Blue Spring State Park is a beautiful park that is located in Orange City, Florida, which is in Volusia County. If you live in Port Orange or the surrounding areas it's just a short drive that is well worth going. The park is located at 2100 W. French Avenue in Orange City. There is a small park admission fee.
Blue Spring State Park offers hiking, camping, kayaking, swimming during the summer, a children's playground, a historical house to tour, picnicing, eco boat tours, and more! There's so many opportunities for getting the kids out into nature here.
One of the main attractions at Blue Spring State Park during the winter months are the manatees. The manatees huddle into the springs when the temperatures drop in the river, because the springs remain a constant 73 degrees. The best time to view the manatees at Blue Spring State Park is on a cold morning during the winter months, usually January through March. If you go on a cold morning during January and February you will have a great opportunity to see a lot of manatees. This has become a tradition in our home and everyone loves it. We have been there on days when there are well over 200 manatees huddled into the springs.
A word to the wise - if you plan to go visit the manatees you should arrive early. On good viewing days the park can reach full capacity by noon. The sooner you get there, the better. Plus, the manatees often leave the springs to go feed and you don't want to miss them. We have also seen plenty of fish, turtles, and even some alligators there.
We have also walked the nature walks, toured the historical home, and taken the eco boat ride at Blue Spring State Park. All of it is a lot of fun. The boat ride is a 2-hour long narrated tour, so it gives you a a great look at the St. Johns River. You learn about various plants, animals, and more about nature.
Here are some pictures I've taken from our visits to Blue Spring State Park: