Bushnell, FL – Events of Monday, March 10, 2014
Like Silver Springs we visited a few weeks ago, Rainbow Springs is another one of the “Old Florida” attractions that was not able to weather the rise of Disney and other theme parks of the early 1970s. Rainbow Springs was a roadside attraction that began in the 1930s, flurished in the 1960s, and closed in 1974. Fortunately, as with Silver Springs, the state of Florida eventually stepped in, bought the land around the springs, and made Rainbow Springs a state park. Rainbow Springs State Park is located in Dunellon, FL about an hour north of Blueberry Hill. We headed there for a visit on Monday.
The main entrance to the park is at the headsprings and is located off US 41 just north of Dunellon. The entrance road and the walkway to the ticket window are lined with azaleas. Pets are permitted in the park, so Freeway got to go.
Admission to Rainbow Springs is $2 per person at the headsprings entrance. There are two entrances on the other side of the park off SW 177th Ave. – one is for tubing and the other is for the campground. Tubing costs $10.60 per person; and campsites, which have full hookups, cost $30 a night.
Rainbow Springs, previously called Wekiwa Creek by Native Americans and Blue Spring by early settlers, is an artesian spring that produces about 490 million gallons of water a day. There is evidence of human habitation dating back about 10,000 years.
Right inside the entrance are nice views of the headsprings and the river from the terrace. There is a swimming dock at the headsprings.