Last weekend, you spent Saturday at Universal Studios and Sunday at SeaWorld, which was a ton of fun. But this weekend, you want to get away from the crowds and back to nature.
So, why not plan a visit to Blue Spring State Park? Located just north of Orlando, this park is nature’s equivalent of a theme park, featuring an abundance of things to do.
Blue Spring State Park is located along the St. Johns River, providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a variety of river-based activities — perfect for those hot, humid summers of Orlando.
Ready to plan your visit? Then keep reading to get the details about the park, including things to do, the park’s location, and when you can visit.
Grab your shades and let’s go!
Things to Do at Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring State Park is full of activities that will appeal to a wide variety of people, from adventurous scuba divers to those who prefer to keep their feet on more solid ground. Below we’ll highlight some of the most popular activities at the park, separated by water and land-based activities.
Activities on the Water
Blue Spring State Park is notable for the incredible temperature of its waters: a luxurious 72 degrees. The comfortable temperature of its waters makes this park an excellent place to get up to a variety of swimming and water activities.
Before we get into further details about what those are, we have a brief caveat: Blue Spring State Park is the home of manatees during the winter months. To protect the well-being of these creatures, swimming and water activities aren’t permitted during the months of November through March.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, what ARE some of those activities?
Well, individuals can enjoy:
- Scuba diving (no diving after 5PM)
Visitors can access a variety of rentals to make these activities possible. This includes renting tubes to float an eighth of a mile stretch of the river or taking out a kayak or canoe to explore the waters of your own.
The same business that offers the above rentals, Blue Springs Adventures, also hosts daily boat tours on the river. These tours take place from 10AM to 1PM and provide a two-hour narrated adventure. This tour allows individuals to learn about both the history and nature of the St. John’s river.
Land-Based Activities in Blue Spring State Park
After you’ve had your fill of swimming, snorkeling, or boating, why not head out for a hike? Get a feel for the landlocked flora and fauna of the park by hiking the Pine Island Trail, which is 3.6 miles one-way.
Or you might check out the Thursby House, a relic of settlers to the area that’s close to 150 years old. The house is named after Lous Thursby, an early settler, and is now a museum that provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about the area’s history and archeological sites that fall within the park.
If you’d like to stay an entire weekend, you may also be interested in using the park’s camping accommodations. With 51 campsites that are within walking distance to the park’s spring, taking a tent along for your adventure is an excellent way to enjoy all that the park has to offer.
Renting a campsite costs $24 per night, plus a nonrefundable fee of $6.70. If you plan to camp with an RV, you also need to pay a $7 utility fee.
And we know that camping isn’t for everyone. The park also offers cabin rentals for $95 per night for those who prefer a more luxurious sleeping arrangement.
No matter if you stay in a tent or one of the cabins, you can try to catch your own dinner by fishing at the park’s dock in the St. John’s River. Keep in mind, however, that fishing isn’t allowed in the Blue Spring Run.
Location, Cost of Entry, and Hours
Blue Spring State Park is an easy day trip from Orlando, located a little over 45 minutes north of the city. You can find the park at the address below:
2100 West French Avenue
Orange City, Florida 32763
The park is open from 8AM to sundown every day of the year. The cost to enter the park is $6 for vehicles that hold two to eight people. If you’re planning to visit the park on your own, plan to pay $4 for a single occupant vehicle. Pedestrians, bicyclists, or any extra passengers in your car should be prepared to pay $2 for entry.
Whether you’re as at home in the water as the manatees who live at Blue Spring State Park or you prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of fun activities for you to participate in. Choose just one activity for the day or stay for the entire weekend. Either way, this park is easily accessible from Orlando and a great place to spend time relaxing in nature.