Encompassing more than 2,600 acres, the Blue Springs State Park in Orlando Florida is a gorgeous destination for those who want to enjoy truly natural surroundings. The park features the largest spring on the St. John’s River and is a designated manatee refuge, with the area being a winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. Read on to learn more about one of the top local tourist attractions in and around Orlando Florida!
The History of Blue Springs State Park in Florida
Louis Thursby who was a Gold Rush Prospector turned orange grower, bought Blue Spring in 1856. Prior to the introduction of the railroad in the area, Thursby’s Blue Spring Land was a central point for steamboat activities, tourists, and good to Jacksonville and beyond. Thursby’s wife was the first postmistress of what was then known as Orange City.
In 1971, “The Forgotten Mermaids,” an episode of the Underwater World of Jacques Cousteau, was filmed in the area. Subsequent to this documentary, attention was drawn to the manatee and how important Blue Spring was as a winter refuge, which in turn influenced the state’s decision to purchase the land.
What to Do and See at Blue Springs State Park in Florida
Blue Springs State Park offers clear, 73-degree water that is perfect for swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers. There is a designated swimming season. Additionally, you can enjoy boating, fishing, and canoeing along the river. There are even river boat tours available.
During manatee season—from mid-November through March—you can see hundreds of manatee lounging atop the overlook of the spring. The spring and its run are closed to activity during this time for the protection of the manatee.
Take a Tour
You can learn about the history of the area with a self-guided tour of the historic Thursby House. This home was built during the Steamboat Era in 1872. There are also many picnic areas throughout the parks, along with three covered pavilions.
More Information About Blue Springs Park in Florida
The park is open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. until sundown.
Admission Fees into the Park:
- $6 per vehicle with a limit of eight people per vehicle.
- $4 Single Occupant Vehicle.
- $2 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass
If you want to know more about Blue Springs State Park or any of the other surrounding parks and refuges, just ask. At Tropical Escape Vacation Homes, we want you to completely enjoy your Florida stay.
Photo By Ebyabe – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3662297