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Manatee Springs State Park, Chiefland

(340+ reviews on the web)
State Park
Manatee Springs State Park is a Florida State Park located six miles west of Chiefland on SR 320, off US 19. Manatee Spring is a first magnitude spring that flows directly into the Suwannee River by way of a short run (though it is the longest spring run feeding the Suwannee River). Present also are swamps and hardwood wetlands along the Suwannee, along with many sinkhole ponds, including one with a cave 90 feet below the ground that connects to a popular divers' destination known as the catfish hotel.HistoryManatee Springs was visited in 1774 by William Bartram (1739–1823) and described in his book Travels through North & South Carolina, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws, Containing an Account of the Soil and Natural Productions of Those Regions, Together with Observations on the Manners of the Indians (1791); it was named by Bartram himself ("Manate Springs") after seeing a manatee carcass on the shoreline of the spring run.BiologyTree types in the park consist of cypress, sweetgum, maple and ash.
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  • We first visited as day use in January. We rented a canoe for 2 hours ($20) and saw dozens of manatees in the spring which maintains a temp of 72°F year round. What a treat! We were so impressed with ...  more »
  • Stopped by to see the springs, and glad we did. We have a spot booked in a month to stay...... can't wait.  more »
  • We camped here for two nights. Loved it. Saw two deer and an armadillo! The bathhouses are clean and conveniently located near the campsites. Will definitely stay here again.  more »