Juniper Springs in Ocala National Forest, Florida
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A subtropical soak. Juniper Springs, Florida
Yes, the water here is as inviting as it looks: clear as glass, the shade of a precious gem, and a perfect 73 degrees every day of the year. Set within a subtropical forest, Juniper Springs is one of Florida's oldest and best-known recreation areas, established in the 1930s as a place to camp, hike, and swim. Long before Disney arrived, natural springs like this one were the big draw in the Sunshine State.
Florida is home to the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world, with more than 1,000 popping up where the massive Floridan aquifer breaks through the surface. This underground reservoir hides beneath the entire state, providing Florida with almost all of its drinking water.
Overextraction and pollution from fertilizers and septic systems have put some springs in peril but in Juniper Springs, these jewel-toned waters are protected by the Ocala National Forest, so it's likely to look like this for a long time.