Lafayette Blue Spring State Park is one of nine state parks along the famous Suwannee River in north Florida. It is also one of many stops along the 170 mile Suwannee River Wilderness Trail which stretches from White Springs to the Gulf of Mexico. This first magnitude spring is also home to a huge underwater cave system known as the Green Sink Cave System.
Blue Springs is the most dominant feature of this fantastic Florida state park. It’s year round 72 degree water flows from the spring at an impressive rate of 14 million gallons a day at its lowest levels and an eye bulging 168 million gallons a day at its peak. The spring travels a run several hundred feet before spilling into the tannin stained waters of the Suwannee River.
In the spring, karst limestone formations dominate the scenery, creating an eerie yet intriguing entrance to the cool waters of this magnificent spring. Snorkelers and swimmers alike can gaze down at the vast caverns below. Certified cave divers can explore the Green Sink Cave System, a well documented system of over 12,000 feet of caving opportunities. It is described as a relatively open cave dive with 20 feet tall chambers that lead into chambers over 100 feet wide and 30 feet tall.
After all of that swimming, you may want to stay the night at Lafayette Blue Spring State Park. The gorgeous cabins on the property are set high on stilts and contain all of the amenities you wouldn’t expect when you’re roughing it. Each cabin has two beds, a bathroom, and a kitchen/dining/living room combination with a fireplace. Each cabin is also complete with a screened in porch. At $100 a night, these cabins go quick so reservations are a must.
If “real” camping is more your style, a primitive campsite is available on a first come, first serve basis. Paddlers and hikers share this campground. It comes complete with a fire ring and a portable toilet. Bathhouses are being completed at this time.
The hiking trail offers views of the karst limestone formations, sinkholes and depressions that are typical of this region. Wildlife can be seen in great numbers throughout the park including deer, red shouldered hawks, and the pileated woodpecker. The hiking trail is under construction at this time, but should be completed soon.
For more information on this wonderful Florida state park, visit the website here.