The trail at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon will take you through a little over two miles of some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. Although the pathways are not exceedingly difficult, they were made in the 1930s, before ADA regulations, so there are a few steep and tricky places on the trail. The paths are still suitable for novice hikers, but be sure to use caution and wear proper footwear. There are also benches along the path for resting or taking in the sights and sounds.

The unique terrain that you might not expect in Florida was created during the park’s early days as a location for phosphate mining. Over time, the attraction grew to include a zoo, monorail, and sub-boats, where the passengers could look out into the springs from under the surface. Changes in the highway led visitors away from the park, and by the mid ’70s it was closed. It reopened as a state park in 1995.

The payoff for this hike is huge. Hikers can view historic paved pathways, native plants and wildlife, the clearest blue spring waters, and even a few beautiful man-made waterfalls. It’s especially lovely in the early spring, when thousands of azaleas are in bloom.

Check out the photos below for some of the enchanting scenery you’ll find at Rainbow Springs State Park:

Have you ever been to Rainbow Springs State Park? What’s your favorite hiking spot in Florida?

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