Manatee Springs State Park
Manatee Springs State Park information
Between Cedar Key and Steinhatchee, this park is worth a stop, especially for a dip into the 72˚F crystalline waters of the beautiful spring. You can also scuba dive ($10 plus gear; certification and dive buddy required) at the springhead, which gushes 117 million gallons of water per day, or canoe or kayak along the spring run (boat rentals $8 to $10 hourly). Scuba diving, canoeing and kayaking can be organized through the park office. On dry land – which is a uniquely spongy combo of sand and limestone shaded by tupelo, cypress and pine trees – there’s an 8.5-mile-long hiking/biking trail, the North End Trail, on your right as you enter the park. Camping ($16 for tent or RV) is also available at 94 shady sites with picnic tables and ground grills. A highlight is the wheelchair accessible raised timber boardwalk that traces the narrow spring down to the Suwannee River as it flows to the gulf and out to sea.