The Rainbow River is located in Dunnellon, Florida, about 20 miles southwest of Ocala. The Rainbow River is formed by a first magnitude spring (Rainbow Springs) that is ranked fourth in the state for volume of discharge. In addition to the springs located at the headwaters, there are many smaller springs that discharge from numerous caves, rock crevices, and sand boils the entire length of the river. The Rainbow River is a gently winding river that is 5.7 miles long and on average, the Rainbow River is less than 10 feet deep. There are a few places where the depth is about 25 feet, yet just a few feet away it is shallow enough to stand. The headwaters, Rainbow Springs, is not one large vent but is numerous vents that issue 400 - 600 million gallons of crystalline water every day.
The crystal-clear water, abundant with fish, wildlife and vegetation along with the constant water temperature of 73 degrees, has attracted a number of modern-day activities. Diving, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching are some of the most popular. The Rainbow River hosts a variety of freshwater fish, turtles and otters. Hawks, Blue Heron, Ibis, Anhinga and Cormorants are some of the birds you might see
The most popular entrance for diving is the docks at KP Hole county park. The park is well developed with a large, paved, parking area, boat ramp, docks, swimming area, picnic tables, tubing, bath houses, a concessions store, and more at the facility.
Located on the Santa Fe River in High Springs Florida, Ginnie Springs is one of the clearest springs in Florida. The 72-degree water is perfect for river tubing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba and cave diving.
The diving is great with crystal clear waters (really, sometimes you can’t see the water). There are multiple dive sites on the property including: Ginnie Springs, Little Devils, Devil’s Eye, Devils’ Ear and the Santa Fe river.
A full-service Camp Store / Dive Center is the first thig you see. Around the corner is Ginnies’ Grill. There are eight bath houses are heated with tiled shower stalls. There’s plenty of hot water, too. Grills dot the park for cookouts. Pavilions are available to rent for groups.
Ginnie is great for open water training dives, fun dives, cavern dives, cave dives, drift dives, snorkeling, volleyball, camping or just lazing about. While the whole family is welcome, divers must be at least 12 years old.
We’ll start our weekend with a ride up Rainbow River to our dive spot. Then a leisurely drift down the river enjoying clear waters and lots of wild life. Along the way we’ll stop for a break and then start our second dive.
After the dives are done you’ll have the rest of the day free. If you want to see some Manatees you can drive over to Crystal River, Florida and visit Three Sisters Springs, “The Winter Home Of The Manatees.”
Sunday will be at Ginnie Springs near High springs, Florida. We’ll enjoy the incredibly clear waters of Ginnie Springs for our dives. While there you can also dive the Ginnie Ballroom, Little Devils, Devil’s Eye, Devil’s Ear. More adventuresome? Drift down the Santa Fe from Devil’s Ear to the run from Ginnie Springs.