8 a.m. to sundown, 365 days a year
Our hours range from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter, climbing all the way to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer. Just like the park we operate 365 days a year.
Park Entrance Fees
$4 to $6 per vehicle exact change is needed, no CC
11650 NW 115th St.
Chiefland, FL 32643
Single Kayak $20 +tx. for 2 hours use
Paddle Board $20 +tx. for 2 hours use
Tandem Kayak $25 +tx. for 2 hours use (2 seater)
Canoe $25 +tx. for 2 hours use (up to 3 people)
MANATEE SPRINGS RENTALS
Same river, different park!
ABOUT MANATEE SPRINGS
People have enjoyed the cool waters of Manatee Springs for more than 10,000 years, from early Paleo Indians to modern park visitors.
One of Florida’s 33 first magnitude springs, Manatee Springs averages a flow of anywhere between 50 to 150 million gallons of water per day, and is the largest single spring flowing into the Suwannee River. The spring water flows through the quarter-mile long spring run to join the river en route to the Gulf of Mexico. The spring shed itself covers an area of over 200 miles, providing water to much of the surrounding area.
This makes it a popular cooling-off spot and a great place to stroll on the park boardwalk and gaze into watery depths.
True to its namesake, manatees can be seen in the cooler months, and birds, mammals and fish are spotted year-round.
This is an ever-changing system. The spring run may be crystal-clear, making it easier to see the park's namesake manatees, sometimes numbering up to twenty. Park staff and volunteers record manatee sightings within or adjacent to the park on a daily basis. When the Suwannee River floods, water levels can be high enough to completely submerge the boardwalk that meanders along the spring run. In these conditions, the dark, tannic waters of the river fill the spring run and visibility is greatly reduced. The occasional splash of a fish at the water’s surface is an indication that life indeed still abounds.
The wildlife found at Manatee Springs State Park comes in a variety of forms, from feathered to scaled, from mammals to insects. Reptiles like the American alligator, several species of turtles, and three different snakes find their homes in and around the spring, dependent on the water and fish that provide habitat and food sources. The manatees cannot be forgotten, as this warm-blooded mammal often takes refuge in the winter months in the cozy waters of the spring that remain a constant 72-degrees year-round. The gentle giants’ presence is often given away by disturbance of fish, and of course a large grey shape seen in the water on a clear day. Visitors who are quiet and observant may be lucky enough to hear the sound of a manatee’s nose breaking the surface of the water as it takes a breath of fresh air.
Popular activities include:
Bicycles are welcome on all the park's roads. Mountain bikers can enjoy over eight miles of wooded off-road trails within the park.
Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under. Bicycles are not allowed on the boardwalk or any sidewalks.
Bicycle rentals are available on-site through Anderson's Outdoor Adventures.
Motor boats can tie off at our floating dock on the river. The park can be accessed by the 300-yard boardwalk into the springs area.
The park features 80 campsites in three loops, each with its own hot shower restroom and all within easy walking distance of the spring. There is electricity and water at each site. AOA offers RV rentals for this park as well. We deliver right to your reserved campsite.
Camping, Primitive Group
The park provides two group camping areas for youth outdoor recreation-oriented groups. The group camp accommodates up to 35 people.
Freshwater fishing from the park's boardwalk along the spring run and in the Suwannee River is always popular. Largemouth bass, catfish, mullet and a variety of panfish will delight the lucky angler. All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.
AOA offers canoe rentals on site. Great for the non-motorized angler!
Manatee Springs State Park offers 8.5 miles of nature trails on the North End Trail system that wind around cypress swamps, sinkhole ponds and uplands.
Canoeing and kayaking is available year-round down the famous Suwannee River.
AOA offers canoes, kayaks, & paddle board rentals right inside the park. Visit the concession stand by the park's waterfront.
For pricing or details, call 352-493-1699 or visit aoafun.com
Picnic tables are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. AOA’s concession building is located by the spring and offers slow-smoked BBQ, snacks and beverages. AOA’s BBQ is offered from 11 am to 5 pm (or until we run out) everyday.
Diving is available only on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations or holding spots are not allowed. All parties must be present at the time of registration.
Snorkel and mask are for sale by AOA located in the park at the concession stand by the waterfront.
Swimming activities can be enjoyed in the natural feature of this beautiful first-magnitude spring. Use caution - the current is swift.
Rangers-led programs are offered throughout the year. Conestoga wagon rides are offered seasonally (fall and spring) along the north trail system. Most ranger-led programs are free with paid park admission.
Call the park at 352-493-6072 for more information.
Excellent wildlife viewing is available along the boardwalk that winds through the cypress swamp from the spring to the river as well as along some hiking trails.
Manatee Springs Camping & Kayaking
The park features 80 campsites in three loops, each with its own hot shower restroom and all within easy walking distance of the spring. There is electricity and water at each site.
Pets are allowed and must remain on a six-foot leash at all times and under control of their owners.
Camping equipment rentals and full-service camping offered by Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures located in the park at the concession stand by the waterfront or call 352-493-1699.
The park provides two group camping areas for youth outdoor recreation-oriented groups. The group camp accommodates up to 35 people. Chaperones 18 years of age or older are required for each 12 youths. Pets are not allowed in the youth area. Drinking water, an outdoor shower, a portable toilet and fire circle are available at the site.
For youth camping reservations, call the park at 352-493-6072.
In order to protect the trees you love, we ask that you do not bring your own firewood into the park. The emerald ash borer infestation has been confirmed in northern Georgia and is spread by moving infested wood to a non-infested area. Wood is available at the park for a donation.
While camping at Manatee Springs you will notice the prime attraction, that is the crystal clear water pumping out of the 1st magnitude spring. 100 million gal. A day!
Manatee Springs State Park kayaking is one of the most popular activities besides swimming and snorkeling. Manatee Springs State Park Kayaking rentals are conveniently located by the spring head. AOA will rent you a kayak and you can kayak out to the historic Suwannee River, travel as far up river as you wish. On your way back to the park, enjoy the flow and be on the lookout for the wildlife and scenery that only Manatee Springs Kayaking can bring.
A weekend getaway for Manatee Springs camping and Manatee Springs State Park kayaking is fun the whole family can enjoy.
Please be advised AOA does not offer shuttle services from or to this park at this time. Kayaking against the river’s current may be difficult for some.
While visiting the park it is important to remember it's all connected! These springs reflect the quality of water that we use every day. Please only swim in designated areas to avoid damaging sensitive areas, which are susceptible to erosion and pollution. Always remember to clean up trash and belongings that you bring into the park and remember: together we can protect ...the Real Florida.
Canoe/Kayak Rentals Rules During Manatee Season
● Look, but don't touch manatees.
● Do not pursue or chase a manatee if you see one while you are swimming, snorkeling, diving, paddling or operating a boat.
● Never poke, prod or stab a manatee with your hands, feet or any object including paddles.
● If a manatee avoids you, do not chase the animal for a closer view.
● Give manatees space to move. Avoid isolating or singling out an individual manatee from its group and do not separate a cow and her calf.
● Keep hands and objects to yourself. Don't attempt to snag, hook, hold, grab, pinch, hit or ride a manatee.
● Avoid excessive noise and splashing if a manatee appears nearby.
● Do not congregate near the canoe launch. Do not hover or linger over top of manatee in the spring run. You may observe manatee while making your way to the river.
● Failure to follow these guidelines may result in early termination of your rental, expulsion from the park, and even fines.
● By signing the rental release of liability you are acknowledging that you have been briefed on the basic rules during manatee season.
● For more information please visit