayak rentals, or you can bring your own. At the head spring you can swim. Near places you can eat and shop.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank BStrange1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013 via mobile

We met some great folks from all over the country. We will surely stay at this campground again. Rainbow Springs was awesome, the waters were crystal clear and the weather was great. Rainbow Springs is a must see.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank Samsrobin77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panhandle Florida
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2013

Very beautiful we didnt swim due to weather and time of year (January) but there were people in the springs which was crystal clear. The restrooms and changing area are old but adequate. I hope they get funding soon to redo the visitor center that caught on fire awhile back. The river itself looked great and wish that we had more time to perhaps go kayaking on it.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sailfl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2012

We have been to many natural springs in Florida. This is one of the best! The spring is beautiful with a consisitent 72 degree temp. There are lifeguards on duty who pay close attention. It is not an easy spring to get in and out of, and during the busy summer holidays can get very crowded. The bathrooms could use some sprucing up for sure. They do have some neat shaded walking paths with pretty (man-made) waterfalls. Small children may not get much out of it as there isn't anywhere to stand in the spring. You can bring noodles, but not rafts. If you come, pack some chairs, noodles and a lunch. If you plan to stay long, you might want to bring a tent. Plenty of areas to set up a tent for the day. Coolers are allwoed. There is also an area where you can rent canoes for 2 hours. It's a refreshing change from the beach and pool! Ages 6 to about 60 might find it most appealing. Under or over might be uncomfortable.

Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank Cokie06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rainbow Springs State Park

Property: Rainbow Springs State Park
Address: 18185 SW 94th St, Dunnellon, FL
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Dunnellon
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Dunnellon
Number of rooms: 60
Also Known As:
Rainbow Springs State Park Hotel Dunnellon
Rainbow Springs State Park Dunnellon, Florida

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