Florida Splendors is supported by our audience. When you purchase through one of our links, we may earn a small affiliate commission.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Your cost is not affected.

Kayaking at Blue Spring State Park is an excellent activity. The state park is also a winter home to hundreds of manatees. Here is everything you want to know about Blue Spring State Park FL!!


Hundreds of crystal clear springs consecrate the state of Florida and the best beaches on the East Coast of Florida. The locals devote their time and effort to keep it that way. It represents the world’s highest attentiveness to freshwater springs. Blue Spring, among many of these springs, is for public use. It’s also there to protect the environment the local wildlife consider home.


Blue Spring State Park FL, occupies more than 2,600 acres, including the largest spring on the St. John River. The state park is also a designated manatee refuge and a winter home to hundreds of West Indian manatees. It is a remarkable place and attracts more manatees than anywhere else.


Moreover, the state park is a park for all seasons. Blue Spring invites visitors to enjoy swimming and tubing. The activities are best after the migration of manatees in spring. Also, kayaking at Blue Spring State Park is a fun activity. Such can allow going with the flow of the crystal clear water surrounded by the green Shangrila.


Still, Blue Spring State Park FL is also an excellent launch site for canoes and SUPs. It allows you to discover the backwaters of St. Johns. Likewise, bicyclists can enjoy excursions on shady paths. They can traverse the contiguous, paved spring-to-spring trail. This is great place if you want to discover fun Florida eco tour ideas in 2023.


When making travel plans, be cautious about arriving at your select destination. While Blue State Park, FL, is in Orange County, two other Florida state parks have similar names.


Blue Spring State Park FL

Swimming manatees at the Blue Spring State Park


Lafayette Blue Springs State park is in Mayo, Florida. It is comparable to the second one, Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park in High Springs, Florida.


Blue Spring State Park FL

As a part of the largest spring on St. John, Blue Spring State Park FL belongs to the indigenous tribe of Timucua. Yet the colonization by the Spaniards had severe effects on the Timucuan settlements. It forced them to disappear by the late 1700s. In the 1800s, the earlier settler Louis Thursby settled in an area around the Blue Spring.


Blue Spring State Park FL

Crowds enjoying the park waters.


It is worth noting that the founding of the current Blue State Park, FL, was in 1970. There were only twenty manatees before. But the population increased thanks to conservation efforts made by a few organizations. There are now more than 400 manatees. Kayaking at Blue Spring State Park allows visitors a fascinating experience. It lets guests get an up-close view of these innocent mammals.


Blue Spring State Park Opening Times

Blue Spring State Park FL, is open for visitors from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., all year round. Caretakers stop water recreation and close the spring run during the colder months. After all, the park is a winter home to manatees. But, during this time, you can enjoy watching the warm springs from a distance. There you may see manatees returning to bask. Still, kayaking at Blue Spring State Park in the lagoon or Snake River is also an excellent idea.


Moreover, the park can get crowded and reach capacity, especially on the weekends. So, try to arrive early to avoid parking inconveniences. But, if you plan to land after sunset, give them a heads-up to avoid unwanted delays when traveling with kids.


The Crowd at Blue Spring State Park

Blue Spring State Park FL, generally reaches its capacity during the week. It can even become more crowded on the weekends. The main reason is the park’s proximity to Deltona Beach, as many locals spend their weekends here. So, if you are planning a weekend tour, expect double the crowd.


Blue Spring State Park FL

Visitors enjoying watersports


Also, the summer months, from May through August, mean a steady increase in traffic. It is also when the park reaches its total capacity. Winter months are less busy.


Keep your kayak stored safely between those fun Florida excursions!


The Cost

The cost is another significant travel factor to consider. It would help if you thought about this when visiting Blue Spring State Park. It costs $6 per vehicle for parking, while all reservations can cost about $6.70. So, make sure to make a reservation with the utmost care, as the cost is non-refundable. Likewise, pedestrians are also welcome, with an entry cost of $2 per person.


Moreover, if you plan to stay overnight at the park, you will need to reserve a single campsite. It costs around $35. If you plan to rent a cabin, the cost can be up to $100.


At no more than $12, visitors can take a soothing dip at the cool springs. They can also spend part of their day seeing manatees from afar. Parking your vehicle at the main lot near the swimming area is wise, especially if you like to swim. It will help you save energy for your swim. Rental canoes, snorkels, paddleboards, and kayaks are available on-site. Yet ensure to return them on time to avoid paying extra charges.


Also, indulging in water activities can cost anywhere between $30 and $40. The rate is lower than visiting a Florida theme park. A day at the park means you should only have to pay $50 if you manage to avoid extra charges.


Blue Spring State Park Campgrounds

The Blue Spring State Park campsite is to the northeast. The site offers easy walking access to the spring. Visitors can find 51 single-family campsites. Both have primitive and electric hookups. Also, there are six cabins that you can rent.

During our visit to the state park, we found that these campsites had all the necessary amenities. Flush toilets, drinking water, dump stations, and hot baths are around. Picnic spots, playgrounds, and even gaming accessories are around for recreation.

If you wish to incorporate other add-ons, there is a camp store you can visit tents. The shop provides BBQ grills, campfire aids, sleeping bags, and picnic essentials. Booking your campsite in advance is optional but recommended. After all, doing so can help avoid unexpected inconveniences. It guarantees accommodation when traveling with family or visiting during the winter.

Also, Slue Spring state park is a site that offers the Bedtime Story Camper Lending Library. It’s a good spot for your little ones to enjoy.
Don’t miss out; explore our curated list of the best Florida beach campgrounds for unforgettable getaways, sun-kissed getaways today!


Alligators in the Blue Spring Waters

Alligators come to mind when you think about kayaking at Blue Spring State park. Yes, they are there, but if you are traveling in the spring months, the area is safe due to a lot of human activity. Folks haven’t reported animal attacks thus far; finding alligators is rare.


Yet, keep your eyes open for “Caution” signs on the boardwalks. Holding your little ones close is also safer. If you see an alligator, do not panic, maintain a safe distance, and call out the camp rangers for help.


Activities to Enjoy at Blue Spring State Park

Kayaking at Blue Spring State Park is a mesmerizing activity. But plenty of other activities are also enjoyable. They can make vacationing with your family worthwhile.


1. Swimming


The calm, crystal-clear waters of Blue Spring State Park FL, are a blessing. These attributes are great when the weather is too hot. The gentle springs are also good spots for novices to learn and improve on swimming. They can help a lot to beat the heat.


Still, there is a nearby camp store that sells garments. Hence, you don’t need to worry when you forget to bring some. It’s where you can buy all the essentials at a fair cost.


2. Canoeing and Kayaking


More than a swimming spot, Blue Spring State Park is also famous for offering watersports. Guests there enjoy canoeing and kayaking at the Blue Spring State Park. They are the perfect sports for teens and adults. The still blue waters and scenic spots make the state park idyllic for the said activities.


Blue Spring State Park FL

A Florida couple about to kayak


Guests can bring their kayaks and canoes, yet on-site rentals are also available. You can buy or rent essentials like life jackets from the gift shop located at the trail front. Likewise, to get everything handled, you can opt for a kayak or canoe tour via Blue Spring Adventures.


3. Wildlife Watching


Blue Spring State Park FL has more than watersports and camping activities. It’s a fantastic site with a thriving wildlife population. Whether spring or winter, viewing wildlife at the state park is still best. If you plan your visit during the colder months, you can expect to see a massive population of manatees. You can witness them lounging in the spring sauna.
Also, paddling through the clear blue spring will let you spot different creatures. Wading birds, kingfishes, eagles, ospreys, and anhingas greet guests. You might also spot endangered flocks of Florida scrub jays in the nature reserve.


Furthermore, you may also be lucky enough to spot armadillos on the trail to the springhead. Taking an eco-tour is a good idea if you are with your family and wish to teach your kids about it.


4. Biking


Blue Spring State Park features rider-friendly trails inside the spring’s vicinity. You can try the routes to have refreshing moments outdoors. Also, they are ideal for people who want more than to play in the water. These laid-out biking trails are a new addition to the Spring to Spring trail. The biking trails run from the east of the drive, so you can see bikers coming toward you as you drive in on the other side.


The seven-mile straight path will take you through oak and scrub canopies. If you are camping at the park, opting for the bike gate that offers easy access to the trail is a good idea. Moreover, the bike trail links the Blue Springs to a few others in Volusia County at some point. These paved bike trails are also excellent for speed walkers and runners.

5. Hiking


The site has more than paved and uninterrupted biking trails. Blue Spring State Park has a variety of hiking routes around the spring’s wilderness. You can take the half-mile boardwalk parallel to the spring run for a relaxing walk. Also, if you want to amp up your adventure, you can opt for the Pine Island Trail. This route begins from the lower parking area and runs to the St. John River.


Florida boardwalk


Moreover, the 7.3 miles of trail tunnels will take you through old oaks and other fascinating views. It will allow you and your family to have a grand time exploring and photographing.


6. Free-Floating Tubing


Tubing can be your fun activity. You can try it if swimming isn’t your thing and you can’t ride a kayak. It may be good for you if you want to enjoy an easy yet exhilarating and family-friendly activity. It’s fun, requires no skills, and is suitable for teens and adults alike. Tubing at the Blue Spring State Park offers the shortest tube run among all the Florida springs. Yet it is still one of the best sites for the activity.


floating for fun in Florida

Get Soaked and Float For Fun


The tube run lasts for 15 minutes only, from start to finish. It is excellent for engaging kids who can only focus for a short time. Moreover, it is also more relaxing, gentle, and safe than most other Florida springs.


Furthermore, rental tubes are available on-site. You can rent one for $5 from the gift shop. But, if you bring yours, ensure its dimensions are allowable. Follow the guidelines imposed by the park caretakers.


7. Volksmarching


Have you ever heard about Volksmarching? It is an organized fitness walk from Germany. Locals and travelers visit the park to join it. At the Blue Springs State Park, you may find it hard to miss the “FVA” symbols marking the forest paths. These marks show the way of the Florida Volkssport Association. They are also in the woodland trails in the upper campground area.


spring trail hiking

Hiking is enjoyable too!


Volksmarching is fun as you can walk with a group of families or friends. Joining a group allows for making new friends and reconnecting with nature. Yet, it would help if you stayed updated to know when these events ring the bell.


8. Visit the Thursby’s Cabin


Besides birdwatching and other activities, Blue Spring State Park FL offers more. For instance, it has the Thursby’s House. People fond of history will love to visit the historic home of the Thursby family. Folks built the cabin in 1872, and the US National Registry of Historic Sites honored them.


revisit old florida

See old trees and houses nearby.


Its decor and architecture are fascinating and tell a lot about the local history of the land. During our visit, we experienced the old ways of the Sunshine State.


Guidelines for a Family Trip to Blue Springs State Park


  • Bring a first-aid kit when visiting the Blue Spring State Park. If possible, ensure to get the contact numbers of camp officials from the rangers’ office.
  • Using a broad-spectrum SPF and waterproof sunscreen is essential if you plan to swim. The park has changing rooms you can use before and after your dip. Moreover, there is also a gift shop and camp store from where you can get all the essentials at a fair price.
  • Remember to carry toilet paper, diapers, extra towels, napkins, and hand sanitizers. These items are for hygiene and safety during trips.
  • Pack the items you need outdoors in a waterproof bag for easy access. A suitable container can keep your GPS, map, water bottle, and snacks dry.
  • If you plan a summer trip, remember that insects and mosquitoes can cause a lot of trouble. So, carrying a child-safe bug repellent is wise to protect you and your family.
  • State parks have designated places to protect endangered species. So avoid disturbing the wildlife during your leisure.


To Wrap It Up

That’s all about Blue Springs State Park, FL. The state park, with great outdoor activities, has something for everyone. It is a perfect spot to visit with your family and friends and explore what it offers. From swimming to wildlife watching, there are loads of activities that you can enjoy. Volksmarching and kayaking at Blue Spring State Park also bring fun to everyone. So it’s a site that is worth the effort.


Get ready for a fun-filled beach vacation in Florida! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to swim on some of the best beaches in the state. Pack your bags, grab sunscreen, and head to one of these best beaches for swimming in Florida in 2023 and best hiking trails in Central Florida. Check out our comprehensive review of the AKASO underwater camera to capture your kayaking adventures with stunning clarity and precision.


We hope you had a good time reading our post. If you went to this park, please share your experiences with us. We’d love to hear from our readers. Thanks for reading, and have a great vacation!



Can I bring my dog to Blue Spring State Park?

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the park for their safety and the protection of the wildlife. However, you can check out nearby dog-friendly parks where your furry friend can enjoy the outdoors with you.

What should I bring when visiting Blue Spring State Park?

Definitely bring a camera to capture the stunning natural beauty of the park! You should also bring sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes as the park has a lot of trails to explore. A picnic lunch is also a great idea, so you can enjoy a meal surrounded by nature.

Can I swim in the Blue Spring State Park?

Yes, you can! The water is crystal clear and refreshing. However, please note that swimming is only allowed in designated areas for your safety and the protection of the natural ecosystem.

Subscribe To

Florida Splendors' Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. Watch for special offers, too!

No Spam (we promise!)

You have Successfully Subscribed!