"WAY DOWN UPON THE SUWANEE RIVER, ........." Manatee Springs State Park by mtncorg

Way down upon the Suwanee River is where the manatees play. Only about 23 miles upriver from where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico, this state park encompasses a huge freshwater spring - there are several such natural phenomena in Florida. Over 80000 gallons per minute of crystal clear freshwater bubble up from the spring. Waters from the spring flow a short distance into the Suwanee through a stream appropriately known as the Spring Run.

Indians have been in the area for centuries, drawn by both the never-ending water supply and the abundance of fish and wildlife. Many species of plant of animal are to be found here. The manatee gives the spring its name. Constant 72 degree F water temperature provides a warm refuge for the manatees during the fall and winter months when they can be found lying about in the warm waters of the Spring Run. Warmer weather will then free them to seek out boat propellors outside of the park.

There are 86 campsites and picnic areas as well. You can swim here, though not with the manatees. This isn't a Hilton in the Bahamas:-/

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A nice piece of Backcountry Florida
  • Cons:"Backcountry" can mean mosquitos, snakes and 'gators here!!
  • In a nutshell:Off-the-beaten-path ecological nook - unless you are a manatee
  • Last visit to Manatee Springs State Park: Oct 2000
  • Intro Updated Jul 29, 2015
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Reviews (4)

Comments (3)

  • Florida999's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    I was looking for a page on this, since we will be camping there the end of the month, good info! I touched a manatee once at Jetty Park in Cocoa while swimming. That was probably a once in a lifetime experience.

  • JudyinPA's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2007 at 11:59 AM

    Taking the dogs and doing a few months tour of Fl in the trailer. We plan to stop in this area for a while for fishing and log or manatee searching. Hope to see the mammals in Jan or Feb.

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2004 at 1:40 PM

    I love discovering interesting new places like this on VT!


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