Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, FL. Visited mid-Sept 2019 middle of the week. Although the campground was mostly booked we found space, with no crowds at the spring or the river. Rent a tub and float down, with no crowds it's a 4 min walk up and a 15 min float down. The manatee's are on the move with their calfs. The love bugs are brutal this time of year, but the campground is separated enough from the river area to feel safe from gators with your dogs. Great short trail from campground to main area which included shop, food, tables and of course wood walkways by the river. Walkways wide enough for wheelchairs. Dogs allowed all over park except the wood trail up to the spring head. New bathrooms, 2 bars on the cell service and I did see laundry available.
Blue Springs State Park is known for it’s manatee sightings and this park did not disappoint! The park itself provides many opportunities for outdoor activities. There is a 4.5-mile hiking trail, biking trail, as well as water activities. There are two different parking lots, but both provide opportunities to reach the water and picnicking spots. Kayak and canoe rentals are available in the parking lot with the launch, while the main swimming area has a store and grill.
We spent much of our time kayaking from the park’s canoe launch. Here, we were able to see tons of wildlife from all sorts of fish, alligators, and yes, a manatee! There is swimming in the park as soon as it opens, but you can only access the spring head and get into the clearer water before 11:00am and after 5pm. It is well worth it to go early as the park fills up fast and does get a bit noisy - we prefer the quiet nature sounds. The manatee was there in the morning. There is also a public boat launch just outside of the park.
We stayed in site 1 which was shaded and well spread out from the site next to use with plenty of vegetation in between. The camp host is very quick to respond and was very keen on his duty. The restrooms were newer looking and clean. However, there are only two stalls in the women’s restroom, so I did have to wait to get a shower in when I went. The only drawback I found from the campsite/campground area was the noise. There are train tracks near the state park, so hearing trains throughout the night(especially at 3am) was not what I’m looking for when I get out into nature. So bring ear plugs!
Overall, the grounds were well kept, the staff takes their job seriously(in a good way), and there are many activities to do. The outdoor activities and many opportunities to see wildlife really impressed us with this park. We will definitely be back!
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test products at this campground I tested the Morsel Spork and Morsel Spork XL.
This spork is the utensil of my dreams and completes my dinner set up. I love the size of the smaller spork for my bowl, but I also love the XL version for my camping meals in the bag as it is long enough to fit in there perfectly. What I like the most: it can scrape like a spatula(and get all the good last bits in the bowl!), the way it feels in my hand compared to my previous spork, the ridges on the fork which can be used for cutting, it can be placed in boiling water(so it’s safe for my Jetboil), and is dishwasher safe(so I can sanitize and sterilize later).
The only drawback was that the fork end would poke me in the hand at first, but once I got used to how to hold the handle it was completely fine.
Great place to go. Weekends during the summer are VERY busy. During the winter you may not be able to swim because of the manatees
Lots of fish
If it wasn't for the springs itself we probably wouldn't stay here as often as we do. The bathhouses 2/3 have been upgraded but it went from three showers to two and the third shower is a family shower with a toilet in the same stall. The new bathrooms are cool but the tiles definitely should have been done so the water went in the drain and not over the whole stalls floor. This goes for all six of the new showers in both houses, trust me. Don't leave your stuff on the floor lol.
W sites themselves are unlevel, crushed shell over old concrete slabs making a rough tent surface and a hit or miss if you can get your tent stacks in. All the sites have water and electric and some have the sewr plumbing. Maybe three sites. The walk to the springs isn't far at all and if your camping it's best to walk. It gets very crowded on the weekends so we often camp here during the week. Canoes rent is on the high side in my opinion. And there isn't much for trails but the springs food path is nice to walk. Swimming is only closed if there is a gator in the springs. But there is also a fishing dock.
This is a state park, and like most state parks the amenities are limited. The bathroom facility was very clean. They had a washer and dryer should you need one. The camp ranger stopped by to welcome us, ask if we needed anything and to let us know her site number. Raccoons will invade your camp. Secure your food/ trash.
Amid all the bustle and bustle of the Orlando lies a beautiful blue oasis called Blue Springs State Park.
My husband and I were amazed by the crystal clear water and loved swimming above the opening of the cave at the Spring head. Bring your snorkel gear or even better your dive gear if you are looking for a awesome adventure!
Manatees reside here during the winter months (Nov - March) and we were lucky to observe two Manatees during our stay who had been injured and were recovering…such amazing animals!
This park offers camping, swimming, tubing, kayaking (on the St. Johns River) and the boardwalks above the swamp are great for hiking and nature viewing.
The campsites are situated in a way so that there are trees all around and campers get the feel of privacy. The bathroom facilities were nice and there is a great little store that also rents tubes for floating the river.
This is another beautiful Florida State Park that is great for all ages…especially families with kids.
In the summer months GO EARLY as the park quickly fills up to capacity!!
During the winter months the manatees come into the head of the spring to keep warm, (100s). The park is on the St. John river and offers boating, canoeing and kayaking. Snorkeling and floating on rafts are allowed by the spring head. The campgrounds have a few large sites, but a lot are uneven. There are train tracks close by, so if you are in a tent be prepared.
Manatees, manatees, what can I say. Have you ever seen one outside of a Florida zoo? Here the manatees come into the small, spring river in the cooler months (mainly) to warm up. They also have a great large spring towards the end of the river and by the walkway that is an awesome experience free diving into. Thousands of gallons of spring fed water pumps from the bottom and it's a challenge to keep from not being pushed away. Get your snorkel and fins; great views. This is not the warm ocean but it is definitely refreshing.
We had such a blast! Went to Blue Springs with my granddaughter. We spent three nights! We had so much fun! My granddaughter didn’t want to leave. She swam in the springs and loved it. Then we went to the swimming hole, and there were five manatees there. We were told not to touch them, but one brushed against her leg! Wow! She will never forget! We are going in june again!