Can you swim in Devil’s Den? Is it Safe?

Devil’s Den. It sounds so inviting. Doesn’t it? I can’t help but laugh as I remember when I told my wife how I wanted to go snorkeling at Devil’s Den. She gave me this weird look. Then came all the questions: Is it safe? Can you swim there? Devil’s Den sounds scary. I like scary but – I don’t know…

So I had to convince her to go snorkeling, at Devil’s Den, by answering all of her questions. If you would like to learn more about Devil’s Den, please, read on.

Why do they call it Devil’s Den?

Devil’s Den has a long and interesting history. In the 19th century, residents believed the crevice was created and was home to a large snake. As time passed the snake, became known as “The Devil” for obvious biblical reasons. This lead to the Devil’s Den and some solders accounts used the name “Devil’s Cave”.

Some say that during battles in the area, the heat or mist (water evaporation) made it look menacing, evil and well – with a name like Devil’s Den who can blame someone for thinking such a way. But google it, there is so much more history out there.

Can you swim in Devil’s Den?

According to the website and those who manage Devil’s Den – No. Sadly, if you cannot swim, you will not be permitted to enter Devil’s Den. The depth of the water reaches 50 feet deep and no flotation devices allowed. It is strongly advised to get swimming lessons, in which you are comfortable swimming in deep water. I would say it has to do with safety issues and liability issues.

To which I agree. You want to be safe, enjoy Devil’s Den and come home with a pleasant experience to share with family and friends. Coming home to tell everyone about your adventure is so much more preferable than the later.

Side note: Anyone under the age of 18 years old must have a parent on site. Access to the spring is also limited to those who are snorkeling or scuba diving.

How cold is Devil’s Den?

According to the website and many other sources the water is a constant 72 degrees. In cold weather the water creates a vapor that rises from the surface. I guess this is what gave early settlers the idea that the crevice – the cave, was the chimney from Hell.

Due to this constant temperature, Devil’s Den is opened all year long. Not forgetting to mention that it is located in Florida. So, it is always hot and a good time to cool off. Which leads us to the obvious next question.

Is There A Long Wait Time?

According to everything I have read, the wait time to wet your feet in Devil’s Den Springs can take hours on busy or popular days. Like all things, good things come to those who wait. However, if you are stuck waiting for your turn, you are advised to take this time to enjoy the nearby sites. Do not worry about losing your turn (spot on line) at Devils’s Den Springs. They have a system in place to help; you receive a call on your cell phone when it is your group’s turn to snorkel.

What City is Devil’s Den in?

Devil’s Den is located near Williston, Florida, it is privately owned; and operated as a scuba diving training and recreational facility. If you would like to reserve a spot or time at the spring, contact information in provided below.

Contact Devil’s Den Spring
5390 NE 180th Ave Williston, FL 32696
Telephone number: 352-528-3344
Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday and Sunday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

What is there to do in Devil’s Den?

Remembering that if you are going to Devil’s Den, I would assume it would be to swim in Devil’s Den (that is to snorkel or scuba dive). Given that, you can camp there. I personally rented a cabin for two days. They have a few cabins, several campsite areas available for use. They have no place to eat, as in a restaurant. There is only a food truck that comes by on scheduled times but that is all.

The more applicable question would be. What is there to do near Devil’s Den?

There are several things you can do in the area. This is not Miami, Orlando or Tampa Florida. So do not expect to find large theme parks, amusement parks or things of that nature. This is more like going back in time – to see the country. To enjoy the more simplier things in life.

To give a few examples:
Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens
Dudley Farm Historic State Park
Kirby Family Farm
Union Street Downtown Farmer’s Market
Two Tails Ranch
Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
Blue Grotto Dive Resort

I myself plan to spend my two days snorkeling at Devils Den and possibly at another near by spring, which I am told is very nice. (Hope to tell you all about it soon).

Do I need to purchase Snorkeling Equipment?

There are two things to do at Devil’s Den. 1. Scuba Dive, but they do not provide equipment or lessons. You bring that, you hire an outside scuba instructor and you reserve time. 2. You go snorkeling. I believe they give you 45 minutes to 2 hours ( it may vary). Nevertheless, they do rent snorkeling equipment.

My suggestion, as I did, would be to purchase your own snorkeling equipment. Why? Because I plan to go on more of these adventures with the family and it is nice (cost less over time) to have my own equipment. Also my wife does not like the idea of sharing spit (see my RASSE No Spit video if you want to understand).

I love my RASSE Snorkel Full-Face Mask from Amazon, it was inexpensive and works extremely well. Check out my video review below.

Another plus to owning my snorkeling equipment is that there are more than 100 Florida springs. Well-known swimming holes such as Rainbow, Weeki Wachee and Wakulla Springs where you can go snorkeling. Paying a one-time fee and owning the equipment will always beat renting every time you go snorkeling (over time).

This leads to the most fearsome question there is. It is Florida after all.

Are there alligators in Florida Springs?

My wife, myself included, are deathly afraid of running into an alligator. We live in Florida so we know that Florida has gators. That is why I do not swim in any of my local lakes – it is just me.

Therefore, it is safe to say that any body of fresh or brackish water in Florida “potentially” has an alligator in it. Even though many say, they tend to be wary of humans and often do retreat or keep their distance. My advice is, if you see an alligator at a spring, if there has been a recent report of one, or there are “No swimming” signs up, then do not swim.

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