Florida manatees take refuge in the balmy warm 72 degree Fahrenheit water at Blue Spring State Park located in Orange City, Florida! November is Manatee Awareness Month! Photo – Robert Scott Thayer
Greetings! Let’s continue the celebration of Manatee Awareness Month with the surge of Florida manatees now majestically swimming the warm balmy waters of Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida! Nothing compares to the beauty, serenity, and majesty of Blue Spring! Yes, it’s that time of year again when water temperatures in Florida’s St. Johns River fall below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. And what does that mean? The manatees normally swimming in the St. Johns River all head into Blue Spring’s warm 72 degrees Fahrenheit water!
The park is home to the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Additionally, this awesome natural spring discharges an astonishing 104 million gallons of water each day! In fact, the spring flow runs about 1,050 feet out to the St. Johns River. And all along its route, you’ll find a beautiful lush forest filled with dense palms, hardwoods, and stunning lives oaks, which bow over the flow, creating a magical, tropical wonderland. Of course that’s why yours truly, Kobee Manatee, calls Blue Spring State Park my home:)!
Blue Spring sits on over 2,600 acres. Manatee viewing season began on November 15th and it runs through April 15th. So if you’ve never seen manatees close up, now is your chance to pay a visit to Blue Spring State Park when all of us manatees are there! It’s also important to note that during manatee viewing season, no canoeing, swimming, snorkeling or diving is allowed in the park.
Something for Everyone at Blue Spring State Park!
Whatever your outdoor passion is, look no further than Blue Spring State Park. Riverboat tours are very popular. You’ll enjoy a two hour narrated cruise. For reservations, call St. Johns River cruises at (386) 917-0724. Or visit them at www.sjrivercruises.com.
You’ll also find picnic areas and a scenic hiking trail at Blue Spring. For overnight stays, six – two bedroom cabins are available for you. These can accommodate up to six people. Each one has a gas fireplace, central heating and cooling, a bathroom, a kitchen including a stove and a refrigerator, screened porch and grill. You’ll be supplied with linens, pillows, blankets, towels, along with cooking and eating utensils. Each cabin allows two vehicles. You can make reservations up to 11 months in advance by calling (800) 326-3521 or Book Online.
Fifty-one campsites are located at sand pine scrub, which is within walking distance to the spring. Each campsite has a picnic table, water, electricity and a grill. Blue Spring State Park also offers the Bedtime Story Camper Lending Library of picture books for campers ages four to nine. Ask at the Ranger Station on how to borrow a book, or get your own cool souvenir copy from my award-winning Kobee Manatee Children’s Educational Picture Book Series at The Manatee Gift shop!
The gift shop, restaurant, camp store, and water activities rental station, are all located by the public swimming area. For more information contact Blue Spring Enterprises, Inc. at (386) 775-6888, www.myfloridamanatee.com
And my author, Robert Scott Thayer will do a book signing from his award-winning Kobee Manatee series at Blue Spring State Park on January 28th & 29th 2017, during the Blue Spring Manatee Festival! Here’s their address and information for you…
Blue Spring State Park
2100 W. French Avenue
Orange City, FL 32763
Hours: 8a.m. to Sunset
Phone: (386) 775-3663
Admission Fee: $6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers
$24.00 per night, plus a non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee, which includes water and electricity.
$95.00 per night, plus a non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee.
So join me and let’s continue celebrating Manatee Awareness Month together and help spread the word about us manatees – Florida’s official state marine mammal!
If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee