Blue Spring is the largest spring on the St. Johns River and a crucial winter refuge for manatees.
Blue Spring is the largest spring on the St. Johns River and discharges a historical average of 165 million gallons per day. The spring pool is circular, with a notable boil in the center and steep sandy banks that rise approximately 15 to 20 feet above water level. The spring run flows about 1,050 feet to the St. Johns River through a dense hardwood and palm forest, with picturesque live oak trees leaning over the run.
The cave is a vertical shaft that angles into a room at a depth of 80 to 90 feet, but at 120 to 125 feet, the cave constricts and creates a strong flow, preventing further safe diver access. The spring run is a crucial winter refuge for the St. Johns River manatee population, and swimming, diving, and canoeing are restricted from November 15 to March 15. The growing manatee population reached as high as 371 during the 2010 hard freeze, giving park visitors a spectacular viewing experience from the boardwalks and overlooks along the spring run. The park has much more to offer, including a historic house built on a prehistoric shell midden, boat tours on the St. Johns River, picnic areas, cabins, a campground, and trails. Take U.S. Highway 17-92 to Orange City and go west 2 miles on French Avenue to the park entrance.
At a Glance:
Activities: Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, tubing, kayaking/canoeing, boat tour, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing (especially manatees in the winter), picnic area, playground, cabins, camping, primitive camping, snack bar
Entrance Fee: Yes
Scuba Diving: Yes
Onsite Camping: Yes
Dogs Allowed: Yes–see state park website for rules
Type of Park: Florida state park
Address and Contact Information:
Blue Spring State Park
2100 West French Avenue
Orange City, FL 32763
Phone: (386) 775–3663
Other Web Resources:
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