Manatee Springs State Park, Chiefland

4.4
#55 of 248 in Nature in Florida
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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Manatee Springs State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
383 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • No Manatees but the person at the gate had told us that before we went in. Wasn't crowded so made it nice to walk out the wooden walk to the Suwanee.  more »
  • This is a beautiful park on the Suwanee River. We stayed for a week. There are walking trails and a restaurant. You can buy ice at the restaurant. The sites are spacious and have lots of trees and shr...  more »
  • We went here to get away from the more popular springs that during this time of year was just to much. You pay state park prices so it is very cheap and you get everything you want when you are here. ...  more »
Google
  • Manatee Springs State Park is a thing of beauty. In the Spring the Florida manatee pay us a visit in the beautiful crystalline blue waters of our spring. Way down at the bottom we have a cave and qualified divers do frequently explore. You think you can reach down and touch the top of that hole, the water is so clear. But, of course, you can't. Children and adults alike cool off in the water of the spring in the hot summer months. I've heard rumor that some locals swim in the spring in winter. On the cold days. But instead of a towel they bring a bathrobe. As the spring is a constant 72° it is warmer than the air and is perceived by the body as bath like temperatures. Never tried it myself.
  • Beautiful little spot with gorgeous scenery and a wide range of wildlife. Entry fee was the cheapest we’ve seen in a while, though the park was worth every penny and then some. I would certainly have to recommend this park to anybody passing through the area!
  • Staff is so friendly and helpful! I had a great time taking pictures of water moccasins, deer, manatees, fish, and birds. It is an amazing park! Staff at the park were friendly and shared useful information, also helping launch a kayak. 10/10 this place is amazing!
  • Kayaking was great! Bathhouse were nice. Large fans inside. Large stalls. Hot water. Good pressure. Family bathroom too. Roads in camping area are very rolly/bumpy. Playground is nice. Springs are wonderful for a dip, snorkeling. Volunteer on boardwalk is very knowledgeable and great to talk to. But very poor cell service!
  • Hands down one of my favorite state parks. It's really neat to have the deer come up on your campsite. We always enjoy the springs and taking the boardwalk out to the water to fish or just enjoy the scenery. Great playground for the kids. Awesome BBQ at the concessions.
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