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Lafayette Blue Springs State Park




Lafayette Blue Springs State Park
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General Information

Description - **Note: This information was provided by www.floridastateparks.org.

Located on the Suwannee River, this inviting source of cool, clear water has attracted people for thousands of years. Lafayette Blue Springs produces up to 168 million gallons of water daily, making it one of Florida's 33 first magnitude springs. Swimming or snorkeling in the spring is a refreshing activity on a hot day; river fishing is also a popular recreation. Visitors can enter the park by boat from the Suwannee River as well as by car. Many visitors enjoy the shaded picnic area. White-tailed deer, gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers, and barred owls are some of the animals seen in the park. Walk-in tent camping is available for a fee. During rainy seasons sometimes the dark river water backs up into the springs making the springs appear to be black in color. When this occurs, swimming and diving is prohibited for your safety. Be sure to call the park ahead of time to see if swimming is open.

Attractions - Picnic facilities are located by the beautiful spring and by the Suwannee River. Picnic tables and grills are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Picnickers can enjoy meals overlooking the beautiful spring and river areas. Two pavilions are also available on a first come, first serve basis.

Wildlife viewing is possible at this park. We suggest that you bring a field guide in order to identify the abundant wildlife within the park. Reported sightings are hawks, eagles, kites, doves, swifts, woodpeckers, flycatchers, wrens, thrushes, waxwings, warblers, cardinals, and sparrows.

Primitive camping is available on a walk-in first come, first serve basis. Bathhouses are under renovation at this time. Portable restroom facilities are available.

Recreation - Take a hike while viewing a series of interpretive displays as you pass through a variety of ecosystems. Along the trail is a series of sinkholes; depressions formed by the collapse of underground caverns. These sinkholes are indicative of karst topography. Animals typically observed in the mixed forest community include white-tailed deer, gray squirrel, red shouldered hawk, pileated woodpecker, barred owl, eastern glass lizard, and red bellied, gulf hammock rat, rough green and coral snakes.

An extensive aquatic cave system associated with Lafayette Blue Spring, known as the Green Sink cave system, is well documented by the local diving community. Over 12,000 feet of cavern passageways have been surveyed. The caves extend west and southwest from the main spring. The system is described as relatively large and open, averaging 20 feet wide and 10 feet tall, with "rooms" up to 100 feet wide and 30 feet tall.

Lafayette Blue Springs is a great beginning or ending destination spot while exploring the many wonders of the world famous Suwannee River year round.

Climate - Florida's weather is dominated by the water that surrounds it. The Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Gulf of Mexico in the west provide a stabilizing force that maintains the mild climate. Northern Florida is considered sub tropical, although it does receive some snow. This area is drier than the rest of the state. Southern areas of the state, definitely the Keys, lie within a tropical climate. Humidity is high, a characteristic of the climate, although the temperatures usually don't extend past 90 degrees F.

On the average the state receives 50 to 65 inches of rain. Summer is the rainy season, which extends into October in the south. Hurricane season begins in late August. Some hurricanes can bring up to 25 inches of rain. An average of two hurricanes per season reach the Florida peninsula. Most often these storms reach the Atlantic Coast rather than the Gulf Coast.

Location - Lafayette Blue Spring is located 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Mayo on the west side of the Suwannee River. From Mayo, drive northwest on US 27 for 4.3 miles (6.9 km). Turn right on CR 251 B and continue for 2.1 miles (3.4 km) on a gravel road. Turn east onto a dirt road and go 0.2 miles (0.3 km) to the county park entrance. Spring vent is east of the parking area in the pool farthest from the river.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Lafayette Blue Springs State Park, 799 N.W. Blue Spring Road , Mayo, Florida, 32066, Phone: 386-362-2746
, michael.strivelli@dep.state.fl.us

Additional Information:
Florida State Parks - The mission of the Florida Park Service is to provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.

Links:
Florida Division of Recreation & Parks - Official agency website

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