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Blue Spring State Park

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT
Andrew Thoreson
Mar 2018
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (38)

Snapshots! (26)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding B *
Wildlife C
Summer Heat A *
Terrain C *
Fun Hike A
Maintained A
Mosquitos C
Biting Files A *
Ticks B *
NOTE: Odd mini-environments so run into some surprises but not huge hotspot
NOTE: Trail is fairly exposed, spring area is not
NOTE: Boardwalks easy, trail sandy
NOTE: Saw none
NOTE: Not much grass, haven't seen deer, not a tick-heavy area
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 2100 West French Avenue, Orange City, FL, Volusia, USA, 32763

1) What It's Like

This is two destinations. One is the spring - it's a natural spring as in it's not a spring that's been surrounded by pavement, rather you wake a boardwalk through otherwise difficult to pass terrain. There are stairs down into a large tree surrounded great spring. Really beautiful. The second destination is the trail off the parking lot. Starts out as pine forest then it's a long jeep trail with tall impenetrable scrub on the left and pine forest on the right. Not a loop so out for 3-4 miles and back. We didn't finish so can't really comment on forest on the end. Also the boardwalk along the spring run is good for birding - we've seen a couple firsts there (flycatchers, warblers, plus lots of the familiar wading birds).

2) Kinds of Birds

Seems like more of a variety than most spots next to the river - warblers, woodpeckers, saw a hermit thrush, etc. On the pine trail ran into a family of bobwhite in the beginning, had some fun turkey encounters on the exposed trail where we unintentionally chased a turkey at a distance. Some hawks in tall pines, catbirds in the scrub.

3) Wildlife

Many manatees in the winter (some all day but most in morning and evening). Snakes in some areas. Otherwise we didn't spot much but there should be wildlife here - you have to drive through a residential neighborhood to get to it but it's along a strip connected to a lot of other wilderness: Seminole State Forest, Black Bear Wilderness, Lower Wekiva, Rock Springs, Hontoon Island, and sort of to Ocala National Forest. I expect you'd see deer if you go far enough along the trail.

4) Amenities

Everything including RV camping. It's a destination for tourist families wanting to swim despite it not losing it's natural beauty.

5) Directions

US 17 to French Ave and follow the signs.

6) Dear Ranger

Good job!

7) Time Requirements

We've stopped for half an hour at the end of a hot day just to step into the spring but you could spend a good part of a day doing the trail and hanging out at the spring.

Experience

This park is a few things at once and it's a really great place in general:

  • The spring is very nice. Great to swim in in summer (72 degrees while 92 degrees outside), and in winter pretty reliable to see Manatees. It's more of a natural spring than the kinds that are surrounded by concrete.
  • There's a non-loop trail that has it's flaws but we've seen some scrub-loving birds, turkey, and bobwhites on it.
  • There is a very nice expansive boardwalk along the spring run going to the St.John's river. Great view of the water and fish in the clear water but also some interesting birds and snakes down in the forest along it.
  • There's a historic house and it's a very nice place to take the kids without being overwhelmed with people.



Generally we go check out the river, walk to the spring and maybe cool off, and maybe do some of that longer trail. Also it's in/near the college town of Deland so there are nice restaurants etc around not to mention other forests etc in the area.

 

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