Looking to explore new places in your home state? As Floridians, we are so fortunate to live among some of the most beautiful scenery the country has to offer. Florida is a treasure trove of hidden gems, many of which are overshadowed by the state's commercialized attractions and tourist destinations. In this series, we will explore destinations that are off the beaten path and give you the opportunity to explore with your family.

Located in the Florida panhandle, Madison Blue Springs State Park is in Lee, Florida between Tallahassee and Lake City. Nestled among a grove of hardwood and pine trees, Madison Blue Springs is one of the Florida State Park Services' newest parks and, therefore, is largely unknown to the general public. This location was once a local water source for the local population and is also a primary source of water for the Nestle Bottling Company.

The park features a 25 foot deep spring of crystal clear water that feeds directly into the Withlacoochee River. The park is the ideal swimming location for the entire family due to its proximity to the river. Within a distance of approximately 300 feet, the depth changes from about 25 feet to 6 inches!

Into scuba diving? Madison Blue Springs also allows recreational diving throughout the year. With nearly unlimited visibility, divers can explore the spring source and rock formations in clarity that is seldom experienced anywhere else in the world.

In all Florida springs, water temperature is a constant 72 degrees making it possible to swim all year long. One of the park's unique features is that the river water intermixes with the spring water only 300 feet from the source, allowing those who are sensitive to colder water to enter the spring through the warmer river.

This park also features a large picnic area with BBQ grills and pavilions for the perfect lunch with your family. After a day of swimming and diving, setting up a picnic under the shade of North Florida’s picturesque oak trees makes for the perfect ending to a day in our Sunshine State.

Madison Blue Springs is open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. to sundown. Admission is just $5 for an entire family.

Related Post:  Natural Springs in Florida