Mantee heaven…Blue Spring State Park.

We went to Blue Spring State park yesterday and it was really worth the trip.  It’s about an hour from Orlando in a small town called Orange City.  We had planned to camp here, but after our experience at Tokoma State park, decided to skip staying here.  The park is well-known for being a sanctuary for Manatee’s.  Not too long ago, they even allowed people to swim with them, but they close the spring when the Manatee’s start their migration here in late fall.  Unfortunately, the spring was closed to swimming when we visited.  The park is small and reminiscent of the movie “Creature from the Black Lagoon”, with the blue-green water and big over-hanging mossy trees.  In Fact, episodes of “The Lost Mermaids” series from Underwater with Jacque Cousteau were filmed here.

You can rent tube’s and canoe’s when they allow swimming and float down the St. Johns River from the spring head.  This was ever more surprising after seeing the large alligator’s resting on half-sunken logs.  After seeing them, I’m not sure I would like to swim here after-all.  There are several signs saying “swim at your own risk”.  And I wondered how many swimmers they’ve lost?  Or parts of swimmers!

There were quite a few Manatee’s floating by and even a baby or two.  Their tails propelled them down the river and made them look like very large, bulbous mermaids. The water was a really bright green and looked both ominous and inviting at the same time.  I wanted to just stick my toe in the water to see how warm it felt, since it is supposed to be a constant 73 degrees summer and winter, but they have the walkways that go down into the water roped off now.  Waaaaa.  So, I’ll have to just imagine how warm it was.  I hope to come back some day and maybe swim…if the alligators don’t look too hungry.

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