Blue Spring State Park in Florida

During our October 2023 trip to Florida, we took a day to visit Blue Spring State Park. We packed a picnic lunch and set out to see what we could find. We were not disappointed!

Live oak tree at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

When we arrived, we were greeted by this large live oak tree, with a palm tree growing in the middle of it. And lots of Spanish moss all around, of course. What a cool find! And this was just in the parking lot. We were hoping that meant that there were more good things to come.

Swamp area at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

After we ate lunch at a picnic pavilion near the parking lot, we went off on a hike on one of the trails at the park. The trail took us through a swampy area 1. Swampy areas always make good photographic subjects for me. I enjoyed seeing all of these interesting palm trees, and the duck weed on the surface of the water made everything look nice and green.

Lake at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

Past the swampy area, we reached the edge of the main lake at Blue Spring. As you can tell, old live oak trees were everywhere. This one seemed to be reaching out over us to try to get to the water. If it could just stretch a little bit farther!

Spring run at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

The trail turned and went along a stream2 that was feeding into the lake. By the change of colors, we guessed that we were getting closer to the spring that the park was named for. And how about those fascinating trees over on the opposite shore? Cool nature!

Laura at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

Laura stopped to enjoy the view, and I stopped to take a photo of Laura.

Wooden boardwalk at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

For part of the trail, a wooden boardwalk led us slightly away from the bank of the stream, although it did give a nice elevated view of the stream between the trees. Another wooden boardwalk photo to add to my collection, of which there are many.

Manatee in the water at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

As we walked along, we saw people pointing at something in the water. Soon, we saw it for ourselves - a manatee! Actually, there were a few of them just floating about, including a young one. We knew manatees are more abundant there during the winter months, so we were happy to see a few of them in October.

Manatee statue at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

Here is another manatee that we found. It was easier to get a photo of it since it was out of the water. And shiny3.

Trail at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

Moving on along, another wooden boardwalk leading us deeper into the forest. I thought the “Please Remain on Boardwalk” sign was amusing, because the thick growth made it almost impossible to be off of the boardwalk.

The spring at Blue Spring State Park in Florida

And at last we had reached the Blue Spring for which Blue Spring State Park is named. The spring feeds the stream which feeds into the lake that we had seen earlier. I did not do my own count, but they say that over 100 million gallons of water flow out of Blue Spring each day4. That is a serious amount of water! It was wonderful to see another amazing part of God’s creation.

Just a few notes if you want to visit5. There is a small admission charge of $6 per vehicle. But that is cheaper than what you would pay for just about anything else in Florida (except maybe Silver Springs). The stream (or spring run) is open to swimming and kayaking, except during manatee season, which begins on November 14. Also, I have seen reports that there may be a long wait to get into the park during manatee season, just so you know. You can decide if it is worth the wait for you.

Creator and Created

How often do I talk about God’s amazing creation? The answer, quite honestly, is quite often. But it is difficult to ignore all the beauty that is around us. And the appropriate Christian response should be praising God for all that he has created.

We praise God because we love God, and we serve God because we love God. How do we serve the God that we praise who created all of this beautiful nature around us? We serve him by serving others. We love God by loving others. If you say you love God but you do not show love to others, do you really love God?

Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God, and the second greatest is to love each other. You cannot properly do one without doing the other.

So the next time you are amazed by God’s creation, use that as encouragement to show God’s love to other people.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. - 1 John 4:19-21

Love One Another

About the Photos

When I was processing these photos, I did give most of them a very slight blue tint, keeping with the name of the spring and the park, although you probably wouldn’t really be able to tell unless you compared the photos to the original versions. As usual, I did turn up the color saturation a bit, because it was such a colorful day there. Why not try to capture that in the photos?

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Raw Therapee and GIMP.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: October 10, 2023
Location: Blue Spring State Park, Florida

  1. Bring bug spray. You won’t be sorry. Apply sunscreen first, and then bug spray on top of the sunscreen. ↩︎

  2. The technical term is a “spring run”, since the water runs from the spring into the lake. ↩︎

  3. And not real. But that probably goes without saying, because Bedazzling a real manatee would probably be a crime. ↩︎

  4. In comparison, Mammoth Spring in Arkansas has a flow of over 200 million gallons of water per day! That is why it is called a mammoth. ↩︎

  5. Visit the Blue Spring State Park website for more information. ↩︎


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.