Silver Springs State Park is among my favorite parks in Florida and I have returned every year since we began coming to Florida in 2011.
I have a conflict between my desire to explore new territory and to return to the comfort of a familiar and well loved place such as this. A question about that later.
THE SWAMP TRAIL
The Swamp Trail is my favorite at Silver Springs even though I had a concerning near encounter with the monkeys here last year. Here is a link to that post.
It’s not a long trail, about a 2 mile loop. But if I do it and the River Trail, I can get 4 miles. So if I go out to kayak in the morning and hike the Swamp Trail in the afternoon, it’s a lovely plan.
The swamp section has a boardwalk over it and that’s where I encountered the monkeys walking toward me.
Right about here actually.
I love swamps especially in winter when the mosquitos are absent.
I know that when the leaves come out this area will be dark and spooky. I’d love to see it then but…..I wouldn’t like the heat or the mosquitoes.
One of my favorite books Where the Crawdad’s Sing takes place in a swamp. I am reminded of it whenever I hike here.
There really is nothing else like Cypress Knees.
After the swamp, I arrive at the river. The path on the left goes down to the boat access for the Ocala Schools educational boat which picks up students several times a week and takes them up to the spring head doing much needed environmental education along the way. The right walk goes to an overlook.
The Silver River is fed by springs that discharge an AVERAGE of 516 MILLION GALLONS of water per day. The water I see here flowing by was in the Florida Aquifer 2 or 3 days ago.
The dock gate is on the left. This is the view from the right walk which has a bench where you can sit and watch what happens on the river.
Such a beautiful day, a beautiful place, but time to head back. I have an appointment which is why I am not out on the water.
THE STEPS RESOLUTION
Those of you who follow along with my adventures and mishaps will know that I had one of those mishaps on my way into the park. I still have no idea what caused my steps to fail but today was the day they were replaced and I could stop using the 2 step ladder to get into and out of Winnona.
Many thanks to Richard at The Trailer Doc and Fab Shop for getting the steps for me. He got nothing out of it. And thanks to Jim and Matt who got nothing but work out of removing the steps so I could take them to Richard.
And thanks to Andy of Andy’s Mobile RV who picked them up on his way here and then installed them.
I’m so lucky!
Andy set to work trying to prop the VERY HEAVY steps up so that he could attach them to the underside of my RV which was leveled with jacks down and thus higher than if I had not been living in it.
I offered to store the jacks but he said he thought he could work it out.
He tried several different things and managed to make it happen.
Then the motor had to be connected. That blew a fuse which had to be replaced and neither of us had the one we needed of course so I raced down to an auto parts store and got one. SO glad to be near an urban area just now.
And then there they were. It’s amazing how much I took for granted ease of getting into and out of the RV. It was an expensive fix. The total with the cost of the steps and Andy’s time and expertise was almost $1200. BUT they are new,
“should” not fail and I’m back to ground zero as it were.
A parting thought,
every year I struggle with whether to set up 11 month in advance reservations in Florida or spend the winter in Texas and/or Arizona. Without reservations that far in advance, I will have to give up Florida. So I need to know when and where to make other Winter reservations. Can any of you help with suggestions of spots where it will be warm and not Florida during the months of November through March? I’m interested in towns and parks if you can recommended them.