Since it’s Halloween, I thought this would be an appropriate post. If you’re living in (or visiting) the Central Florida area, there’s a pretty cool spot I highly recommend checking out if you are an outdoors fan like me. It’s called Devil’s Den Spring and it’s about an hour and 45 minute drive from Orlando in a town called Williston. There is an underwater spring where you can snorkel, or scuba dive inside a dry cave, and the water remains a refreshing 72 degrees year round. Images of this magical place started popping up on social media and it looked pretty amazing so my friend and I decided we ought to investigate one afternoon. After turning off down a secluded road and driving for a couple miles, you are greeted by this sign. Pretty creepy looking huh?!
It’s best to go on a week day if possible because it does tend to get very crowded, especially in the summer. We got there in the morning but a couple hours later they were on a two-hour wait to get in the spring. What you’ll find when you arrive is a little building where you can rent snorkeling or scuba gear. You need to sign a waiver of course and pay a very nominal fee, and then you get a rundown of the rules about what’s allowed and not allowed, and finally are told you can enter (unless they’re on a very long wait of course, then you have the option to walk around the property or go in their heated swimming pool).
There’s a little boardwalk that leads to a place that allows you to peer down into the spring. It basically looks like a hollow sinkhole in the earth with clear blue water inside. When you are ready to descend down the long staircase to the spring (make sure to hold on to the railing, very slippery when wet), your eyes will immediately transfix on the crystal electric blue water color and the rock formations along the walls. The temperature suddenly drops and you find yourself standing on a small platform, looking down another long staircase. This one goes directly down to a floating dock where you put on your snorkel fins and jump in. The staircase can only be climbed by one person at a time and it feels a little nerve-wracking as you descend, but once you get to the dock you need to move quickly because quite a few other people may be entering or exiting the water at any given time and you are not supposed to hang out on the dock (though it seems like not many people pay attention to this rule).
I had to work up my bravery because the water did feel quite chilly since essentially you are in a cave and though the sunlight may be shining through, the air temperature is already lower down there. Once I fully submersed, it was definitely ‘refreshing feeling’ aka cold, so I had to keep moving or I wouldn’t have lasted very long. You can see a few fish in the water but the snorkeling is more for novelty than for being wowed by the deep blue aquatic world here. However, it is pretty cool if you are into scuba diving because of the cave system (I myself am way too freaked out by the gear and I get claustrophobic so there’s no way I was going to try that). You can swim around for as long as you like and once you’re in the water, your pass is good all day so you can bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it in the picnic pavilion, go for a swim in the pool, and then come back and snorkel some more if you like.
We stayed for a couple of hours and then decided to check out another spring since there are several others nearby. Of course we got a little sidetracked first by a delicious lunch spot we found. You can read more about that adventure here.
Hope you have a devil of a Halloween!
Boo to you!