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Updated: 08/20/2014 08:00:00AM

Silver Springs offers something for everyone

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SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL

The oldest road trip attraciton in Florida dates to 1878 when the first glass-bottomed boats enabled visitors to see deep into the now- famous springs.

SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL

Swamp areas such as this and wetlands enrich Silver Springs Park.

SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL

Visitors to SIlver Springs Park have enjoyed tours aboard the glass-bottomed boats since 1878.

By KIM COOL

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Dating to 1878, the world famous Silver Springs glass-bottomed boats are now operated as a concession within Silver Springs State Park at Ocala. Perhaps, there is a lesson there for Warm Mineral Springs next to North Port.

The 30-minute boat rides showcase the 74-degree springs which feed into the Silver River. Mammoth Springs, the largest of the springs in the park, pumps more than 350 million gallons of water daily. There is a viewing deck at the headspring and paved trails along the river, plus ornamental gardens.

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