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Manatee Springs State Park

Manatee Springs is one of Florida’s largest springs, averaging 117 million gallons of water daily, and is a National Natural Landmark.

Image of Reflection of cypress trunk and knees in the waters of Manatee Spring.Reflection of cypress trunk and knees in the waters of Manatee Spring. © Connie Bersok/FDEP

The spring is 25 feet deep, with a tremendous boil and a pool about 75 feet across. The spring and cave are popular for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, although the strong current is often reported as a challenge. Over 26,000 feet of cave passageway have been mapped, making it one of the longest systems in North America. An 11,074-foot dive in 1994 established a new world record. The conduits reach a depth of 90 feet and can be entered through 4 entrances in the park: the main spring and 3 sinkholes.

The botanist and naturalist William Bartram visited the spring in June 1774 and wrote about it in his book, Travels of William Bartram.

Most visitors stroll along the elevated boardwalk and follow the 1,200-foot spring run as it glides through the floodplain forest to the Suwannee River. Manatees use the spring in the winter, and so canoeists and kayakers are excluded between December 1 and March 30, but they can continue to use the Suwannee itself. Even swimming is suspended when manatees are present. The park is located at the end of State Road 320, off U.S. Highway 19-98, 6 miles west of Chiefland.

At a Glance:

Activities: Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking/canoeing, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, picnic area, playground, camping, youth camping

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:

Manatee Springs State Park

11650 Northwest 115th Street

Chiefland, FL 32626

Phone: (352) 493–6072

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Find Related Info
Manatee Springs, Manatees, Suwannee River, ,

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