Blue Spring State Park

Quick Facts

Blue Spring State Park

Florida

(386) 775-3663

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Blue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres, including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Blue Spring is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. The spring and spring run are closed during Manatee season, mid-November through March. Swimming or diving with manatees is not permitted; this rule is strictly enforced. For centuries, the spring area was home to Native Americans. In 1766 it was visited by Colonial American botanist John Bartram, but it was not until 1856 that it was settled by Louis Thursby and his family. The Thursby house, built in 1872, remains standing. The spring's crystal clear, 73 F water can be enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers with a partner. The river is popular for fishing, canoeing, and boating. The park has plenty of picnic areas and a hiking trail. For overnight stays, air-conditioned cabins, a full-facility campground and primitive campsites are available.

The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset year-round. Please call for admission fees.

Map of Blue Spring (FL)

Latitude, Longitude: 28.952273, -81.333660

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Activities

  • Boating

    St. Johns River Cruises and Tours has tours daily at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This is a two-hour narrated nature and ecological cruise on the beautiful and historic St. Johns River. You are invited to canoe beautiful Blue Spring Run and the St Johns River. Canoes and kayaks may be rented here also. Blue Spring is a designated manatee refuge. Temperatures in the spring run remain a constant 72 F, creating a safe haven for the West Indian manatee. To provide a safe warm water refuge for manatees during the winter season, the spring and spring run is closed to all water related activities including swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and boating from November 15 through March 1.

  • Camping

    Six two-bedroom cabins are located in a shady oak hammock near Blue Spring. Cabins accommodate up to six people and are equipped with a gas fireplace (for use November through March), central heating and cooling, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen with stove and refrigerator, screened porch, outdoor grill and picnic table. Linens, pillows, blankets and towels, cooking and eating utensils are provided. Linens are not changed daily. One vehicle per cabin is permitted. There are also 51 campsites which are located in the sand pine scrub and are within walking distance to the spring. Each site is equipped with a picnic table, water, electricity and a grill. A dump station is available in the park. Pets are welcome in camping area. Blue Spring State Park also offers the Bedtime Story Camper Lending Library of picture books for campers aged four to nine. Ask the Ranger Station about how to check out a book. For campers who plan to arrive after sunset, call the park on the day of arrival to get the gate combination and instructions.

  • Hiking

    The same pristine beauty enjoyed by Florida's earliest residents can still be seen today. A self-guided boardwalk leads visitors through a lush hammock to Blue Spring.

  • Picnicking

    Blue Spring State Park offers two separate picnic areas throughout the park. There are covered pavilions with grills located at these areas for larger groups. One of these areas also has a large covered barbecue pit, and can be reserved, for a fee. Contact the park office at (386) 775-3663 for details. Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited.

  • RVing

    This campground has 51 campsites which are located in the sand pine scrub and are within walking distance to the spring. Each site is equipped with a picnic table, water, electricity and a grill. A dump station is available in the park. Pets are welcome in camping area. Blue Spring State Park also offers the Bedtime Story Camper Lending Library of picture books for campers aged four to nine. Ask the Ranger Station about how to check out a book. Maximum RV length is 40 ft. For campers who plan to arrive after sunset, call the park on the day of arrival at 386-775-3663 to get the gate combination and instructions.

  • Water Sports

    Blue Spring offers swimming, tubing, snorkeling and scuba diving in a crystal clear, 72 F, spring run. Scuba divers must register at the entrance station between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., with an up-to-date certification card and a partner. Swimming or diving with the manatees is NOT permitted. Blue Spring is a designated manatee refuge. Temperatures in the spring run remain a constant 72 F, creating a safe haven for the West Indian manatee. To provide a safe warm water refuge for manatees during the winter season, the spring and spring run is closed to all water related activities including swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and boating from November 15 through March 1.

Park Partners

Friends of Blue State Spring State Park, Inc.

"This is a not-for-profit corporation organized to function as a citizen support organization for Blue Spring State Park in order to generate and create additional resources and support for, and in the best interest of, the Park through events and activities. This includes working for the preservation, protection, interpretation and promotion of the Park; through special work projects, special programs, special events, outreach programs, educational activities and communications, special exhibits, interpretive programs, fund raising activities and events, guided tours, and additional activities or events which are designed to meet the needs of the park."

(386) 775-3663

St. Johns River Cruises

St. Johns River Cruises and Tours has tours daily at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This is a two-hour narrated nature and ecological cruise on the beautiful and historic St. Johns River. Canoes and kayaks may be rented here also.

(407) 330-1612

Directions

Driving

Blue Spring is located west of Orange City. Take U.S. 17/92 to Orange City, go west two miles on French Avenue to the entrance.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(386) 775-3663

Links