Alexander Springs Wilderness

Alexander Springs Recreation Area

Alexander Springs Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1984. All 7,941 acres of the wilderness are within Ocala National Forest.

Most of the property is a subtropical swamp with terrain that varies from sand pine scrubland to hardwood swamp. Among the various islands in the swamp area you'll also find several ancient Native American shell mounds. Kimball Island is a 1,000-acre piece of "land" composed mostly of hardwood hammocks interspersed with hardwood swamp.

Most exploration of the area is done by boat as there are no old roads or trails for hiking in the area. Alexander Springs Creek meanders through the area for three miles before reaching its outlet at Lake Dexter. Get-Out-Creek is another black waterway that wanders through a fantasyland of cabbage palm and Spanish moss-draped live oak. If you decide to take a paddle through the area, you're likely to come across deer, wading birds, river otters and the occasional alligator.

Upstream of the wilderness is the Alexander Springs Recreation Area where you'll find campgrounds and a canoe rental facility. Should you rent a canoe and make the journey down to Lake Dexter, it's on you to get the canoe back to the rental office... they don't run a shuttle service. Upstream of the Alexander Springs Recreation Area is Billies Bay Wilderness and downstream is Little Lake George Wilderness. On the eastern side of Alexander Springs Wilderness, across the St. Johns River, is the Lake Woodruff Wilderness Area of Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge.

Alexander Springs Creek
Alexander Springs Creek
Map of the Alexander Springs Wilderness area
Small photo courtesy of the US Forest Service, map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!
Other photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License