Devil's Den, Williston, FL

 

Drive about 100 miles northwest of Orlando on I-75 to the middle of no where and you'll find Devil's Den Spring, one of the most prehistoric places in the US. While Florida is famous for it's beachy coasts, it also boasts over 900 freshwater springs. Devil's den Spring is a cool little destination perfect for a spontaneous road trip to visit.

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Unlike most itineraries on my site, this post is a one-day activity. If you happen to be near Orlando or you live in Miami, Gainesville, etc. and need a spontaneous day trip with friends — Devil's Den is a must-see hidden treasure. It's right smack in the middle of nowhere (no offense to Williston, FL)— you really need to go there on purpose, you're not likely to pass it on the way going somewhere. 

Devil’s Den is also called a karst window, a phenomenon that happens naturally when a roof covering an underground river collapses, exposing the waters underneath to the open. A strange name honestly, but Devil's Den gets its name from the steam that would rise from the den on cool winter mornings. The temperature of the water remains around 72 degrees all year round, making for great steamy displays in the cooler months. Oddly enough I was still cold when I jumped in, but you get used to it and the views from the water are well worth it! The sunnier the better, you'll understand what I mean because photos don't do this place justice. The way the water glistens as its hit by sunlight through the top of the cave is phenomenal. 

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*Best time to go is during the week, I went on a Friday morning. There were a few divers but for the most part it was empty. There are picnic tables on the site, so bring your own food. Williston, FL is a very small town, on the way there I saw a few fast food restaurants and supermarkets. 

I'm terrified of underwater activities but Devil’s Den is only open to scuba divers and snorkelers. So you either need to be a certified diver or pay to snorkel, can't go just to swim with the fish and turtles (although I did take my snorkeling gear off for most of the time). There is an entrance fee + gear rental fee (you can bring your own gear). I didn't go diving, but I was told that in passages under water, explorers have found the remains from sloths, camels, bears, saber toothed tigers, and human remains from 7,500 B.C.


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