|The K.P. Hole is one of many public parks in Marion County Florida that highlights the natural beauty of the area. The entry into the park is framed by stately live oaks draped with ghostly Spanish moss that sets this area of Florida apart from the big cities and theme parks. The park rests on the banks of the Rainbow River. The river is about six miles long and originates at Rainbow Springs State Park about one mile north up river. There are no runoff tributaries so the spring fed river is nearly perfectly clear. Clarity is its number one feature. The glass like surface makes it all the better to see more clearly the wonderful array of flora and teaming organisms both big and small. Underwater visibility is 150 feet plus. With no wind or waves, one can see to the bottom of the deepest hole. That would be Devil's Elbow at about 23 feet. You may even see a small musk turtle crawling on the very bottom chasing a fresh water shrimp. The entire Rainbow River was designated as a Registered Natural Landmark in 1972. Then an Aquatic Preserve in 1986 and an Outstanding Florida Waterway in 1987. The River is fed from numerous springs and vents starting at the headwaters and popping up the full length of the river. Over 500 million gallons of water pour into the river at a constant temperture of around 72 degrees. This is what makes it a melting pot for all sorts of water sports and recreational activities. People come from virtually thousands of miles away to dip their feet into this quaint little river!
The park has been around a long time. For many years the park was just an empty lot that every one came to in the area to swim and relax. Long before air-conditioning, the K.P. Hole was the cool down spot of its day. Legend has it that many years ago the swim hole was divided into different days for women and different days for men. The sheriff stood watch to stop any peeping Toms from catching a peek at the girls in their full length bathing suits. Later on the land was owned by the Knights of Pythius, a mens community group and dedicated as a park for public use. The park has gone through many changes and managements over the years the biggest yet in 2007. Daily, but mostly on the weekends, people come from miles around to swim at the Hole and bask on the grass. Picnicking and bird watchin' and girl watchin' and just plain relaxin' is the chore of the day at The K.P. Hole
K P Hole County Park, Dunnellon Florida 34432........Phone Number........352-489-3055........Marion County Florida
Click link below for official County web site. New Rule, kids under 3 not allowed on 4 hour float.
The park has full bathroom facilities for changing and showering with lockers for your clothes and valuables. There are benches to sit on while changing shoes or dive equipment and plenty of picnic tables to sit your stuff on. There is a pavilion with ample space for large groups. The park is set up in such a way that you can get parked and unload before you go by the cashier to pay your three dollar entry fee. (the K.P. Hole is a fee per use park) You're given a wrist band to identify the folks who have paid. At that point you may walk freely around the park or go out on the river or into town. As long as you have the wrist band on you may come and go as you please.
The waterfront was completely remodeled in 2007 and greatly changed the look. The old grass and sand has been replaced with an ornate deck, steps and dock system. Some of the natural beauty has been covered up, but the area is much more accessible by many more people than before. There is a hand launch for kayaks and canoes and a off-load area for these boats and dive gear right next to the long-standing larger boat ramp. At the opposite side of the park, down river, is the steps for the tubers to enter the water for their trek down river. There are new boat slips for four large boats with walks on both sides of the boats. This makes the boat much more accessible to passengers and divers with weighty gear. Overall a great improvement over the past. You can even role a wheelchair from the parking lot right down to the water, to a boat or to a kayak or canoe.