Written by the Warrior
For a change of pace on our recent trip to central Florida, we visited the Blue Spring State Park, which is located just north of Orlando.
According to its official website (https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Blue-Spring), Blue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres, including the largest spring on the St. John’s River. It is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. During the manatee season, which runs from mid-November through to March, several hundred manatee can be seen from the various viewing platforms in the park.
It only costs $6/vehicle to visit, which is a refreshing change from the hundreds of dollars it’s been costing me to visit the other attractions on this trip.
After failing to leave early yet again, we arrived at around 10:30am from Daytona. As it turns out, the park is quite popular and was already starting to get crowded.
From Google maps, it appears that much of the park is relatively wild with only a small area that is accessible by foot and by boat.
Nevertheless, the part that we could access was very lovely! There was a play ground for children and lots of lovely trees that I’ve never seen before.
The spring was a beautiful clear green colour, even on a cloudy day.
There were boarded walks, in the trees.
It would be a great place to visit in the summer, if you could brave the heat and mosquitos, since you could go swimming and tubing right in the spring.
And of course, there were manatees.
Lots of them.
Which you could sort of see from viewing platforms along the boardwalk.
While standing on one of the viewing platforms, a lady walked by and loudly declared (regarding our vantage point of the manatees), “That’s it!?! I came all the way here for that?!? I can see them better at SeaWorld.” And of course, she was right. I took this photo a few days earlier at SeaWorld, where you really can see the manatee better in their purpose-built tanks.
But, personally, nothing is more beautiful to me than to catch just a glimpse of them, where they actually belong. In their natural environment, protected and un-disturbed by us.
Even if it means that I just get to see a bunch of grey blobs.