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Madison Blue Springs State Park, Lee

4.4
#136 of 269 in Nature in Florida
Must see · State Park · Hidden Gem · Park
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Madison Blue Spring State Park is a Florida State Park, located approximately ten miles east of Madison on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River. It contains one of the state's 33 first magnitude springs.This title entails that the spring is discharging at least 2,800 liters of water per second.

Madison Blue Spring is known for its cool waters and underwater caves. The waters remain at a constant temperature of 72 degrees year-round. Madison Blue Springs underwater cave systems are internationally known, meaning they attract a variety of divers nationwide. According to Florida State Parks, exploration of over 26,000 feet of underground passages has occurred. Within the spring, one can easily spot catfish, freshwater turtles, and sunfish. Yet, this is not the only marine life, below the surface within the intricate cave systems, three rather unique species of crustaceans exist and thrive. As reported by Florida State Parks, these include Hobb's cave amphipod, the pallid cave crayfish, and the swimming little cave isopod. The park was established after a private owner sold 38 acres at the spring in 2000. Prior to the property being sold Madison Blue Spring was utilized as a fresh water source for local inhabitants. This crystal-clear spring is about 25 feet deep, 82 feet wide, and includes a 150-foot spring run that pours into the Withlacoochee River. This rolling water stems from a 25 feet deep cavern. Florida State parks explains how this stream of water impacts 23.7% of flow of the Withlacoochee River, into the opposite direction. This then results in a swept river bottom along with the formation of a large arc of clear water. Along the Withlacoochee River one can find distinct examples of karst topography, which includes Suwannee Limestone, of the Oligocene age. Subsequently, Nestlé bought 2 adjoining acres, and a preexisting, but unused, bottling permit. After contentious hearings, the state authorized Nestlé to move forward, and tax incentives were approved for Nestlé's construction of a bottling plant. The plant opened in 2004. Water from this operation is used for Nestlé's Deer Park and Zephyrhills bottled water brands. Not only is Madison Blue Springs State a prime source for bottle planting but it also provides many recreational resources for individuals. These of which include birding, fishing, paddling, picking, diving, swimming, and tubing.
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Madison Blue Springs State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
70 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The swimming area was closed, the water ugly brown, and nobody was there to say why. It certainly looked nothing like the pictures that are published. Spring runoff the culprit? 
    The swimming area was closed, the water ugly brown, and nobody was there to say why. It certainly looked nothing like the pictures that are published. Spring runoff the culprit?  more »
  • A really really beautiful natural spring with caves underneath. Such a fantastic visit which we didn't even know existed until we happened to pick up a leaflet at a local diner. The water is so clear....  more
    A really really beautiful natural spring with caves underneath. Such a fantastic visit which we didn't even know existed until we happened to pick up a leaflet at a local diner. The water is so clear....  more »
  • This is hands-down the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my entire life! Stunning! If you live anywhere within 1000 miles of this place, you need to go! Absolutely amazing! It is the kind of... 
    This is hands-down the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my entire life! Stunning! If you live anywhere within 1000 miles of this place, you need to go! Absolutely amazing! It is the kind of...  more »
Google
  • Second visit, invited additional family members with little one to come join the fun. This spring is the best! The water is refreshing and crystal clear with a cave for diving. I see why it was voted one of the best springs in Florida! There is an area to grill, picnic tables, a restroom with showers. It is patrolled by state park employees, which are extremely helpful and pleasant to talk to. When the limit of visitors is reached, they will close the gate. There is a small recreation fee of $4, definitely worth it! Beautiful spring 👍 *One word of caution, please be careful while walking in the water, especially with little ones, unfortunately,there is broken glass, so make sure you watch where you step. Let's keep the springs clean!
  • Madison Blue Spring is an easily accessible spring just off of the Madison Blue Springs state park entrance. From the second parking lot, there are 2- similar. There are multiple picnic tables and 3 pavilions with grills and trash cans. Hiking trails and a volleyball area. The spring is well maintained as well as the trails leading to the river. No lifeguards. Temperature is a constant 72 degrees-very cold. You immediately feel the difference in temperature when you swim from spring to river water! The spring is over 20ft deep in areas, specially the area leading to the underwater cave system. (There is a locked grate over)
  • I grew up near this state park. My whole life, it is where we went swimming every summer, and still do to this day.. There were alot of memories made here, and it's been the family spot for generations, and the generations yet to come. There are nature trails for nature walks or hiking, you can scuba dive and explore the underwater caves, search for arrow heads in the river,and all in all the best way to cool off on a hot summer day. Sometimes, they have concession stands with boiled peanuts and snowballs.. (Flavored shaved ice, many different delicious flavors too...) My children absolutely adore visiting and every summer they insist we "go to the spring.." Would definitely recommend...
  • Easily a family favorite of all the springs we've visited. From the picturesque crystal clear blue water to the neat colors where the spring meets the Withlacoochee River it was just beautiful 😍 Definitely bring a mask and snorkel to check out the underwater life.
  • So refreshing! Delightful feeling! water wasn’t that cold , but not warm either 72 F year round ! Park well kept . Recreational area , barbecue, volleyball , big separate bathrooms man /women , shower, safe passage with stair case.

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