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Silver River (Florida) facts for kids

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Silver River
Silver River.jpg
Country United States
State Florida
County Marion
District SJRWMD
Physical characteristics
Main source Silver Springs
Silver Springs, Florida
River mouth Ocklawaha River
Delks Bluff, Florida
Length 4.5 mi (7.2 km)

The Silver River is a short spring-fed river located east of Ocala in Marion County, Florida. Fed by Silver Springs, it connects the springs to the Ocklawaha River, passing through a pristine woodland environment. The river was probably named for its silvery appearance.

Geography and hydrology

The Silver River drains Silver Springs, located in the Silver Springs Nature Theme Park in Silver Springs, Florida approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Ocala, Florida. The river flows east from the springs, being joined by an unnamed tributary creek from the north just east of the park, for approximately 5.4 miles (8.7 km) before joining the Ocklawaha River just south of the Bert Dosh Memorial Bridge.

Ecology

The Silver River flows through an undeveloped woodland just to the west of the Ocala National Forest; the water quality is considered excellent, and the river is regarded as being in pristine condition.

Many types of turtles are found in the Silver River, while ospreys and anhingas breed along its banks. Rhesus monkeys were released at Silver Springs in the 1930s, and became feral; they remain present along the river's run and can be seen when traveling the river. The Silver River is designated under the Outstanding Florida Waters program.

History and recreation

Silver River monkey
A feral rhesus macaque along the river

The first known human settlement in the Silver River area was by the Timucua people; Europeans arrived in the 1820s, with Fort King being established near the Silver Springs in 1827. The springs became a tourist attraction in the 1870s; the first glass-bottom boat was built to provide views of the springs in 1878. The river steamer Metamora sank near the Silver River's mouth in 1903.

The parks around the river's source, Silver Springs State Park and the historic Silver Springs attraction, are noted tourist destinations; the river itself is considered to be excellent for exploration by canoe and kayak.

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