One day in June, our family decided to take some time to relax and unwind in a serene, natural setting. Since Florida is home to over 700 springs, we went on a spring hopping adventure. Our trek brought us to beautiful Blue Springs Park located in High Springs, Florida. Not to be confused with Blue Springs State Park, this park is privately owned and includes numerous recreational activities for the entire family to enjoy.
Snorkeling and Swimming in a Natural Spring
Since we arrived on a weekday, the park wasn’t crowded and we were able to hear the tranquil sounds of birds singing in the background. The powder-white sand on the beach at the spring felt wonderful under our feet as we splashed and played in the 72-degree water. The temperature of the spring remains the same year-round and is quite refreshing on a hot day. The water is crystal clear and calm, and you can see straight to the bottom. Our daughter Savannah was thrilled that there was no algae to contend with while she swam. Young and elderly alike can find relaxation and rejuvenation in this tranquil spot. It’s perfect for snorkeling. Grandma came along with us and snorkeled while floating with a pool noodle. Snorkelers will be able to see several small fish, as well as view the spring itself as it pours forth fresh water.
Jumping Platform: Make a Splash
One of our favorite discoveries at Blue Springs Park was the jumping platform. This platform is located right over the spring, so we had fun repeatedly jumping and diving off into the invigorating spring.
Take a Stroll
We also strolled along the quarter-mile-long, meandering boardwalk that follows the spring run out to the Santa Fe River.
Another enjoyable pastime available at this nature park is kayaking. Our family had brought our own kayaks, but rentals were available at the park. We stayed close to the mouth of the river and along the boardwalk where the water was calm, taking in the breathtaking sights all around us. The spring lead out to the Santa Fe River. The current was stronger than the springs. We paddle our way upstream to Rum Island County Springs, a swimming hole that is a favorite of the locals. Downstream on the river, not far, is Ginnie Springs. Each of these springs you can paddle up to for spring hopping.
Family Picnic in the Park
When it came time for lunch, we purchased tasty food from the concession stand and ate at one of the many picnic benches nestled beneath the trees at the park. It was convenient to have a food option on-site and not to have to worry about packing a picnic basket. They offered items such as nachos, chips, chili dogs, hot dogs, corn dogs, ice cream, and candy, along with soft drinks, bottled water, and Gatorade. Later in the day we went back to find a mid-afternoon snack. Some of the other activities available to visitors include paddle board, canoe, tube, and kayak rentals, volleyball, horseshoes, and fishing (state license is required to fish).
Back-to-Nature Family Fun
Blue Springs Park is an ideal setting for an entire day’s worth of back-to-nature family fun. We were so impressed with the place that we ended up coming back for a second day of exploration and relaxation. At the time of this article being written, daily admission to the park is $10.00 for those aged 13 and up, $3.00 for those aged 5-12, and free for anyone under age five.
Camping at the Springs
If you want to explore the plethora of other activities available at the park, you could consider spending several days camping at the facility. They rent out RV camp sites with 30 amps of electricity and water available on a first-come, first-serve no reservations basis. If you wish to camp, come after 9:00 am, as that’s when they consider the start of a camping day. They also allow primitive camping in several areas throughout the park. At the time of this writing, camping costs are $15.00 for ages 13 and up, $6.00 for ages 5-12, and free for anyone under the age of five.
What: Blue Springs Park
Where: 7450 NE 60th St, High Springs, FL 32643
Cost: $10.00 for those aged 13 and up, $3.00 for those aged 5-12, and free for anyone under age five.