Alexander Springs Recreational Area, Altoona, Florida

Hot Springs










Based in the northeast corner of Lake County between Astor and Altoona, the Alexander Springs Recreation Area offers visitors a natural retreat unlike any other.

A part of the Ocala National Forest, this area is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore Florida’s unique ecosystems.

Whether you’re here for the day or planning an extended camping trip, Alexander Springs is a must-visit destination.

The Springs

The true jewel of the recreation area is the spring itself, with a constant flow of 56,000 gallons per second at a steady 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

The springs provide a habitat for a variety of fish and are often frequented by manatees, especially during the winter months.

The springs’ constant temperature makes it a year-round attraction, whether you’re looking to take a swim, go snorkeling, or even scuba diving.

Scuba divers need to register at the concession and pay an additional fee. Beware, however, that alligators are often spotted, so staying alert while in the water is highly recommended.

Thank you to Camp Travel Explore for the video.

Getting There

For travelers coming in from I-75 or I-95, taking Highway 40 through Ocala and Silver Springs is the most straightforward route.

A turn into Highway 19 and a subsequent turn onto County Road 445 will take you directly to the recreation area.

Amenities and Facilities

  • Camping: 67 shaded campsites accommodate both tents and RVs up to 35′ in length. Campsites are divided into four loops, all within an easy walk to the swimming and picnicking areas.
  • Day Use: A dedicated day-use area offers picnic tables and scenic vistas for those who prefer a shorter visit.
  • Retail Store: Although no cooked foods are available, a retail store at the recreation area provides convenience items for visitors.
  • Restrooms and Showers: Modern facilities including flush toilets and showers are available.

Entry and Activity Fees

  • Day Use: $12 + tax per person
  • Camping: $34.00 + taxes per night with a 14-day stay limit
  • Dump Station: $10.50 + taxes
  • Kayak and Canoe Rental: Ranges from $20-$50 depending on the duration and type of kayak or canoe.

Adventure Awaits

Besides the springs, the area offers a plethora of other activities:

  • Paddling: The spring run meanders through an untouched wilderness and is a popular route for kayaking and canoeing.
  • Fishing: Permitted downstream from the swimming area; however, a valid FWC freshwater fishing license is required.
  • Hiking: From the short Timucuan Trail loop to the more adventurous Florida National Scenic Trail, the area is a hiker’s paradise.
  • Biking: While biking is restricted within the recreation area, the nearby Paisley Woods Bicycle Trail provides a challenging course for off-road cyclists.

A Few Tips

  • Arrive early on weekdays for the best chance to enjoy the springs without the crowds.
  • Don’t leave your belongings unattended as raccoons have been known to make off with towels, food, and other items.
  • Bears are known to frequent the campground, so secure your food and belongings in your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Alexander Springs cash only?

To gain access to Alexander Springs, it’s cash only, but once you’re inside, you can use cards.


Whether you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast or simply looking for a serene getaway, Alexander Springs Recreation Area provides an idyllic setting for your next adventure.

Make sure to make your reservations in advance to ensure your spot in this natural haven.

With its pristine springs, myriad activities, and beautiful natural scenery, Alexander Springs is indeed a gem in the Ocala National Forest.


Address: 49525 County Rd 445, Altoona, FL 32702, United States
Phone: 352-669-3522