This was our third springs trip of the season; our first, to Blue Springs Park in Gilchrist County. Everyone knows this is my favorite springs of all – so far. I’ve been to many, and enjoyed most of them, but nothing compares to Blue. It’s like my first springs-love; the one you never forget. The one you remember for always with a special place in your heart.
There’s so much about this place that makes me happy, and I’m not the only one who loves it here. Its natural beauty thrills me. Its cool, clear waters invite me every time. Fins and mask in place, I dive deep over the vent, or swim down the spring run, through the underwater plant life where the freshwater fish live. There’s life in that water, and some 24 million gallons of it burst forth from the aquifer every day. Maybe more. I know it’s a second-magnitude spring, which staggers me as I’d have thought it a first. But whatever. It’s a wonderful place to take the family as there’s something here for everyone.
Privately owned, well-kept in a rustic atmosphere, that’s what I love about this place. The sandy beach entrance. The quarter mile boardwalk that follows the spring run to the Santa Fe River. The canoes or kayaks you can rent if you want to head out and explore life along the river. A few smaller springs on the property, my favorite being Naked Spring for its natural beauty and intimate feel.
The pictures tell the story here.
This little spring is called Naked Spring. Backstory on Naked Spring is here. These pictures were taken from its small, floating dock. Most picturesque. Unfortunately, there was a guy standing on the dock when I approached. I lingered, hoping he’d leave, so I could enjoy just a few minutes there, alone with my camera. No such luck.
Above, the quarter mile boardwalk that follows the spring run to the Santa Fe River. Many times, I’ve swam in the run out to the river…and back. You need your fins for this as the current is definitely a challenge. Upside? You can stand up in the water if you’re tired! It’s not deep. I feel strong and invigorated when I make this swim. Also, the water temp between the spring run and the river is markedly different. You swim into the river and instantly it feels ten degrees warmer. You hang out in the river for a while, swimming about and treading water (fins make it all so easy). Then, you know you have to swim back. It’s like someone’s turned the hot water off in your shower, the minute your body leaves the river and enters the spring run again. Yowsa. Keep moving, you’ll get used to it!
See how the current flows in the spring run?
Big Blue Springs: quiet.