Blue Spring State Park, Orange City, Florida

imageThe park was not empty on a chilly, overcast morning, so I can hardly imagine how packed it might get on a sunny summer weekend considering it’s proximity to Orlando. Even a bit about the paranormal about this park coming soon. Google shows the Arlington River, while it is actually on the Saint John River

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. During our infamous Manatee season, which approximately runs from mid-November through March, several hundred manatee can be viewed atop the spring’s overlooks. The spring and spring run are closed to all water activity while manatees are present during this time.  Swimming or diving with manatees is not permitted; this rule is strictly enforced.

The spring´s crystal clear, 73 degree water can be enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers with a partner during our designated swimming season. Fishing, canoeing and boating are also enjoyed along the St. John’s River. River boat tours are available; for reservations, call St. Johns River Cruises at (386) 917-0724.

A self-guided tour inside The Historic Thursby house, built in 1872, can also be experienced. In addition the park has plenty of picnic areas as well as three covered pavilions. Air-conditioned cabins and a full-facility campground are available for visitors interested in staying overnight.

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