Camping in Salt Springs Campground in
Ocala National Forest, Florida

We stayed in Salt Springs Campground at site 54 during the month of November.  We enjoyed our stay at this campground.  The sites were a little close for us, but the location made up for it.  The campground is the largest in Ocala National Forest and has full hookups available. 

You can get an idea of what the sites look like from the picture below.  They were mostly shaded and fairly level!

In this particular picture we were checking out to leave and a little squirrel decided he wanted to jump on my back. I was quite startled, needless to say, but it was OK.  I shrugged him off and he jumped on me two more times! I guess he was comfortable with people!!!  

SaltSprings.JPGPicnic area at Salt Springs State Park
SquirrelSilverSprings.JPGMe with a visitor

Since Salt Springs is part of the Ocala National Forest, its location is convenient to the natural mineral springs where people can swim and snorkel.  The water of the springs is 74 degrees Fahrenheit all the time. I think that is still cold, but whatever!! You can also kayak and fish in the springs.  You would need a Florida fishing license to fish there. Nice hiking trails where you can observe the wildlife.  There is a dock that you can observe the cute little crabs in the clear water as well as other fish.  We didn't go swimming!  A little too cold for me, and, it was November!!

SpringsBeautiful Salt Springs
Crab_in_Springs1.JPGCrab hanging out in the springs
another view of Salt SpringsAnother view of Salt Springs
Salt SpringsKayaking on the Springs

We enjoyed kayaking in the springs.  While we were out on the water, we saw a gator and a manatee.  It was exciting since I hadn’t experienced that up to that point!  The water was calm, clear, and it was a beautiful day to be out in nature.  No one else was in the area we were in. So peaceful!!!

Pow WowMe standing in the Indigenous peoples' camp

This Florida trip happened to be in November over Thanksgiving break.  We had the privilege of experiencing a Pow Wow in Clay County on Thanksgiving Day!  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to be among Indigenous People!  There were several tribes represented at the Pow Wow.  They had a storyteller and also invited the audience to dance with them.  I did dance with them.  It was different, but also fun! It was amazing to see these individuals dressed in their traditional Regalia performing their tribal dances.  I learned that the individuals also make their own Regalia.  Each tribe was different.  I learned a lot about the oral traditions of the storyteller and how it was a means to pass down stories to others.  Storytelling is a way to keep the history, traditions and culture alive!  It was so much fun to be able to experience this beautiful tradition.

Man in regaliaIndigenous man in tribal Regalia
Story tellerTribal story teller!
Silver Springs signSilver Springs State Park

Our campground at Salt Springs was not too far away from Silver Springs State Park.  We decided to take a day trip and visit that area.  The springs are pristine and we saw that some familiar movies and shows were filmed in Silver Springs.  One in particular was the cult classic, “The Creature From The Black Lagoon”.  I did see that movie and was fascinated to see the pictures of the filming. They even have a life size figure of the creature in a display case in their welcome center.  Also, some of the Tarzan shows starring Johnny Weismuller, "Sea Hunt" starring Lloyd Bridges, James Bond "Thunderball" and "Moonraker" were among the classics filmed on site.  Very interesting trivia!  Silver Springs was a "hot spot" in the late 1800's early 1900's.  It was a famous travel destination!

Silver Springs is also known for their glass-bottom boat tours.  It gives you a great vantage point of the amazing sea creatures that live and thrive in the springs.  These tours still bring many tourists to the area to experience the famous boat tour.

We really enjoyed our time in the Ocala National Forest area of Florida. If we ever get back to that area, we may have to do the glass bottom boat tour.  It looked like so much fun!!