A friend and I were looking for something cheap and fun to do this weekend. After some research, we found that Rainbow Springs entrance fee is only $2 per person. With the beautiful springs, hiking trails and waterfalls we were excited to get outside and enjoy nature.
After paying, you are given a map to help you find everything. The falls are all man made and were part of the decor when Rainbow Springs was made into a tourist attraction in the 1930’s. In the 60’s, they added even more to the attractions like a glass-bottom boat and a leaf-shaped gondola system. Keep an eye out when you are walking; there is a map from the 60’s showing you how the park was set up. There are three waterfalls located in the garden area, so you don’t even have to hike to see them.
All three waterfalls are beautiful, we really enjoyed it. There are a couple benches throughout this area and it is a great place to sit and relax and listen to sounds the falls makes. Ahh, so relaxing!
The garden area also has butterfly gardens and an abandoned zoo. It was too cold for the butterfly garden, most of the plants were dead but I’m sure in spring it would be beautiful. The abandoned zoo has one large enclosed cage that is cool and the rest just looked more like fencing. It was a very small area. But I did go in the main cage to get a photo; I felt like I was in LOST. Do this at your own risk. Not sure if this is allowed but there were no signs that said otherwise.
There is a swimming area at the springs and canoe rentals. It was pretty cold out but some kids were still out there swimming in the 72-degree water. Brr! Kayaking would be fun here. I will have to come back and do that in the future.
There are three hiking trails you can take with varying distances; White, Yellow and Blue. We ended up doing yellow. We wanted to do blue, we started walking it and hit a dead end and couldn’t find the rest of it! Okay, so we aren’t outdoorsy and we are both really bad with directions even with the map!! So funny, we probably wasted 20 mins trying to figure out which way to go. I’m sure for most people it wouldn’t be difficult.
The beginning is the same trail for all three colors, then it splits off into the three different trails. The beginning starts you off with a warning about bears! Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh my! It said they are more likely to be spotted at dawn and dusk. It was early afternoon, so I think we are good, hopefully!
The first part of the trail is through the woods and is quite enjoyable. Of course, we heard a strange noise during our hike. We couldn’t find an animal nearby that was making it so we think it might have been two trees rubbing together in the wind.
You walk out from the woods onto a dirt road, this part of the trail was kinda boring. This dirt road brings you to the intersection where you need to decide which trail to take. Yellow brings you back into the woods with some really interesting trees. This leads you back to the main garden area.
I suggest packing a lunch and to eat while enjoying the view of the springs on the picnic tables. The picnic table area is covered and there are bathrooms nearby.
It took around two hours to see all the gardens and walk one of the trails. Depending how far you have driven you may want to plan something else to do on the same trip. We decided to visit the Goethe Giant. A giant cypress tree that is over 900 years old and 105 feet tall. It was around 30 mins away and oh boy was it an adventure!! A blog post about that crazy trip will be posted soon.
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