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Rainbow Springs State Park

Dunnellon, Florida

Contact Information
19158 S.W. 81st Pl. Rd.
Dunnellon, 34432
(352) 489-8503

Reservation Information: 1-800-326-3521

Driving Directions
From I-75, exit at the second Ocala exit onto State Road 40. Take State Road 40, west. Drive until it deadends at U.S. 41. Turn left, the park entrance is on the left-hand side of the road. This is only for Day use directions.

From Tampa, take State Road 19 to U.S. 41, north. Drive through the town of Dunnellon. The park is located on the right-hand side of the road, approximately 2.5 miles north of Dunnellon.

From areas in the northwest, take U.S. 41 to the town of Williston. After passing through Williston, you will come to a traffic light where State Road 40 has come to a deadend. Go through this light; the park entrance is on the left-hand side of the road.

The campground is separate from the headsprings day use area and is located 2.5 miles north of C.R. 484 off of S.W. 180th Avenue or 2.5 miles south of Highway 40 off of S.W. 180th Avenue.

Campground Address For Rainbow Springs State Park Campground only

18185 SW 94th street
Dunnellon, Fl 34432
(352) 465-8550

Rainbow Springs State Park Campground Photo

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

The Rainbow River, from which the park derives its name, begins at the park from numerous spring vents that issue an average of 500 million gallons of pure crystalline water every day. The looking glass waters of Rainbow Springs come from several vents, not one large bubbling spring. The park is a popular destination to swim, snorkel, canoe, picnic, or stroll on the walking paths to enjoy the many plants and animals that abound here.

The river itself supports a wide variety of fish, wildlife, and plants - many within easy viewing by visitors. The relative peace and quiet of the winter season offer much for the nature enthusiast.

Park Activities

Full Camping, Canoeing, Nature Trails, Picnicking, RV Camping, and Swimming

Full Facility Camping
Located on the pristine Rainbow River, the campground is located about a mile downstream from the main headsprings and state park day use area. Managed by special agreement with the Marion County Parks and Recreation Department, there are 105 sites, all available with water and electric and some have sewer hook-ups, a campground store, recreation hall, showers & restrooms, public telephone, laundry, pool, and playground.

Fishing for largemouth bass and other fresh water species is also popular from the campground. There are canoes for rent at the campground store for those campers wishing to explore the Rainbow River. And if you’d like to cool off, there’s a swimming area at the river. Although we have 105 sites, reservations are encouraged and are accepted by telephone (352) 489-5201 or in person with a check, VISA or Mastercard.

The campground is separate from the headsprings day use area and located 2.5 miles north of C.R. 484 off of SW 180th Avenue Road, or 2.5 miles south of Hwy. 40 off of SW 180th Avenue Road. Both approaches are well marked with Rainbow Springs Campground directional signs.

Starting at the state park and flowing into the Withlacooochee River at Dunnellon, the 5.8 mile long Rainbow River is truly an outstanding waterway. The crystal clear water flowing past moss-draped cypress trees competes for your attention with the river otters and large numbers of wading birds. Launching access to the river is somewhat limited. Many boaters launch at the popular KP Hole County Park, approximately 1-¼ miles downstream from the park. Privately owned boats launched at the headsprings must be carried from the parking area approximately 1000 feet to the canoe launch. Campers may rent or launch their own canoes or kayaks at the state park campground. Canoes and kayaks, including paddles and all safety equipment, are available for rent in the park all year within seasonal hours ($25 deposit, $5 per hour, and valid I.D. are required). There are a number of regulations that apply to the Rainbow River, so be sure and review the river rules prior to any boating activities.

Nature Trails
Rainbow Springs State Park offers a leisurely (20 minute) stroll through shady gardens laced with azaleas, oaks and magnolia trees. The walkways pass by two man-made waterfalls and a native plant garden. Benches located along the paths offer the visitor an opportunity to rest while enjoying the sounds of birds and flowing water. While each season has much to offer, the February and March bloom of azaleas is particularly rewarding. The walkways, with a mixture of brick, concrete and asphalt surfaces, gently undulate along the Rainbow River creating beautiful walking opportunities (please note: the pathways were constructed prior to ADA guidelines and may be steep and uneven in places).

Picnickers enjoy a view overlooking the main spring basin and swimming area. There are picnic tables, grills, and three covered picnic pavilions (one may be reserved, special fees apply). The "bowl" area, a grassy slope adjacent to the picnic tables, is popular with sunbathers and Frisbee throwers alike. Picnic items must be carried up the entrance walkway and through the toll booth in order to reach the picnic area.. Larger groups may wish to rent the Felburn Pavilion, ideal for those wanting a special location for a family reunion or other gathering. Contact the park for more details.

Rainbow Springs State Park Campground, managed by a contract with the Marion County Parks and Recreation Department, has a total of 105 sites. All sites have water, electric (20 and 30 Amp), a picnic table, and most have a fire ring. Approximately 40 sites have sewage hook-up, and most sites will accommodate a 40-foot RV with slide out. The dump station is located between the upper and lower campgrounds.

Especially popular in the warmer months, the cool clear waters of the springs attract swimmers of all ages. Swimming and snorkeling are restricted to the buoyed swimming area. The average depth in the swimming area runs from 5 feet to 18 feet, with the water temperature averaging 72 degrees year round. Swimming is allowed from 8 am to one hour prior to sunset, closing during thundershowers. Inflatable rafts, tubes and etc. are not allowed in the park, but swimmers may wear life preservers or use the popular "swim noodles". There are no lifeguards on duty.