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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Manatee's at Blue Spring State Park

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

A great place to see manatee's in Florida during the winter at Blue Spring State Park.

When I was looking up things to do in Florida the name Blue Spring State Park kept popping up. I had discovered this place back in August when we were last in Florida, but we didn’t get a chance to go. So I kept it on my list of things to do in Florida the next time I was back. Not only does the name sound cool “blue springs,” but during the winter months it becomes a manatee refuge.

On our drive from Orlando to Ormond Beach we decided to stop off at Blue Springs State Park. I didn’t quite know what to expect. Would there would be tons of people? Would we even see any manatees? When we pulled up to the entrance, we paid the entrance fee and continued down the road. There were a lot of cars and school buses leaving the park as we drove down the road to the parking area. As we rounded the last corner, the parking lot came into view. It was rather large and full of cars. There seemed to be quite a few groups of elementary school kids on field trips. We found a parking spot and I grabbed my camera gear. There was a board walk that appeared to follow the bank of the water as it curved in and out. ​

The water was green and crystal clear. You could see the fish gliding slowly through the water. There were a few turtles sunning themselves on logs at the water’s edge. There were lookout points that occasionally broke off from the main board walk. Some had large groups of people crowded on them. Note: If you see a large group of people together looking at something, it’s probably best to assume there’s something worth while to look at. We waited our turn to slip to the front of the lookout and then we saw it—manatees on the other side of the little river. They were spread out along the waterway in small groups. They were so large and seemed so gentle. Item of interest: when manatees are present, you can’t swim or be in the water with them. We saw a variety of fish and birds as well as one lone copperhead snake.

Seeing the manatees was amazing. I would say if you are in the area definitely check out Blue Spring State Park. The only downside is it can get overcrowded due to how many people come to the park.

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