CLOSED while damage is assessed from Hurricane Idalia.
A long-time local swimming hole, Lafayette Blue Springs State Park offers a splashing good time.
Karst geology is on display within the the spring basin, with a natural bridge spanning two natural pools when the water matches normal river levels.
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Length: 1 mile loop
Trailhead: 30.1266, -83.2267
Address: 799 NW Blue Spring Rd, Mayo
Fees: $5 per vehicle
Restroom: At the picnic area
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM to sunset. Leashed dogs welcome except in cabins.
From the junction of SR 51 and US 27 in downtown Mayo, follow US 27 north for 4.8 miles to CR 292. Turn right and drive north 2.1 miles. Turn right on Blue Springs Rd and drive a half mile to the park entrance. From Interstate 10, take SR 255 south from Lee for 3.2 miles. Join SR 53 and continue south another 9.4 miles, passing through the small town of Day. Turn right on CR 290, which makes a 90-degree-turn at a separate entrance into the park for Allen Mill Pond. The road becomes CR 292. Drive another 2.2 miles south to Blue Springs Rd, the entrance to the park.
About the Park
With canyon-like walls rising above deep rock-edged pools and a rocky natural bridge, Lafayette Blue Spring is one of the more compelling natural wonders along the Suwannee.
But it’s not the only spring, just the showiest. In the hardwood forest above the spring basin, waters rise from deep within the earth, surfacing in a sinkhole.
A spring run emerges and runs through a ravine, the waters vanishing into a swallet to re-emerge at the lower level with the natural bridge.
While not as obvious as the one between the sinkholes, that means the road around the spring and the trail are on a natural bridge, too.
An entirely separate tract of the park at Allen Mill Pond has direct access to the banks of the Suwannee at Ezell Landing across the river from Charles Spring.
While there is no established trail, the showy outflow of the springs flows past ancient cypress. Massive oaks are on the bluffs of the uplands.
A scenic nature trail, the half-mile Green Sink Trail loops the ravines on a narrow path above the sinkholes and spring run.
An amble from the picnic area down towards the main spring puts you within view of the entrance to that trail across the park road.
A pathway leads downslope along the bluff above the spring, with stairs down to the natural bridge and a ramp that curves around to an observation deck.
The outflow of the spring rushes past it to merge into the tannic waters of the Suwannee River.
Another staircase on the opposite side of the spring leads from river level up the bluff, with a sign welcoming paddlers.
A walk along the nature trail, around the spring basin, and to and around the campground at the end of the dirt road adds up to a mile.
A set of cabins top the bluff within sight of the picnic area and all of them are on stilts, a nod to the unpredictable nature of the river.
Camping is otherwise primitive, with walk-in sites available along a loop a short distance down a dirt road from the spring basin.
A separate group camp may be reserved for youth groups. Call the park for details.
More two miles of mapped underway passageways extend into the Floridan aquifer from the main basin at Lafayette Blue Springs.
Teams of no less than two certified cave divers can register at the ranger station before proceeding to the spring for a dive. See the park website for regulations and cautions.
A stop for paddlers along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, Lafayette Blue Springs offers both tent camping and potable water at its restrooms.
The boat ramp not far from the picnic area restrooms and rental cabins can be used for launches and landings.
Paddlers can also launch into the Suwannee at Ezell Landing on the Allen Mill Pond tract.
Learn more about the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail
See our photos of Lafayette Blue Springs State Park
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.