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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Silver Springs Park closing. State to take over.

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Big Katuna

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Posted: 01/24/13 11:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Read in the Gainesville Sun today that the state will be taking over Silver Springs In Oct. they plan to return it to its natural state with trails, hiking, etc.
Hope they allow swimming.


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mlts22

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Posted: 01/24/13 11:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Who owned it previously?

JesLookin

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Posted: 01/24/13 11:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Silver Springs Nature Theme Park is a zoological park located in Silver Springs, Florida, USA, east of Ocala. Although not truly a theme park, Silver Springs is a nature and zoological park occupying land owned by the state of Florida as part of the Silver River State Park.

The property for the park was bought by the state of Florida as part of Silver River State Park and management of the parks was then leased to Palace Entertainment, who was later purchased by Parques Reunidos.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 01/24/13 11:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The change over won't occur until September and the contractor will spend 4 million to return the springs area to a more natural state, in the interval. Silver springs will be appended to Silver River state park which is already adjacent to the park. The concerts and such will continue. I don't know what they are going to do with the water slide park. They are going to reduce the size of the parking lot.


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Big Katuna

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Posted: 01/24/13 11:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess is that it will come down sooner rather than later. Heck it's closed most of the year anyway.

beemerphile1

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Posted: 01/24/13 11:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After searching and reading some articles - has it gotten as bad as they say? Algae covering the sand and pollution in the water with brown globs of floating goop?

It has been about 15 years since we visited, I thought it was a nice park with clear water and a maintained appearance.

I think it is a shame that "old Florida" is disappearing. We also loved Cypress Gardens and now it is Legoland, YUCK! Glass bottom boats, ski shows, mermaid shows, Marineland, it is all disappearing.

The state is going to be spending money to alter the discharge of the local sewage treatment plant as part of the new plan. Apparently the treated waste has been discharging into the aquifer that feeds the spring. Maybe they should have done it before putting the park out of business, or was that part of the plan?

Is it worth going to get one last taste of old Florida? Or has it really gotten nasty?


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Big Katuna

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Posted: 01/24/13 01:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It isn't nasty. Just not as pristine as it should be. Still beautiful to the naked eye. The flow is well below normal and declining and all the septic systems feeding Floridas delicate aquifer is adding up. Of course the developers are crying foul and everyone loves to make fun of the "tree huggers" but Floridas is slowly killing its water resource.

It isn't too late to enjoy it all but visit them sooner than later. BTW, the water quality isn't what killed the park. Competition and changing tastes killed it.

fla-gypsy

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Posted: 01/24/13 01:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The condition and flow of the springs has been going down for a long time. The issues contributing to this are many and complex. In the big scheme of things this is a good move to improve and attempt to restore the springs to a better state. I am certain most of the commercial structure immediately surrounding the springs will be removed. Hopefully swimming can remain viable. Silver Spgs was truly a one of a kind mega attraction that predates all of the theme parks that dot the landscape. All of us older natives still left remember it well in it's heyday and how much fun and wonder it gave us. Lucky for us there is still pockets of old Florida left and we know where to find them. Not so many of us now remember the long lazy hot days of no air conditioning and the constant need for gigantic shady oaks filled with moss and the splendor and refreshment of a freshwater spring to swim in and its icy 72* water on a 95*+ afternoon when the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Those of us who grew up here before the "Rat invasion" know it well.


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magnusfide

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Posted: 01/24/13 03:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Big Katuna wrote:

It isn't nasty. Just not as pristine as it should be. Still beautiful to the naked eye. The flow is well below normal and declining and all the septic systems feeding Floridas delicate aquifer is adding up. Of course the developers are crying foul and everyone loves to make fun of the "tree huggers" but Floridas is slowly killing its water resource.

It isn't too late to enjoy it all but visit them sooner than later. BTW, the water quality isn't what killed the park. Competition and changing tastes killed it.


Agreed about the developers ruining the place (no, I'm not a tree hugger either; just hate to see tacky take overs). Glad they're returning it to a more natural state.


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Eycom

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Posted: 01/24/13 06:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For many moons, Silver Springs was a special place to me. Mom and Dad loved it as they had honeymooned there just after the war. The old photos of the springs, to me, are priceless. In the 30s and 40s, about a half dozen of the original "Tarzan" movies, staring Johnny Weissmuller, were filmed on location at Silver Springs. I grew up watching those 10-20 year old movies. Creature From The Black Lagoon '54 was filmed there and I saw that first run. Many popular movies have followed. Thru '58-'61, most of the TV series, "Sea Hunt" with Lloyd Bridges, was filmed at Silver Springs.

As a J'ville native, I was fortunate to be a frequent visitor over the years. Early on, Ross Allen's Reptile Institute, with their photos of snake bite victims and reptile demonstrations, was instrumental in developing my educated respect for gators and snakes indigenous to Florida. I remember the fire of 55 or 56 that destroyed two main buildings, the cafe, ticket offices, and the gift shop. An estimated quarter of a million dollars went up in smoke. A lot of money back then.

IIRC, Ross Allen left in 1975 and essentially, so did I. Silver Springs was developing into a full blown tourist attraction with Wild Waters, Jeep Safari, Lost River Voyage, etc. on the horizon. That's progress. While I've driven by many, many times, I haven't been back. Maybe one day.


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