Blue Spring is a first-magnitude spring and an Outstanding Florida Spring. The spring features a nearly circular pool about 135 feet long from north to south and 100 feet from east to west. Steep banks 10 feet to 20 feet high surround the pool except to the south, where the spring opens to the spring run. The pool bottom is mostly limestone and sand; the spring vent is an elongated opening in the limestone about 15 feet from the north edge of the pool. From the limestone ledge, the vent slopes precipitously to about 40 feet in depth. A limited underwater cave system has been mapped at Blue Spring. From the pool, the spring run flows 0.2 mile to the south, then to the southwest for another 0.2 mile to the St. Johns River. The run varies from 70 feet to 100 feet in width and is bounded by steep wooded slopes except for the lower southeast bank, where the terrain flattens considerably. Flow of the spring is retarded by backwater during high stages of the St. Johns River.
Recreational activities and public access
Blue Spring State Park is owned and operated by the state of Florida and provides a wide range of recreational activities, including swimming, diving, canoeing, fishing, hiking and camping.
Blue Spring is a designated manatee refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. During manatee season, which runs approximately from mid-November through March, several hundred manatee can be viewed atop the spring’s overlooks on cold days. The spring and spring run are closed to all water activity from mid-November to at least mid-March. Swimming or diving with manatees is not permitted; this rule is strictly enforced.
State park fees apply to daily uses and camping.
Blue Spring State Park, 2100 West French Ave, Orange City, FL, 32769, is located west of Orange City. Take U.S. 17/92 to Orange City, go west two miles on French Avenue to the entrance.