Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
3rd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

Blue Springs

Volusia County

Summary of Features

  • Scale -1st magnitude
  • Scenery -outstanding
  • How Pristine? -restored to very natural state, rising nitrate levels, falling flow levels due to nearby development
  • Swimming -excellent, outstanding snorkeling
  • Protection -excellent
  • Crowds -heavy on warm weekends and winter weekends
  • Access -excellent
  • Facilities -fine
  • Safety -fine
  • Scuba -yes
  • Cost -$6 per car with up to 8 people; $4 for single occupant vehicle

View of spring and underwater limestone ledge/cavern opening

Quick Directions

Address and phone: 2100 W French Avenue, Orange City, FL 32763, 386-775-3663

In Orange City along U.S. 17/U.S. 92, turn west onto French Avenue at sign for Blue Spring State Park and proceed about two miles to the park entrance. Follow park road to spring run and walk on boardwalk to springhead.

Web link with map

Spring Description

The spring forms a circular pool formed by a large underwater cavern.  The pool is 100 feet in diameter, and the water is blue and clear.  Water flowing upward from the cavern opening creates a large and powerful boil on the surface.  The banks and sides of the pool are steep and form a funnel leading to the cavern entrance, which has a large limestone shelf at a depth of about 10 feet.  The large part of the opening extends down about 40 feet.  The run is nearly as wide as the spring pool and flows about 1/4 mile to the St. Johns River, widening as it nears the river.  Flow from the spring is currently about 146 million gallons a day, and has declined since the 1980s due to drawdowns from many wells in the area.  The nitrate concentration in the water is 0.6 and rising (Fla. DEP, May, 2002).

Land rises steeply from the spring and run to a height of nearly 20 feet.  There is very thick and lush subtropical vegetation around the spring and the run, including, cypress, pine, oak, laurel, magnolia, and maple trees.  Manatees congregate in the run in large numbers in the winter.  Fish, including bass, catfish, and perch, may be observed in the pool and run.XXX


Personal Impressions

Walking along the boardwalk to the spring provides a glimpse of how wild Florida appeared to its early inhabitants and explorers. The landscape is deep jungle, with the spring in its center like a great blue eye amidst the riot of green and brown. It is one of Florida's most spectacular springs, and remains a critical winter habitat for the endangered manatee


It is perhaps the largest spring in the State:  the quantity of water which issues from it in one hour is enormous. It forms a river in itself, 150 feet wide and 6 deep, sufficiently large to admit the passage of a considerable craft.  The water boils up out of the earth as though from a boiling cauldron of four-score feet across.  An excursion party from Jacksonville tried to row a boat into the center of the this boiling kettle, in order to take soundings, but were foiled, after several earnest efforts, in consequence of the violent motion of the elevated surface (p. 137).

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features