Florida’s No. 1 Manatee Refuge & Natural Wildlife Habitat
Refreshing 72 degree waters of Blue Spring greet visitors at this gem along the St. Johns River
Conservation measures can produce astounding results. In 1970, two years before Blue Spring State Park was established, researchers tracked 14 manatees in the spring run. By 2005, after years of park improvements and manatee protection efforts, wintering manatee numbers exceeded 200 and by 2018, that number skyrocketed to a record 485.
Besides “sea cows,” fish abound in the spring run, and these attract a variety of wading birds, ospreys, eagles and kingfishers. To see the park’s wonders, visitors can hike along the spring run or on the 4.5-mile Pine Island Trail.