Our family visited Blue Springs Recreational Park when we came to Florida for a family vacation at Panama City Beach.
We love breaking up our road trip drives with stops along the way, and a search on Google Maps showed us this fun site!
The spring is a beautiful pool of crystal clear blue water. Just look how pretty it is!
According to the Jackson County website, this spring supplies water to a 202-acre reservoir called Merritt’s Millpond, which is nationally known for largemouth bass fishing.
Things to do at Blue Springs Recreational Park include swimming, picnicking, fishing, kayaking or canoeing, and scuba diving. There is also a playground.
The swimming area is really nice. It’s blocked off from the main pond by a pier. There’s a slide into the water, a diving board, and a sand beach.
There is also a lifeguard on duty.
When we got there, Mike stepped his toe into the water and told Mason that the water was nice and warm. He convinced him to jump straight in on the diving board. The water was actually freezing! I’m glad he jumped in like that, or he may never have gotten in!
Since he did, he got to enjoy the slide as well. I got in for just a bit and floated around on a swim float, but Ella got in for about 5 seconds and decided the cold water was not for her!
We saw a couple of people swimming around with their full scuba gear. Apparently, this is a good place for divers to practice.
Merritt’s Millpond is a popular place for cave diving.
You can see small fish swimming in and out of the grasses in the water. We also found a few giant snails! Well, giant in comparison to where we live, anyway!
With the crystal clear water, this place would have been a beautiful place to kayak or paddleboard.
Typical wildlife includes birds like the kingfisher, heron, and ibis. Because of Jackson Blue Spring’s cave complex, the Georgia Blind Salamander and Cave Crayfish also live here.
You can also see turtles out sunning on logs.
There are beautiful cypress trees draped in Spanish moss around the pond.
We didn’t have a ton of time to spend, so we just laid our towels and things out on the sand beach and went in the water.
Before ever getting into the water here, there were a couple of questions that I had.
Are there alligators in Blue Springs Recreational Park?
Alligators can be found all around Florida, so there is always a chance of them being in any body of water in the state.
Although alligators do come into springs, they prefer warm water and typically want to avoid people.
I decided the chances were decently in my favor!
Can you see manatees at Blue Springs Recreational Park?
There are manatees seen in Merritt’s Millpond, but if you’re thinking of the large numbers of wintering manatees, you might be thinking of Blue Spring State Park, which would be a much better place for spotting them!
We didn’t see any on our short visit to Blue Springs Recreational Park.
Where is Blue Springs Recreational Park?
Blue Springs Recreational Park is in Jackson County, Florida, in Marianna.
Don’t confuse this recreational park with Florida’s Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, FL.
Important to Note
Blue Springs Recreational Park is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They will open for 2023 summer season on May 27th.
Pets, other than service animals, are not allowed in the park.
$4 per person for admission.
Kayaks can be rented for $10 per hour.
5461 Blue Springs Road
Marianna, Florida 32446
We had a great afternoon at Blue Springs Recreational Park! It was perfect for a hot summer day.
We can’t wait to explore more of Florida’s springs!
Before you go, check out these other articles!
- Guide to Panama City Beach with Kids
- 12 Last-Minute Spring Break Destinations for Families in the Southeast US
- 13 Things You Need in Your RV (That You Didn’t Think of!)