Blue Spring State Park is a hidden gem located in Central Florida. It's the perfect place to take an afternoon day trip where you can canoe, picnic, and swim with manatees.
Blue Spring State Park is a beautiful place to visit. It's known for its crystal clear springs where manatees frequent and it makes for a refreshing swim too. The park entrance fee is $6 which is about the same price as most Florida State Parks.
History of Blue Spring State Park
This park has a lot of history as the first settlers (Thursby) arrived at Blue Spring in the mid-1800s. Today, the Thursby house is a beautiful farmhouse that would make for some great family pictures (say cheese!).
Where is Blue Spring State Park?
Blue Spring State Park is conveniently located near Daytona area beaches and it's an easy drive coming from the Orlando area if you wanted to do something besides Disney World or Universal Studios (take I4 East).
Plus, the amount of activities to do with the whole family for $6 is a deal!
Swimming at Blue Spring State Park
There are so many fun outdoor activities to do with your family at Blue Spring State Park. The biggest activity is swimming and floating around the freshwater spring.
There are plenty of areas to move around in the springs so you won't feel like it's too crowded. Plus you can bring your snorkel and tube.
If you don't have a tube, you can rent one at the camp store.
Be sure to keep a lookout for the West Indian manatees that frequent Blue Springs State Park. They are magnificent to see!
Note: Swimming is closed for manatee season which is November 15 - March 31.
Kayaking and Canoeing at Blue Spring State Park
Another activity to do at Blue Spring State Park is canoeing and kayaking. The park has a designated boat ramp section and an area to purchase daily canoe and kayak rentals. You can rent the canoes and kayaks by the hour or for the day. They also provide life jackets.
If you prefer a guided tour, they offer those too. Guided tours last 2.5 hours to 3 hours and are a lot of fun. Personal canoes and kayaks are also welcomed at this park.
Next to the kayak rental location, you will find restrooms, a playground area, and the boat departure area for the St. Johns River Cruise.
The St. Johns River Cruise is a two-hour narrated boat tour that welcomes children, adults, and seniors. You can find additional information regarding rates and availability here.
Additional Activities at Blue Spring State Park
Fishing on the St. Johns River
Blue Spring State Park Cabins
If you plan on staying overnight at Blue Spring State Park, there are cabin rentals and campsites which can be booked 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica.
The cabin area is set back in a wooded area that provides privacy for each cabin. Each cabin has paved parking spots, grill, picnic bench, and screened-in front porch. They are a decent size and definitely worth checking out since there are so many activities to do at Blue Spring State Park. Thought: It would also make for a great family reunion location.
The campsites have RV hookups (water and electricity) and each campsite has a picnic bench and grill.
Everything is within walking distance from the campsites: showers/bathrooms, blue springs, canoe ramp, and historical home.
Blue Spring State Park Tips
Arrive early in the day since the park does get crowded during lunchtime as it's a popular place to picnic. There are several covered picnic areas but it might be a good idea to bring a picnic blanket just in case. There are a few grassy lawn areas around the park to spread out.
You can bring your own float if you don't want to pay to rent one. However, they do not allow floats/rafts larger than 6'x6'.
If you are swimming in the springs, then park in the first parking lot on your right off the main park entrance road. The canoe ramps and historical home are located in the farthest parking lot from the main entrance (keep following the main park road and the road will end in this parking lot).
Wear water shoes if you plan on swimming in the spring.
Bring a snorkel and goggles (especially for the kids) because the underwater view is spectacular.
There are large bathroom stalls near the swimming area to change your clothes after swimming.
The camp store has snacks and ice cream so be sure to bring extra money for a sweet treat.
Blue Springs State Park Hours
8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year
For additional information regarding additional activities, admission, and hours of operation, visit the official Blue Spring State Park's website.
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Hello! I'm Tiffany, a creative travel writer, mother to three awesome kids, and Floridian. We like to visit beautiful Florida beaches, Florida State Parks, and of course Disney! I like to write about our travel adventures and provide tips to other families traveling or relocating to the Sunshine State.