Lithia Springs Park is a park located in Lithia, FL. The centerpiece of the park is Lithia Spring in which you can swim in.
Location: 3932 Lithia Springs Rd., Lithia, FL 33547
Admission: $2 per vehicle + $2 per person to swim in the spring
Camping: $24.00 per night | $18.00 per night for seniors
Hours: Spring/Summer 8:00am – 7:00pm | Fall/Winter 8:00am – 6:00pm
I’ve been meaning to go to Lithia Springs for a very long time but for whatever reason it took quite a while for me to get out there. I suppose it may be because it does not contain the words “State Park” in its title. For some reason, I tend to be drawn more to state parks than county parks. Regardless, Lithia Springs could hold its own against a state park.
The spring is the main attraction, but they also have 40+ camping spots, hiking, birding, paddling–all the usual outdoor Florida stuff.
The springs is a steady 72 degrees year round and 160 acres. The Alafia flows next to the spring and swimmers can easily see fish swimming around in the area that connects the spring to the river. I brought my family and I had plenty of fun splashing around with them.
However, I do have a few issues.
- I was not allowed to bring our picnic lunch or snacks into the spring. I get that maybe they don’t want the area to get potentially polluted by sandwiches, but c’mon, there’s fertilizer runoff from nearby citrus farms and that is somehow okay but my sandwich is an issue? Puh-leeze!
- The parking lot is almost on top of the spring and the spring is surrounded by a very ugly fence. This creates, not only an eyesore, but a situation in which there is little land to stand on in the swimming area.
- I observed the lifeguards not guarding the water very well. Typically, one expects lifeguards to vigilantly watch the swimmers. Not at Lithia Springs, I observed several times on-duty lifeguards with their backs to the water chatting the afternoon away. Personally, I watch my own children and don’t rely on lifeguards for their safety, but I was annoyed that the lifeguards weren’t doing the one thing that they were paid to do.
Overall, I still had fun and this is something that the locals will enjoy and should check out at some point. If you are from out of town I’d have to say my favorite Florida spring so far is Rainbow Springs State Park and would recommend that, although that is about a 1.5 – 2 hour drive from Tampa. Also, Lithia Springs can often hit its swimming capacity, meaning you will not get entry to the spring if it is too busy.
Photo Credit: Lithia Springs Swimming Area by JaconaFrere