Rainbow river is no ordinary river. With its crystal clear waters and array of Marine life it is a great place to explore as a scuba diver or snorkeler.
Rainbow River in Florida is different from other rivers you might know. Rivers do not often come to mind when people think of SCUBA diving, but in fact, the planet is host to many rivers that can be and have been explored by SCUBA divers. Often, river diving is dangerous business, sometimes requiring more training and physical strength than your average dive would, due to swift currents and riverbed variations.
But there is one choice place where divers and snorkelers can take in the serenity and diversity of a warm spring-fed river, good old Rainbow River.
Photo Credit: Kolin Toney
Rainbow River is a unique dive site that holds an appeal for all SCUBA divers
For divers and snorkelers, the Rainbow River is an ideal place to explore what lies beneath the surface of a spring-fed river. With a maximum depth of 25 feet, and visibility of up to 200 feet, divers and snorkelers can expect to see many kinds of marine life, including manatees, turtles, various fish species.
You may even stumble upon a shark's tooth or a fossil of some kind. There are a handful of dive shops in the area that cater to the diver and snorkelers alike, even drifting your "diver down" flag along with you on their boat, so that you can focus on all the Rainbow River has to offer along its gently winding banks. Preservation areas are well-marked with buoys, so be sure to mind your boundaries when diving or snorkeling here.
Rainbow River is a unique dive site that holds an appeal for all levels of divers and non-divers, and should not be missed due to the stunning array of life available in its 5.7 mile expanse. Knowing the ancient history and value of the river should incite us all to do what we can to preserve these gifts of nature.
Rainbow River is located in Dunnellon, Florida.
Averaging just over 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, evidence shows the river has sustained human and animal life for over 10,000 years. The discovery of hard rock phosphate, useful in industrial and agricultural activities, created a sort of "boomtown" in 1880, attracting tourists and new residents looking to cash in on phosphate mining.
The Rainbow Springs were developed into a tourist park in the 1930s, where it became a well-known tourist attraction in the 1960s. Once a location with a vibrant industrial and tourist economy, Rainbow River and its tourist park fell into near obscurity following the opening of Walt Disney World.
Today, Rainbow River holds the designation of Registered National Landmark.
The state of Florida purchased the site on which the Rainbow Springs tourist attraction was initially built, and with the help of volunteers, opened the Rainbow Springs State Park to the public in 1995. The park is home to no less than eleven distinct ecological communities, where campgrounds and trails allow visitors to see an abundance of flora and fauna.
Would you like to go diving in Florida? Feel free to contact us. We have multiple partners that offer dive packages and scuba lessons.
Enjoyed this blogpost about Rainbow River in Florida? Sign up for our free newsletter! and get our scuba blogs delivered in your inbox each month.
Rutger Thole is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.