Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve

The Rainbow River in Central Florida is formed by a first magnitude spring, one of Florida's largest. This body of water was established as an Aquatic Preserve by the Florida Legislature in 1986 and designated as "Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve" and Rainbow Run. In addition to the large headspring at its headwaters, there are many smaller springs that discharge crystal clear water from numerous caves, crevices and sand boils along the entire 5.7-mile length of the river. It gently winds its waysouth until it merges with the tannin-colored Withlacoochee River near the City of Dunnellon.

The Preserve is known for its abundance of wildlife and as one of the few remaining 'Old Florida' ecological niches. The SIX GALLERIES to follow illustrate the amazing diversity of life in this vital springshed.

Anhinga Anhinga anhinga


Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum




River Otter Lontra canadensis


Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus

Florida Applesnail eggs Pomacea paludosa



Alligator A. mississippiensis


Alligator A. mississippiensis


Florida Softshell Turtle Apalone ferox


Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus


Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus


Gallery I Gallery II Gallery III
Gallery IV Gallery V Gallery VI


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