On October 1, 2013, Silver River State Park will change it's name to Silver Springs State Park and invite guests inside to explore and enjoy the beauty of Silver Springs. Once the estimated $3.5 million in renovations are completed to the faltering Silver Springs Adventure Park the environment surrounding the springs and the water quality of the river will be restored to more closely how it appeared when the Timucuan Indians settled the area in the early 1500's.
There will no longer be amusement rides or animals other than those found in their natural habitats. For those who are wondering, the glass bottom boats will still be in operation with a private concessionaire. This is part of the public/private partnership. The concessionaire will operate canoe/kayak rentals, dining and gift shops, special events and concerts, as well.
There will be a public ramp to launch canoes and kayaks from the springs, an opportunity that never existed before now. Both the entrance on State Road 40 and the entrance on State Road 35 will be open to visitors and one fee will allow access to the park from both areas. The current entrance fee for Silver River State Park will increase on October 1st to reflect the increased recreational opportunities made available by the merger of the two parks.
Silver Springs boasts an illustrious cinematic history beginning with the first film shot on location there titled, "The Seven Swans," a 1916 silent film staring Richard Barthlmess and Marguerite Clark. The most noted films were the six Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weissmuller that were filmed there in the 1930's and 1940's. Another popular film shot on location at the springs was the horror movie "Creature from the Black Lagoon." A television series "Sea Hunt" found the tropical surroundings and crystal clear water the perfect location to film their show.
After October 1, 2013, guests to Silver Springs State Park will be able to enjoy all of the same amenities they have enjoyed all along at Silver River State Park, as well as many more as a result of the addition of the Silver Springs and surrounding land. For more information visit the Florida State Park website.