Florida Guide > State Parks
Manatee Springs State Park.
Manatee Springs State Park is situated 6 miles west of Cheffand, off the U. S. 90 at the end of State Route 320. This is one on the many State Parks magnitude Springs.
This area was once occupied by the Timucuan Indians who were drawn to the crystal clear waters and the hunting and fishing opportunities. These Native Indians built a village of a considerable size.
The Parks department acquired the Spring and several pieces of land during the late nineteen forties and it opened as a State Park in 1955.
It will not surprise you to know that the best time to visit is in the winter when the manatees arrive to escape the cooler waters of the river. Over 100 million gallons of water surge out of the springs every day and from there feed into a stream that tips into the Suwanee River.
This spring water stays at a constant temperature of 72 degrees so is pleasant to swim in all year round. You may also snorkel and scuba dive here; if you are wishing to dive, you must have a diving buddy and show your licence on entry.
There are no less than 8 miles of nature trails to explore at the park; among the fauna are hickories, palmettos and giant bald cypress. There is a board walk which takes you over to the river and from the boardwalk a great photo opportunity to capture both the river and the springs, so remember to take your camera.
There is a park service provider who will rent you a kayak or canoe and they also run weekend tours. Phone them on 352 490 9797. They also sell snacks, drinks and souvenirs.
Fishing is good here and you can do this from the boardwalk or from the river bank. You are likely to catch large mouth bass, panfish and catfish. You will need a licence available from sports shops and larger Walmarts.
Manatee Springs has a pleasant picnic area and a playground is provided for the little ones.
If you have time to spare at the end of your visit then try going to Fanning State Park or Rainbow Springs State Park (Rainbow Springs is an especial favourite of our family)
Manatee Springs State Park
11650 N. W. 115th St.
Chiefland, Florida 32626
Fax: Contact Park for Number
Citizen Support Organization
Friends of Manatee Springs Parks, Inc.
11650 N. W. 115th Street
Chiefland, FL 32626
Visitor Service Provider
Chris Brown, Sports-a-rama, Inc.
305 N. E. 1st Street
Gainesville, FL 32601
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