Rules and Pricing Information
Always know before you come to the park what situations might affect the enjoyment of your experience. First of all if you are going to drive a long way to get to the park you should know how full the park is. When the parking lot gets full, you can no longer enter the gate and your day's fun has turned sour.
If you are prepared ahead of time, you can still pull it off. There are businesses in town that will allow you to park at their place and ride to the park and get dropped off. The park allows commercial shuttles to drop people off as they will not be parking in the lot. However the shuttles are run by businesses that rent tubes, canoes and kayaks and that is the only way you can ride the shuttle into the park. You can find these local businesses on our Friend's Page and contact them directly.
Check with the Marion County Park web site for the most accurate current information on pricing and rules changes.
Park entry fee ..............$5.00
Children under 5yr..........Free
Double Kayak.........$10.00 hr
All Boats..............$50.00 Dep.
Tube rental, shuttle service, park entrance and taxes.......$20.00
Dive Flags..............$5.00 day
.New Notice...Tubing and Shuttle Services are available April 1st through September 30th......................April 1st to May 8th all floaters must be in the Park and on the water by noon. Between May 9th to September 30th, tube and shuttle rentals will cease at 12:45 PM and you must be on the river no later than 1:00. If you bring your own tube and don't need the shuttle you must in the water and floating down the river by 1:45. These rules are necessary because many folks don't make the exit point by dark or before the last shuttle run.
Because there are many boaters on the river the County has restricted tubes and floats to no bigger than 60 inches. Kids under 3 years old are not allowed on the 4 hour float.
|The best and simplest way to handle these transactions is for one person to be responsible for the boats or tubes and leave a credit card and a drivers license for security. The park folks will not charge your card till you are ready to cash out. Canoes and Kayaks come with life vests, paddles and whistles. When you are ready to embark on your journey, a member of the park staff will give you your vests and paddles and have you follow them down to the docks and the boat racks. It's nice to give them a hand putting the canoe or kayak into the water, especially if the park is very busy. This can be a two man or woman job and helping out the staff can be as generous as tipping your food server at any restaurant. The same goes for when you are done with your cruise. You are doing a great service to an already over-worked staff member by helping them put up the vessel. When you are with a large group, it can move so much more smoothly if one person collects the entry fee from the rest of the group, purchases all the arm bands and hands them out to the rest of the group. You could even meet at the local Winn-Dixie ahead of time where you can get change and stock-up on supplies for the day. That one group leader can be the only one standing in line for arm bands and rentals and the rest can be getting ready for the days activities. Staff will need to check any coolers for alcohol or if you are going on the river for disposable containers (contraband). Having everything ready for them is also going to speed up the process considerably! During the peak summer season and the winter diving season things get very hectic at the park. Doing your part to be prepared is a big step in creating a great and enjoyable day for yourself and everyone around you!
Park rules: No dogs or other pets. Only service animals allowed. I don't think that they'd fall for a seeing eye ferret. If you are launching a boat, you can carry your pet on the boat. Just leash it from your vehicle to your vessel without going into the park gate and you'll be ok. You can take your dog or cat to Rainbow Springs State Park, a mile away if you like and let them run around all day!
No alcohol allowed in park at all. All coolers are subject to search. Sheriff is on speed dial. Also you cannot take food or drink in the original disposable container on the river. This is strictly enforced by river patrol. You can have all the food and non-alcoholic beverages you want but put them in non-disposable containers like sport bottles, thermoses or Tupperware like containers. The park does sell some of these containers but it's best to come prepared from home. Original water bottles are disposable so they are not allowed on the river. Disposables are allowed in the park just not on the river. Since this law was established, the Rainbow River has been much cleaner and a joy to see and play in! If you have any doubts, call the park at 352-489-3055.
All rentals and shuttle service are seasonal: Service generally starts in early April and ends late September. Again call the park to get the skinny. 352-489-3055 If you are planning to do the tube run down river, always call to get the current schedule for leaving the K.P Hole. The county has had to limit the departure time as early as 12:00 Noon. This is because, many times, with head winds or tubers stopping to play, floaters are arriving at the departure site long after dark. Some of the residents have had people coming out of the river and walking into their yards with no idea that they are miles away by land. Summer time they usually let you depart a little later in the day due to the summertime hours.
If in doubt call them up. 352-489-3055
Summer Hours........... 8:00 AM to 8:00PM They Shut the Gate on Time
Winters Hours.............8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Same Deal
Winter hours are in effect now Rentals cease at 12:45 PM
If you are on the river or out of the park, be sure to get back by around a half hour early to use the bath or load your car. The gates lock with your car in or out. These folks like to get home just like you do when you are not on vacation. Remember, your fun day is also their work day. Give them the same respect you would ask for yourself. They will appreciate it. If you happen to lock your keys in your car, the staff can get you a lock smith to the scene but do it early, so you can be on your way before the gates close!