Blue Spring State Park is a 2700 acre preserve centered around a first magnitude spring that discharges 104 million gallons of water daily into the nearby St. Johns River in western Volusia County. During the bulk of the year the park is available for visitors to swim, snorkel and scuba dive in the crystal clear waters that flow for a half mile from the spring to the river. However in the winter months all human focused activities are shut down and these pristine depths are given over to migrating West Indian manatees that use this stream to swim, rest and play.
Along the stream flowing from Blue SpringThe warm 72 degree waters of Blue Spring provide a vital refuge for these mammals when the water temperature in their coastal inlet habitat becomes too cold for them to survive in. A manatee cannot withstand temperatures much below 66 degrees, so these warm water springs make it possible for them to inhabit this part of central Florida.
Scratching an itch on a logA scenic boardwalk trail parallels the entire length of the stream flowing from the spring, affording many vista points from which to view these gentle and fascinating creatures.
The park is located 2.5 miles west of Orange City off U.S. Hwy. 17/92. Binoculars sure come in handy.