Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is located in High Springs, Fl., along the Santa Fe River and is Florida’s newest state park 😀 This state park is kind of a lesser developed one, I don’t know if they’re going to fix that at all.. I’m hoping so just for accessibility purposes. I guess I hold state parks to a different standard than recreational areas located within state and national forests. With that being said, I can’t recall anything being accessible except maaaaybe the steps going down into the spring. I know it’s still a work in-progress so it would be a good idea to call and see if they’ve made any with that if you’re wanting to go 😛 otherwise, Ginnie Springs is your best bet speaking from experience.
Another great aspect is that it’s located next to so many other parks with springs that have camping too (Ginnie Springs, Poe Springs (free entrance) [closed since hurricane Irma but i’ve read you can still paddle to it], and Rum Island Springs (free entrance) being just a few popular ones.) Ichetucknee Springs State Park is also not too far of a drive so making this a weekend trip is definitely not a bad idea…it’s a really really good one in my opinion.
We have been here once before, I think when we went to see Paynes Prairie but both parks I didn’t get an adequate amount exploring and seeing the places to write about either so I haven’t. That’s why I suggest following our Instagram ! If you see a location and find I haven’t written about it don’t hesitate to shoot me a message via our Facebook.
So! Gilchrist Blue Springs, we had fun the first time when we went and only had the hour to spend luckily we had several hours to enjoy this gorgeous spot this last time…. I think i’ve said this bur Lyric loves, LOVES, the jumping platforms.
And from our first visit:
I had a lot of fun jumping in and tried getting a good look at the spring head, however I am not a diver. Not at all lol. It was cool to look at but it was hard for me to go as far down as I was hoping. I felt a lot of pressure… both in my ears and from the water pushing me. I probably got like 10 ft…maybe :’) It’s really important to be mindful when jumping because there will be people diving, swimming, and snorkeling under the jumping pad because that is where the spring is located.
The water is super clear, there is also a beautiful spring run that you can snorkel and paddle down as well. Reluctantly I got Lyric to go on the boardwalk with me, the first time we went I could see that the boardwalk went a lot farther out along the run but they have since cut it short. Which was a great idea in my opinion and many others from what I have read agree. I also got him (reluctantly) to quickly go with me and check out one of the other springs there, I want to say it was Johnson Spring… it wasn’t as bright or clear of a blue as the main spring head. Looked kind of eerie to be honest, probably one that’s better for divers to explore but it’s just a short walk away. What I really was glad to see when we went over there was that they had a plaque showing the Santa Fe River and the springs that are located along it so that was worth his reluctance to get a quick picture of that for reference. He really hates having to leave the swim area lol and it can be a total showdown, sometimes it’s necessary..a girl’s gotta pee.
Things to do/at Gilchrist Blue Springs:
- kayak rental
- jumping platform
- spring run
- multiple spring heads
- picnic table