Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rainbow Springs State Park - Dunnellon, Florida

Although archaeologists believe that early Native American hunters camped around Rainbow Springs thousands of years before Christ, the beautiful Florida spring is perhaps best known for its more recent history.

A large first magnitude spring, Rainbow Springs is actually the fourth largest spring in Florida. It pours out 490 million gallons of water a day. A naturally beautiful and scenic spot, it was picked during the 1920s as the site for an early Florida amusement park. The park opened in the 1930s and operated for four decades before the new interstate highway system diverted traffic away from U.S. Highway 41 leading to a major reduction in visitors that led to the closing of the park. Before it closed, however, Rainbow Springs drew in hundreds of thousands of tourists who enjoyed such attractions as "submarine boats" and a leaf shaped monorail.

With development spreading rapidly in Florida, local residents ignited a drive to save the springs after the amusement park closed. Thanks to the vision of Florida's governor and cabinet, Rainbow Springs State Park opened its gates to the public in 1995. The park now preserves more than 1,400 of beautiful and historic land surrounding the head spring and the short but highly scenic Rainbow River.

To learn more about this stunning spring and a state park that may well be the best $2 attraction in the South, please visit

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