Thirty miles west of busy Daytona Beach lies a serene spring that is home to hundreds of manatees. This spring, located in Volusia County, Florida, is surrounded by pristine white sands, pine scrubs, marshland and pine flatlands.
Accessible boardwalks allow visitors to see directly into the water and all of the varied sea life within the spring.
Beautiful Blue Spring State Park is truly a perfect tourist destination providing not only water activities – swimming, snorkeling, tubing, SCUBA diving and kayaking – but also hiking, camping, fishing and birdwatching.
Explore trails by foot or kayak; get a closer look at and learn more about the manatees; have a quiet picnic along the St. Johns River or take a guided tour aboard the River Boat Cruise;
discover the historical Louis Thursby House and camp out to the sounds of the neighboring sea.
Whether you plan to visit this Florida state park for the day or stay for a couple of nights, you will thoroughly enjoy your time here.
Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Blue Spring State Park:
Boating at Blue Spring State Park
Kayak or canoe along Blue Spring Run or St. Johns River during your visit to Blue Spring State Park. Boat rentals (including tubes) are available from Blue Spring Adventures.
Interested in learning more about the area? St. Johns River Cruises and Tours takes guests on a 2-hour cruise to learn more about the historic St. Johns River, nature and ecology.
Swimming at Blue Spring State Park
Swim, snorkel and tube in the warm clear waters of Blue Spring. For the safety of the manatees no water activities are allowed in the spring or spring run from the middle of November through March each year.
The park now allows certified divers to enjoy the spring and all of its underwater wonders. Divers must show proof of certification and have a dive buddy. Only those certified in cave diving will be allowed into those underwater structures.
Florida Dive Company offers a guided underwater discovery tour. For more information call 386-663-8030.
Hiking at Blue Spring State Park
Hike or walk through the white sand, pine scrubs, flatlands and across the marsh along the river at Blue Spring State Park and experience the serene beauty of this area. An accessible boardwalk allows guests to walk along the spring for a closer look at its sea life.
Here are a couple of the trails at Blue Spring State Park:
- Pine Island Trail – A moderate 4.9 mile trail that travels through the sand pine scrub, flatwoods, freshwater marsh and out to St Johns River. Guests staying in the campground or cabins will enjoy walking or bicycling along this trail.
- Blue Spring Boardwalk Trail – Easy 1.0 mile trail along the wooden boardwalk that runs parallel to Blue Spring Run. Viewing decks are located along the path to showcase the manatees, sea turtles and other sea life. Picnic tables and a concession are located in the middle.
Fishing at Blue Spring State Park
Bring your fishing supplies and fish from the dock on the St Johns River. Popular catches include flounder, snook, redfish, catfish, bass, bluegill, crappie and shellcrackers.
Make sure you pick up a Florida fishing license before heading to the park.
Birding at Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring State Park is on the Great Florida Birding Trail, and that means it’s an excellent spot to see native and migrating birds.
The protected Florida scrub-jay, the only bird species unique to Florida, lives among the low growing oak scrub and flatwoods inside the park. Visitors can often hear their singing while hiking the Pine Island Trail.
Some other birds that you may see during your visit are hairy woodpeckers, chestnut-sided warbler, Blackburnian warbler, Bachman’s sparrow, Mississippi kite and merlin.
Stop by the rangers station to pick up a complete birdwatching list.
Nature and Wildlife at Blue Spring State Park
The park’s 2,643 acres is the winter home to 300 plus manatees. Blue Spring State Park is also a nature preserve for many endangered plants and animals as well as many more native and migratory species.
The woods, river, lagoons and spring provide sanctuary for frogs, snakes, lizards, turtles, wading birds and waterfowl, alligators, and the black bear.
Pets at Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring State Park does allow pets as long as they are on a leash no longer than 6 feet and supervised at all times. Pets are not permitted in any park buildings, including cabins, or in the beach area.
Camping at Blue Spring State Park
Extend your stay at the park by spending the night. Blue Spring State Park has 51 campsites and 6 cabins available for guests to reserve.
The campsites are within walking distance of the spring in a sand pine scrub. Each of these sites, which can accommodate tents and RVs, have electric and water hookups, a picnic table and a grill.
Bathhouses are conveniently located near campsites.
The two-bedroom cabins lie under the shady oak trees near Blue Spring. Each cabin has one double bed and 2 single beds and space for additional cots or sleeping bags to accommodate up to 6 people.
Cabins have full kitchens, a bathroom, a screened in porch, picnic table and outside grill.
Blue Spring State Park
2100 W French Ave
Orange City, FL 32763
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Blue Spring State Park: