Yesterday I returned to Sliver Springs. Sliver Springs is a local nature park in Ocala, Florida. I visited Sliver Springs many times as a child, so it was amazing to go back and see the park again. Time has changed, yet in many ways it’s remained the same place.
Ok, time for a history lesson! Sliver Springs happens to be one of Florida’s first tourist attractions long before Disney world and Universal Studios. The park is famous for it’s nature, glass bottom boat rides, and of course the springs. The water is so pure and transparent you can pretty much see the bottom of the springs. And the springs are beautiful. They happen to travel north instead of south. A few historical figures have traveled across this water. I recommend going to see the springs in person, but make sure there are no alligators nearby.
Like I said above, you can travel across the springs on their famous glass bottom boats. The glass bottom boat ride is the only ride available today, but in the past they had three boat rides as well as a jeep ride through the forest. The Jeep ride was fun, yet sometimes the drivers were a little reckless. I don’t blame them. Sliver Springs used to have animal attractions, featuring animals from all over the world such as crocodiles, giraffes, otters, snakes, spiders, tigers, panthers, birds, fish etc.
As a child, I enjoyed seeing the animals. They had animals like zebras and where else can you see zebras in Florida, except for the zoo? Another interesting detail are the monkeys. About thirty or forty years ago, someone who worked at or for the park decided he wanted monkeys, so they gathered monkeys from other countries and placed them on a small island in the park. For some reason no one knew the monkey’s could actually swim, so in time the monkeys swam across the springs and found new homes around other parts of the park including in the state. I’ve yet to see any monkeys around our home, but have heard stories about monkey’s being seen as north as Jacksonville.
Sliver Springs used to have entertainment on the weekends. The bands or performers would preform from this stage. Although the mansion is in good shape, I don’t believe it’s used much today. Maybe for weddings or some type of parties. My grandfather loved going to their concerts and spying on the crowd with his binoculars. As I walked around the park, my memory reminded me of what was once there. It’s crazy how stuff like that sticks around.
I took about 82 photos, so if you want to see more of them check out my Instagram page. I’ll be posting more photos ASAP! I have so many memories of being at Sliver Springs for different events. It would take a while to tell you every memory, but I think this does it justice. I miss the animals, yet Sliver Springs is still a pretty cool place. Have you ever been to Sliver Springs or places like it? Let me know in the comment section below. And Happy Valentine’s Day!