“Florida's best manatee observation point”
Blue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres, including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Blue Spring is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. The spring and spring run are closed during Manatee season, mid-November through March. Swimming or diving with manatees is not permitted; this rule is strictly enforced. For centuries, the spring area was home to Native Americans. In 1766 it was visited by Colonial American botanist John Bartram, but it was not until 1856 that it was settled by Louis Thursby and his family. The Thursby house, built in 1872, remains standing. The spring´s crystal clear, 73 degree water can be enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers with a partner. The river is popular for fishing, canoeing, and boating. River boat tours are available; for reservations, call St. Johns River Cruises at (386) 917-0724. The park has plenty of picnic areas and a hiking trail. For overnight stays, air-conditioned cabins,and a full-facility campground are available. This is a very popular park on weekends. To ensure entrance into the park, we recommend arriving early; otherwise, the parking area will be full and you may not be able to enter.
Very cool place! The water is clean, cool and refreshing on a hot day. Manatees were cool to see
Blue Spring State Park is a beautiful area with plenty of interesting and entertaining things to do.
Not only does it offer a variety of nice hiking and biking trails and boardwalks (that enable visitors to access most areas even after heavy rain), but there are also camping grounds, picnic tables, boat tours and canoes to rent - to mention a few...
The park provides areas for parking (at a fair rate), which can, however be a little crowded at times so that a short waiting time in front of the gates might be required.
Aside the beautiful flora and fauna that can be observed here all year long, the springs are also a popular place for manatees that spend the winter months in the warm waters. With a count of over 300 manatees (as it was the case on the day of our visit) - they can be observed from almost every spot along the springs.
The boardwalks can get a little crowded, too. But there is still enough space for everyone to enjoy their visit!
The viewing of the Manatee is great! A nice wooden walkway follows the stream (spring run) and you can view the Manatee all along the walk. At the end the spring runs into the St. John's river, where you can canoe. It seems to be popular so arrive early. We camped for three nights. The campsite or nice but be forewarned: expect a train to roll past in the middle of the night blowing it's horn (that's why I gave it 4 stars). Not much else in the area.
Beautiful setting teeming with wildlife.
We spent two nights here in the campground and it was an awesome start to our road trip! The campsites were spacious with so much vegetation that you forgot you had neighbors. The bathrooms were especially clean and easy to access.
The walk from the campgrounds to the swimming area is reminiscent of a tropical jungle. We loved going for multiple swims a day.
Great opportunity to rent kayaks, canoes or go on boat tours. We came outside of manatee season so sadly didn’t see any. But we did see multiple alligators, snakes, osprey, crane and huge fish!
Great springs. Bring or rent tubes. Bring or rent snorkel gear. So fun! They have air so you can fill up your tubes you bring or rafts. Bring a lunch, picnic areas. Definitely will be back to this one!
We have camped there and found the campsite to be really nice.Orange city and Deland have much to see and do.
Beautiful park and if you go in the winter, you will probably see many manatees. Is a bit of a drive from Orlando.
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- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
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- State park or forest
- Max Length
- 40 ft
- Season End
- Year Round
- Season Start
- Year Round
- Sites Count
Standard Tent Sites
Vehicle Wash Permitted