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Blue Springs - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Florida

Just north of Orlando at Orange City (Junction 114 on the I4) is a little piece of unspoiled Florida that delights under the name of Blue Springs. Here there is no huge entrance charge, (just $5 per car), no parades, no characters just peace, tranquillity and beautiful scenery.

There’s also no fast food outlets , just a little cabin shop selling , sweets, souvenirs and snacks and has just graduated to selling hot and cold sandwiches.

There’s a path that takes you alongside the St John river with wooden viewing platforms from where you can observe the long nosed gar and pike swimming in the crystal clear water and watch the antics of clumsy turtles clambering over each other to gain a space in the sun on a half submerged log.

Follow the path along past the shop and picnic area towards the head of the spring where the temperature is a constant 72 degrees all year round. The path turns into a wooden boardwalk that meanders through the forest and overhanging trees which provide welcome shade on a hot Florida day, until it ends at the leafy lagoon of the springs.

Swimming and scuba diving are allowed but do beware of the occasional alligator. Blue Springs is a very deep spring and the source of it has never been totally investigated.

If you visit between Dec and early February then you are in for a big surprise as the spring plays host to over 200 manatees. Manatees are a protected species and sadly the numbers of these gentle species is in rapid decline owing to amongst other things accidents with boat propellers. Staff at the springs can identify regulars from the scarring on their big rubbery bodies. They come up to the warmth of the springs when the temperature in the St John river starts to drop and leave again when springtime temperatures warm up the river again. On my last visit in Feb 2007 over 200 had visited the springs that day.

It is also possible to take a boat trip along the river which has not changed since it was inhabited by native Americans –it is just like time has stood still.

There is also a small children’s play area, camping ground with 6 cabins and it is very wheelchair accessible with a disabled toilet on site.

Like all Florida state parks it is open 365 days a year from 8am till sundown-and it really is a piece of magic.

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