Blue Spring State Park: 11 Facts You Should Know!

Blue spring state park is the most attractive state park as it offers various outdoor activities along with a peaceful view of natural resources: 

  • Blue Spring State Park is situated adjacent to the famous St. Johns River which is the most giant spring that hosts a wide range of water sports like swimming, boating, and fishing.
  • The state park is home to a manatee refuge a number of these during the winter months migrate to St. Johns River.
  • Water sports attract the visitors to park but it is also famous for outdoor activities.
  • The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

History and Facts

  • For generations, the Timucua tribe called Blue Spring home, supplying food, clothes, shelter, and materials for crafts and weapons.
  •  A British botanist named John Bartran visited the St. Johns in discovery of materials valuable to the Crown. 
  • With the assistance of Jacques Cousteau, Blue Spring became a State Park in 1972. 
  • The spring is more than a beautiful spot for canoeing and swimming; it is essential to the continued existence of one of Florida’s most endangered inhabitants, the manatee. 
  • Blue Spring was acquired by Louis Thursby in 1856, and Mrs. Thursby was Orange City’s first postmistress. 
  • The documentary “The Lost Mermaids” raised awareness of the manatee and the value of Blue Spring as a winter sanctuary, encouraging the state’s decision to acquire the area.


  • Address: 2100 W French Ave, Orange City
  • Location:  Volusia County, Florida, USA
  • Zip code:  32763

Blue spring state park 

  • Blue Spring State Park is a one-of-a-kind geologic location that demonstrates how Florida’s karst topography formed and the role of groundwater in its diversification.

Weather Conditions

  • Spring state parks usually experience humid and hotter summers while winters are colder with no snowy days.

Wind speed Range (mph): 

Rainfall Range (in):

Snowfall Days:

Flora & Fauna


  • Bald cypress
  • Tupelo
  • Red maple
  • Sweetgum
  • Southern magnolia
  • Sabal palm
  • Live oak
  • Spanish moss
  • Water hyacinth
  • Alligatorweed
  • Duckweed
  • Water lily


  • West Indian manatee
  • American alligator
  • Florida black bear
  • River otter
  • White-tailed deer
  • Wild turkey
  • Barred owl
  • Great blue heron
  • Anhinga
  • Largemouth bass
  • Bluegill
  • Channel catfish
  • American eel


Blue Springs State Park is a lovely natural location in Florida that provides tourists with a variety of outdoor activities. 

  • Hiking: Blue Springs State Park includes two nature paths to explore: the 0.4-mile boardwalk that circles the springs and affords some of the greatest vistas, and the 3.6-mile Pine Island hiking route, which crosses most of the river and passes through oak woodland and open scrub. 
  • These routes provide spectacular views of a range of landscapes, including hardwood hammocks, scrub woods, and a hidden lagoon. Be careful that when the St. John’s River rises, it might cause flooding.
Blue Spring Broadwalk Trail
1.6 Km
Pine Island Trail
7.9 Km
Blue Spring Run Paddle4.8 Km
  • Swimming: Blue Spring, located near the first parking lot, is a 72-degree spring. 
  • Blue Spring’s warm currents are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Divers must enroll with park authorities and have a diving companion. 
  • Instead, visitors may hire a tube and float down Blue Spring. Because of the presence of manatees, activities are prohibited between November 15 and March 15.
  • Kayak/ Paddleboat the St. Johns River River: Blue Springs is one of Florida’s finest springs for kayaking, rafting, and paddleboarding. 
  • Visitors either launch their own kayak or paddle from the boat ramp for free or hire one for $20 per hour.
  • Blue Spring itself is open for paddling throughout the summer, but it is closed during the winter. 
  • The St. John’s River is available for boating year-round, and you may kayak to adjacent Hontoon Island State Park or discover some of the streams that branch out from it. 
  • Note: Before 11 a.m. and after 5 p.m., water activities are not allowed permitted inside the pool area
  • Wildlife Watching: Alligators along with wading birds, bears, birds of prey, and raccoons may all be found in Blue Spring State Park. 
  • Visitors can see wildlife from a safe distance, but feeding or harassing wild animals is prohibited. 
  • With oaks, palms, birds squirrels, and Spanish moss living in the trees, the footbridge offers spectacular Floridian environments. 
  • The spring itself produces 165 gallons of water every day, allowing for an uncontrolled and wild experience.
  • Scuba Diving: Blue Springs State Park contains a deep cave into where you can scuba dive if you are qualified. Open-water certified divers can dive to a depth of 50 feet and are always required to scuba with a dive partner. This is a fantastic location for exploring an underwater cave and seeing the aquatic life that lives there.
  • If you’re still not prepared to cave dive yet and want to learn about scuba diving, Blue Springs Adventures  provides a discover scuba lesson here. Here you can explore how to remain afloat, complete safety checks, and explore the pure spring water. If you’ve been considering getting certified, this is an inexpensive way to discover and enjoy.
  •  Manatees: Blue Springs State Park is well-known for its manatees, who visit during the cooler winter months. After watching the manatees, tourists can enjoy a boat trip, paddle in the St. John’s River, or go for a walk. Although touching, grazing, or otherwise engaging with the manatees is banned, the sidewalks around the spring allow wonderful views of the more than 300 manatees that come each year.\
  • Camping: The campground features 51 campsites among the sand pine scrub, just a short walk from the spring. 
  • Amenities -Picnic table, water, power, and a grill. 
  • There are two new bathhouses with accessible showers and restroom facilities. 
  • There are six cottages available as well, however, pets are not permitted.
  • All sites tend to fill up fast, so make your bookings early.


Below listed are some of the eating options inside the park – 

  • The Riverside Restaurant, Picnic Spaces, Snack Bar, and Vending Machines are among the food choices available at Blue Spring State Park. 
  • The Riverside Grill offers burgers, sandwiches, salads, and other light meals, while the Picnic Areas offer tables, grills, and restrooms. Snacks, beverages, and frozen yogurt are available in the Snack Bar, while beverages and snacks are available at the Vending Machines.
  • Nearby Restaurants: Based on distance and ratings below are some of the recommendations.
  1. Urban Brick

#2 of 139 Restaurants in DeLand

112 N Woodland Blvd Historic downtown

5.6 miles from Blue Spring State Park

  1. Angelina’s Pizzeria

#6 of 139 Restaurants in DeLand

2687 S Woodland Blvd

3 miles from Blue Spring State Park

  1. Swamp House Riverfront Grill

#1 of 27 Restaurants in DeBary

488 W Highbanks Rd Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort

4.4 miles from Blue Spring State Park

  1. BakeChop

#4 of 139 Restaurants in DeLand

110 Artisan Aly

5.5 miles from Blue Spring State Park

  1. Lelo’s BBQ

#1 of 62 Restaurants in Orange City

1270 Saxon Blvd Ste 101

4.5 miles from Blue Spring State Park


Visitors to the park can pick from several hotel alternatives, including:

  • Camping:  The campground features 51 campsites among the sand pine scrub, just a short walk from the spring. 

Visit –!park/9

  • Cabins: Blue Spring, a certified manatee habitat, with 6  two-bedroom cottages. They sleep up to Accommodation – upto 6 people
  • Amenities- electric fireplace,

                                central heating and cooling, 

                               a bathroom,

                                a fully equipped kitchen, 

                                a screened porch,  

                                 an outdoor grill and a picnic table

                                  linens, pillows, blankets and towels, 

                                   cooking and eating utensils, 

           2 vehicles/cabin is allowed without any televisions or phones. 

  • Nearby places based on closeness and ratings: 
  1.  Holiday Inn Express & Suites Silver Springs-Ocala, an IHG Hotel
  2. Quality Inn Near Blue Spring
  3. Orange City Motel
  4. Shamrock Historic Inn


Available at the park areas:

  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Cabins
  • Laundry
  • Hot showers
  • Boating
  • Museum
  • Nature Centre
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Scuba Diving

Best Time to Visit

January– Manatees are abundant in the spring run.– Crowded due to peak manatee season.
February– Manatees are still present.– Crowded due to peak manatee season.
March– Good chance to see manatees.– Crowded due to spring break.
April– Warm weather and clear water.– Crowded due to spring break.
May– Good weather for outdoor activities.– Water may be too warm for manatees.
June– Good weather for swimming and kayaking.– Water may be too warm for manatees.
July– Good weather for swimming and kayaking.– Water may be too warm for manatees.
August– Good weather for swimming and kayaking.– Water may be too warm for manatees.
September– Fewer crowds and lower prices.– Manatees may not be present yet.
October– Fewer crowds and lower prices.– Manatees may not be present yet.
November– Manatees begin to return to the spring run.– Weather may be cooler.
December– Manatees are abundant in the spring run.– Crowded due to holiday season.


These are some sites to view while visiting the Park:

  • The Thursby House: It is a museum that was constructed in 1857 to depict the lives of European settlers in Florida. Louis Thursby erected it in 1872 and it became a focus of activity on the St. Johns River, housing steamboat passengers as they traveled up and down the river.
  • Bird Watching: The indigenous Florida scrub-jay lives at Blue Spring State Park, but feeding them is banned and can be hazardous.


The steps are as follows:

  1. Visit the official OSilver Spring State Park website  Florida State Parks
  2. Click on the green-colored pop button 
  3. Choose your preferred available options. Choose the “Search” option.
  4. A list of available activity options will appear.
  5. Select the preferred activity like glass door boating, paddling, etc.
  6. After choosing the activity fill in the desired information on the portal like no. of persons, arrival and departure time.
  7. Choose a payment method then enter your payment details.
  8. Double – Check your reservation information and click on “Complete Reservation”.
  9. You will get an email confirming your reservation information.

Open – 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Fess Charges-

  • $6/vehicle (2-8 people).
  • $4 single-occupant vehicle.
  • $2 pedestrians/bicyclists/extra passengers,
  • Camping – $24/ night+ VAT, along with a  nonrefundable registration charge of $6.70 and a nightly utility cost of $7 for RVs.
  • Cabins – $95/night + Tax

Rules for Pets

  • Pets are permitted in approved in some specific areas of the park.

Specific Rule or Restriction

These are some ground rules to follow when exploring State Park:

  • At the park, glass containers are permitted.
  • Pets are not authorized in the slide rock or rill regions, although they are acceptable on a lead in other park areas.
  • Smoking is permitted only in defined places.
  • It is not permitted to jump or dive from rocks or cliffs.
  • The park does not allow amplified music or sound systems.
  • Guests are asked to bag their rubbish and dispose of it in designated bins.
  • Visitors are advised to wear suitable footwear to avoid sliding on the granite..
  • Fireworks are restricted.
  • Do not trespass on private land, do not disturb wildlife, keep an eye out for cars, observe traffic signals, and wear bicycle and horse helmets. 
  • To avoid a fine, riders should have a negative Coggins test.

Leave a Comment