(Last Updated On: January 3, 2023)
Dock in the water at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Dock in the water at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. Photo: Paul Clark, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Six natural springs of stunning turquoise waters surrounded by ancient oaks may be found in Gilchrist County, 20 miles northwest of Gainesville. This picturesque area – Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park – is one of the newest Florida state parks and shouldn’t be confused with the Blue Spring State Park that lies some 126 miles south in Orange City near Orlando.

Visitors enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the refreshing waters, paddling out to meet the Santa Fe River, hiking, bird watching, camping, and picnicking at this serene park.

Activities

Stop by for a relaxing visit at this popular state park. Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park was once the beloved swimming hole of Ruth B Kirby. Today it not only features the picturesque springs but also a nature trail, picnic areas, a concession and a campground.

The picnic areas are equipped with covered pavilions, tables and grills, and are located near the springs, the campsites, a concession and restrooms.

The park’s concessionaire – Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures – carries canoe and kayak rentals plus food and beverages to help make your stay more comfortable.

Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park:

Boating at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Kayak, canoe or paddle board along the beautiful blue-green waters of the spring inside Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. The quarter mile spring run flows into the Santa Fe River. Paddle downstream to Ginnie Springs or upriver to Lily, Poe Springs or Rum Island.

Rentals are available onsite. The park’s concessionaire, Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures, carries both kayaks and canoes.

Swimming at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Daily, Forty four gallons of water flows through the large Blue Spring inside Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. Guests enjoy the refreshing water while swimming, snorkeling and floating in this majestic spring.

Swimming is also allowed in the Naked Spring, an oval shaped pool that guests may access by way of a floating dock.

Hiking at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Take a peaceful walk through the forest and past swamps, sinkholes and sandhills. Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park’s short nature trail winds throughout the park and connects to all 5 natural springs. Highlights along this trail include a 350 year old cypress tree and a sinkhole swamp that’s usually full of turtles.

Birding at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Great Blue Heron, Barred Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-shouldered hawk, ibis, osprey, bald eagles, anhingas and cormorants may be spotted throughout the park. Bring your binoculars and take a peaceful walk along the trails and around the springs and see who you may discover.

Nature and Wildlife at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

The serene springs and surrounding areas within the park are home to many species of wildlife. During your visit you may see White-tailed deer, turtles, many species of birds, and fish. Channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and redbreast sunfish may be seen throughout the clear waters of the spring.

Pets at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Yes, pets are allowed inside Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. Please supervise your pets and keep them safe by using a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet. Pets are not permitted in the swimming area.

Camping at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Bring your RV, camper or tent and spend a relaxing evening inside Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. The park has 16 modern campsites with water and electric connections and 7 primitive tent only campsites. Sites are near the main Blue Spring Pool and day use areas. Restrooms and hot showers are located within walking distance to campsites.

Park Location

Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
7450 NE 60th St
High Springs, FL 32643
Phone: 386.454.1369

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park: