Blue Spring State Park: A Comprehensive Visitor’s Guide

Lake Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Blue Spring State Park is a popular destination in Florida known for its crystal-clear spring, abundant wildlife, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Located in Orange City, about 40 miles north of Orlando, this park offers visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of Florida’s springs. Here’s a comprehensive guide for visitors:


Blue Spring State Park is located at 2100 West French Avenue, Orange City, Florida 32763.

Park Hours:

The park is open 365 days a year from 8:00 AM until sundown.

Admission Fees:

  • Entrance Fee: There is a nominal fee per vehicle.
  • Pedestrians, bicycles, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass: Reduced fee.

Activities and Attractions:

  • Blue Spring: The park is centered around the stunning Blue Spring, a first-magnitude spring that discharges 104 million gallons of water per day. The spring maintains a constant temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
  • Manatee Viewing: Blue Spring is a designated manatee refuge, and during the winter months (mid-November through March), manatees seek the warm waters of the spring. A designated viewing area allows visitors to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
  • Hiking Trails: The park offers several hiking trails, including the Pine Island Trail and the Wild Persimmon Trail, which provide opportunities to explore the surrounding natural habitat and observe native flora and fauna.
  • Boating and Kayaking: Non-motorized boating and kayaking are allowed in the spring run. Canoes and kayaks can be rented from the park’s concessionaire.
  • Picnicking: Enjoy a picnic in the designated picnic areas equipped with tables and grills. It’s a great way to relax and refuel during your visit.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Blue Spring State Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, turtles, and fish. Birdwatchers will find numerous species, making it a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts.


  • Visitor Center: Learn more about the park’s ecology, history, and wildlife at the visitor center. Rangers are available to answer questions and provide information.
  • Restrooms and Showers: Well-maintained facilities are available for visitors, including restrooms and showers.
  • Campground: The park offers a campground for those looking to stay overnight. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons.

Rules and Regulations:

  • Pets: Pets are allowed in designated areas but must be on a leash.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is prohibited in the park.
  • Collection of Plants and Animals: Collecting or disturbing plants, animals, and artifacts is strictly prohibited.
  • Swimming Regulations: Follow posted guidelines and rules when swimming in the spring.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Manatee Season: If you want to see manatees, plan your visit during the winter months when they seek refuge in the warm spring waters.
  • Sun Protection: Florida sun can be intense, so bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Hydration: Stay hydrated, especially if you’re engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Snorkeling Gear: If you have your snorkeling gear, bring it along for a closer look at the underwater life.
  • Photography: Don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture the park’s natural beauty.
  • Blue Spring State Park is a wonderful destination for nature lovers, families, and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re interested in wildlife observation, water activities, or simply enjoying the natural surroundings, this park offers a memorable experience.

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