Explore the most popular trails in Blue Spring State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Blue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Blue Spring is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. The spring and spring run are closed during Manatee season, mid-November through March; swimming or diving with manatees is not permitted; this rule is strictly enforced. For centuries, the spring area was home to Native Americans. In 1766 it was visited by Colonial American botanist John Bartram, but it was not until 1856 that it was settled by Louis Thursby and his family. The Thursby house, built in 1872, remains standing. The springs crystal clear, 73 degree water can be enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers with a partner. The river is popular for fishing, canoeing, and boating. River boat tours are available; for reservations, call St. Johns River Cruises at (386) 917-0724. The park has plenty of picnic areas and a hiking trail. For overnight stays, air-conditioned cabins, a full-facility campground and primitive campsites are available. This is a very popular park on weekends. To ensure entrance into the park, we recommend arriving early, otherwise, the parking area will be full and you may not be able to enter.

30 days ago

trail is great took my 2 teenage daughters great little hike great daughter father time very nice plenty of shade and cool off in the spring

Definitely a easy hike. Shade is great. Follows the stream to the spring. Awesome veiwing for Manatees. Love the water!!!!!! Cold as heck in June!!!! Felt like ice box. Beautiful and clear!

no shade
1 month ago

This trail was hot!!!! For the first half mile it was shaded and through the woods. Then the following few miles, hot white reflective sand. Saw various doe and fawns. Lizards and bugs. But a fairly boring trail once on the road like sand. What was worse is that at one point you could feel the humidity and hear water, but had no access or visual. Over all maybe a trail to do in winter, but in the Florida heat it is not moderate but hard.

2 months ago

This was more of a been there/done that trail. The sign says it is 4.5 miles but we only clocked 3.5 at the end. About half the trail is exposed so bring enough water and plan appropriately.

Decent hike, but highly recommend going for the manatee viewing.

this is a decent enough Trail for a short hike. I was disappointed that most of it seems to be along a dirt roadway and not actually through wooded areas. there is some flooding not quite 2 and 1/2 miles in that forced us to turn back as we were unable to go around it

paddle sports
Monday, June 04, 2018

Beautiful place to go diving, and take photos. At first the water is dirty but the closer you get to the spring the water gets crystal clear

Friday, April 27, 2018

Great manatee viewing. Not for hiking

Monday, April 02, 2018

Nice boardwalk!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Visited in February. Did the boardwalk. Short, easy and beautiful. Would definitely go again.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Went today and saw so many beautiful manatees:)

Monday, December 11, 2017

flooding about 2 1/2 miles in...took a detour along a dirt road..got back onto trail for about another mile before more flooding...lots of sand on trail ..almost no wildlife...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Lots of soft sand on the trail. River water is high and is close to the trail, making more mosquitoes in the area.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Once my favorite places, makes me miss Florida. The manatees are so fun to watch in the winter, and the springs are so fun to swim in during the summer. A few very deep gorges that you can dive in as well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The springs are very beautiful here. Easy walk and water was nice to see. The colors in the sunlight are amazing.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The springs themselves are very nice but this trail in particular was not my favorite. Probabaly because I did the whole trail in the peak of the day in summer. The whole trail is pretty much just sand and barely any trees for shade. Did see a turtle and some pretty interesting bugs but there wasnt really much to look at. Probably won't return but it was nice to complete it. If you're going to do this in the summer at 1pm like i did, bring a lot of water and sunscreen.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

all sand road for too long!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

amazing park and camp site. lots to do from swimming in the spring, looking at manatees, or hiking the trail

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oh yeah this was a nice trail! It was a little hard to find the head because of the faulty map and directions. it literally starts at a Handicap parking spot [Nature Trail]. The trail opens up onto Magnolia Ave a sandy road and stays on it for about 1.5 miles. After that it gets prettier and prettier, with shade from tree patches and easier dirt and tree debris to walk on. Took us about 3 hours to do, with a lotnof breaks and slow strolling. did it later in the afternoon, and saw a big boar on the way back. A lot of wildlife tracks, but didn't see much. I'd do it again!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Nice trail. Longer than a lot that you find in FL although it is an out-and-back which no one loves. Trail is mostly loose sand or leaf covered sand but its very wide so no fear of anything in the bushes surprising your ankles. My wife and I saw a number of armadillos and a whole family of Florida Scrub Jay (which is a highly endangered bird found on in FL). Nicely changes ecosystems throughout the hike but I would NOT do this in summer as other reviewers have pointed out.

Friday, December 16, 2016

This trail is recommended for winter months. It is much too hot in the summer and is full of mosquitos. We went in December and the temperature was nice still some mosquitos in the evening. First short portion is forest, then it opens up to a scrub lowland area and the trail turns into a sandy/dirt utility road. Arrows will direct you in the right direction. There are picnic benches to relax along the way. After a while of open, the trail leads you back in the cover of the trees. The bugs didn't get too bad till around dusk. We saw a couple armadillos, a family of wild boars, and a deer. It was a nice trail but nothing spectacular, the wildlife was a perk. From start to finish it took about 3 hours to complete. Make sure to bring plenty of water, pack a lunch, wear a hat, and bring bug repellent.

on Pine Island Trail

Sunday, November 13, 2016

First half mile is nice, trails through a pine swamp. Then miles of sugar sand on an access road. Did see a few scrub jays.

Friday, April 08, 2016

The trail is beautiful as it takes you through different terrains and ecosystems. It ends on the banks of the St. John's River. My friend and I saw a Florida panther and a family of wild boar. Highly recommend this trail.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Beautiful spring! My wife and I made a short afternoon visit and enjoyed the boardwalk which stretches from the river entrance to the head with nice viewing of manatees and lots of alligator gar.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Great park, we were there in the AM during the week so did not experience the congestion, but you can tell it gets busy! Boardwalk is beautifully maintained. Nice walks with our dogs, but be aware that we came back with lots of ticks!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Really nice park, but can get very congested on the weekends during the winter months when the manatees are in the spring. We've stayed here in a 42' fifth wheel camper, so it can get a bit tight for a rig our size. Not the actual sites them self, but the tightness of backing into. If you like to kayak, you can launch into the river right there at the park. If you like to bike ride, the Spring-to-Spring trail is right across the street.

paddle sports
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Swimming with manatees in the most beautiful spring in Florida. Need I say more.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In the winter, the manatee viewing is phenomenal. I must have seen a hundred of them. The boardwalk is well maintained, also. I wish I would have opted to rent a kayak. Beware, they don't list on the website but you cannot walk your dogs to the boil at the end of the boardwalk, which is a shame. The Pine Island trail is going through conservation efforts and a lot of it is deforested which is also a bummer.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beautiful place with lots to see. The trail follows the spring where in winter months you can see manatee, alligators and garr. Beautifully maintained grounds and home from original owner. The bathrooms are clean, nice playground and shaded picnic areas. They have affordable cabins and camping and access to the river. Our family had a blast:)

nature trips
Monday, April 30, 2012

My last visit was January 2012 I drove through the camp ground to evaluate it for camping later. Fair sized lots and good shade. I hiked along the short boardwalk that to see the Manatee. There were plenty as well as huge Tarpon as well as well as Wild Turkey. i;ii return!

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