Located in Silver Springs State Park in Marion County, Silver River has been a tourist attraction since the 1880s. When you kayak on Silver River it looks and feels like you’re kayaking on the set of a Hollywood movie. Because you are! Movies like Tarzan and Creature From the Black Lagoon were actually filmed here and Silver River gives out a true jungle vibe.
Because the Silver Springs area is state protected, the surrounding woodland is intact and the river water is clean and translucent – making for surreal kayaking conditions. Adding additional color to this untouched reserve is Silver River’s abundant wildlife. Rhesus monkeys were introduced in the area in 1933, and ever since their population has grown. Take note: admire them from afar and do not feed them!. Other than these feral critters there’s a wide variety of birds that can be spotted along Silver River and, of course, the area is the natural habitat of alligators. This is Florida after all. Another peculiar animal that’s occasionally seen is the manatee, sometimes you’ll see groups of them as they make their upstream and inland.
Silver River is my favorite place to tour. Sure, you can say I’m biased because my business, Discovery Kayak Tours, is right around the corner, but it’s the most requested tour I get from returning clients. I don’t know how many times I’ve kayaked over its clear waters, but Silver River shows no chance of getting old. Ever.
Kayaking tours in Silver Springs are about 5.5 miles long and they fall under the category of easy to moderate paddling. These tours are much more about enjoying the wildlife and the river itself and disconnecting from the hectic city life.
For camping and logging options, you can stay within Silver Springs State Park territory where you have several options.