A first magnitude spring, Manatee Springs discharges an average 100 million gallons of water every day. This water comes from rain that falls on lands within a 40 mile radius from the spring. Geologically the surrounding lands resemble a sponge, with sand and the underlying limestone quickly transferring rainfall into deep caverns that deliver the water to the spring from every direction, but mostly from the south and east. The spring is a source of life for many species of fish, reptiles, mammals, birds and invertebrates. From November through April, manatees use the spring's life-giving waters for warmth. During those months the Suwannee River and Gulf of Mexico waters are colder than the constant 72 degrees of the spring. Popular for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, the headwaters of the spring are an outstanding year-round experience for people as well. The spring run forms a sparkling stream that meanders through towering cypress, tupelo and other wetland trees to join the Suwannee River. During the summer months, huge prehistoric-looking Gulf sturgeon can be seen leaping out of the river as they have done for eons. Enjoy the spring run view by canoe/kayak or on foot along our boardwalk. Children can enjoy a playground in the picnic area, where tables, grills and pavilions are available for family fun. Hiking and biking adventures await on the north end trail system. The full-facility campground is surrounded by hardwood hammocks and upland pine habitats.
Motor boats can tie off at our floating dock located on the river. The park can be accessed by the 300 yard boardwalk into the spring’s area.
Located on the Suwannee River, this inviting source of cool, clear water has attracted people for thousands of years. As a strong 2nd magnitude springs, Fanning Springs provides refreshing swimming or snorkeling on a hot day. Visitors can enter the park by car or arrive by boat from the Suwannee river. Many visitors enjoy the picnic area, playground, volleyball court or use the park's large open areas for ball games, throwing Frisbees, and also for events. There is a canoe/kayak launch available, a nature trail and a boardwalk that overlooks the river. In the summer the gazebo at the end of the boardwalk is a fine place to watch sturgeon jumping. Manatees are often seen in the springs during the winter months and occasionally in the summer. White-tailed deer, gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers, and barred owls are some of the other animals seen in the park. Reserve a canoe or kayak by calling Suwannee Guides and Outfitters at (352) 542-8331. If you bring a pet please remember they must be on a hand held leash no longer than six feet. For the safety of our non-pet owning guests, there are restricted areas (the main picnic and swimming areas). Please observe signs and restrict pets to more remote sections of the park. The Park is located on U.S. 19/98 in the town of Fanning Springs.
Visitors wishing to come by boat may enter the park via the Suwannee River. Be careful though because Fanning Springs' short run may contain manatees and idle speeds are required. Entrance fee from the water is $1.00 per person.
Hart Springs Park and Campground is a family-oriented recreation area, accessible by car and boat.
Boating and fishing at Hart Springs make for great pleasure and relaxation. Boaters registered at Hart Springs are requested to pay an entrance fee for each person who comes ashore or enters the designated swimming area. Fishermen may certainly try their luck from the bank or boat by enticing the bass, trout, bream or freshwater catfish.
Private property surrounds the spring and no landfall may be made. Access is by canoe or motorboat. The concrete retaining wall and nearby signs warn of the dire consequences of stepping out onto the wall or dry land. # From a boat, one can swim, snorkel, fish, or otherwise explore the large and attractive pool. Without coming ashore, one may stand or sit in the shallows.
The depths of this spring contain the remains of the Civil War-era steamboat Madison, scuttled in the spring run in 1863 to keep it from being captured. A recent addition to the state park system, Troy Spring now has an entrance road, restrooms, an accessible walkway, picnic tables, and a riverside dock for canoeists and boaters on the Suwannee River. This 70-foot deep, first magnitude spring offers opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Bring the family for an old fashioned swimming hole party! Only open-water scuba diving is permitted and divers must be certified; no solo diving is allowed.
Troy Springs is located between mile marker 82 and 83 on the Suwannee River. A boat dock is available for day use.