Conservation measures can produce astounding results. In 1970, two years before Blue Spring State Park was established, researchers tracked 14 manatees in the spring run. By 2005, after years of park improvements and manatee protection efforts, wintering manatee numbers exceeded 200 and by 2018, that number skyrocketed to a record 485.
Besides "sea cows," fish abound in the spring run, and these attract a variety of wading birds, ospreys, eagles and kingfishers. To see the park’s wonders, one can hike along the spring run or on the 4.5-mile Pine Island Trail. One can also launch a canoe or kayak, rent one at the park or take a guided river boat cruise.
The endemic Florida scrub-jay calls Blue Spring State Park home. With many families dwelling in the rare scrub ecosystem, it is likely you will catch a glimpse or hear their calls. Please keep in mind that Feeding Florida scrub-jays is against the law and can cause great harm to the birds.
St. Johns River Cruises and Tours operates boat 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.
This campground has 51 campsites (recreational vehicles up to 40 feet long) 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 the camping area in accordance with our Pet Policy. Accessible sites are offered on Reserve America and two new bathhouses are complete with accessible showers and bathroom stalls.
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through Reserve America. Book online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (888) 433-0287.
Visitors can fish from the accessible fishing dock on the St. Johns River. Fishing is not permitted in the Blue Spring Run.
All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
The same pristine beauty enjoyed by Florida's earliest residents can still be seen today. An accessible boardwalk leads visitors on a self-guided tour through a lush hammock to Blue Spring.
Pine Island Trail is 3.6 miles in length (one way) and takes you through numerous plant communities from the desert-like scrub to the Blackwater stream known as the St. Johns River.
You are invited to canoe beautiful Blue Spring Run and the St Johns River. Canoes and kayaks may be rented at St. Johns River Cruises along the St. Johns River. For more information, current conditions, availability, costs and reservations, call (386) 917-0724 or visit St. Johns River Cruises.
Blue Spring is a designated manatee refuge. Temperatures in the spring run remain a constant 72 degrees, 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 are closed to all water-related activities including swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and boating from approximately mid-November through March.
Blue Spring State Park offers two separate picnic areas. There are accessible covered pavilions with accessible grills located at these areas for larger groups. One of these areas also has a large covered barbecue grill.
All pavilions are first come, first served.
There are many grills and picnic tables throughout the park.
Blue Spring State Park is pleased to allow responsible, certified divers access. To ensure the safety of all divers and other visitors, the following criteria MUST be met:
All divers must show proof of certification before diving and leave certifications visible on the dashboard of the car.
All divers must have a dive buddy and remain together for the duration of EACH and EVERY dive.
Cavern and cave diving is available only to certified cave divers.
Open water divers are permitted to 50 feet.
Open water divers are not permitted to carry lights.
Instructors conducting a class must have a Commercial Dive Permit.
Divers dive at their own risk.
No solo diving is permitted.
Dives cannot extend past 5 p.m.
No scooters (DPVs) or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
Blue Spring offers snorkeling in a crystal clear spring run. Swimming with the manatees is NOT permitted.
Blue Spring offers swimming in a crystal clear spring run. Swimming or diving with the manatees is NOT permitted.
Tube rentals are available through the park's concessionaire. You can enter the water at the upper entry, swim to the spring boil, and float back down to the main swim dock. The float run lasts about an eighth of a mile.
Six two-bedroom cabins are located in a shady oak hammock near Blue Spring, a designated manatee refuge. Cabins accommodate up to six people. One bedroom is furnished with a double bed. The second bedroom is furnished with two single beds. A sleeper sofa in the living room converts to a double bed. Each cabin is 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. Two vehicles per cabin are permitted.
For the guests' relaxation, televisions and phones are not provided.
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287. Pets are not permitted in cabins. Service animals are welcome.
There is a minimum two nights stay in cabins on weekends and holidays, either Friday and Saturday night, or Saturday and Sunday nights. A single Friday or Saturday night may be reserved only if the following Saturday or Sunday night is already reserved. Cabin 2 is accessible and is available by reservation through ReserveAmerica.
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