Journey with us to Blue Springs State Park, winter home to one of Florida’s largest populations of Manatee. On most days we witness hundreds relaxing in the spring alone. We will observe from a distance as our Florida Master Naturalist introduces us all to the flora and fauna that make up this wild area.
Blue Springs State Park
- Largest spring on the Saint Johns River.
- Designated National Manatee Refuge
- Historical home of the Timucuan Indians
- Visited in 1766 by British botanist John Bartram
Our group will paddle to the entrance to the spring run, park the kayaks, then walk the entire length of the spring run for a guided walk with plenty of time for photographs. Afterwards we will paddle towards the snake river and or Hontoon Island.
Hontoon Island. This area of river is packed with manatee, otter, and sun worshipping gators. Overhead bald eagle, osprey, and red shoulder hawks scan the water and marshes for their next meal. On the river bank people will spot large wading birds, coots, morehens, and the occasional wild hog.
Hontoon Island has a wonderful nature trail that leads to an ancient Indian shell mound.
The park is also famous for its large owl population and extensive Indian artifacts including the state’s largest totem pole.
Dates: Tours run everyday between November-March at 9:00 am. Private tours are available any date at anytime for groups of 4 or more. Tour lasts 2-3 hours. All tours include guides, kayaks, paddling gear, bottled water, and a dry bag.
Price: $80 per person + 6.5% Florida sales tax
Driving Directions from Orlando
Take I-4 east towards Daytona Beach, exit 111B toward Orange City. Follow the signs to Blue Springs State Park. When you get to the Park located on French Ave. Pass the park and follow French Ave. till the road ends in about 3/4 mile. The road ends at a boat ramp on the river. Your guides will be there with a big white van pulling a trailer load of kayaks.
Blue Spring State Park
2100 W French Ave
Orange City, FL 32763
What You Need To Bring
- Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, and sun screen)
- Wear clothes that can get wet and possibly dirty
- Waterproof camera
- Tips for your guides