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Old 08-19-2014, 05:44 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Hilliard, Florida
Posts: 2,532
Florida has more first-magnitude springs than any other state or nation, period

Just got back from Manatee Springs SP. You can't beat the price for Florida Seniors... $10 per night, plus tax.

All the staff and volunteers were helpful and courteous.

We enjoyed seeing all the small deer... one in particular would come right up to me and take apple from my hand... a few beautiful water snakes at the Spring, and sturgeon jumping in the Suwannee, but no manatee was sighted; of course it is not cold enough yet. One afternoon a curious small gator came into the spring head to check things out; requiring a park ranger to get involved. The park Spring was wonderfully refreshing, no doubt. But some of the park, OK, nearly all of the park is run down and is in need of a lot of TLC. They are going to shut down Magnolia 1 on September 1 this year, to begin work on that particular loop, adding handicap pads (so I am told) and building a new comfort station on that loop (about 40 sites on Mag 1).

The park has virtually no cell or internet coverage. All sites are dirt and decayed leaves and get very nasty when it rains, which we had some of. The roads are also dirt and full of pot holes that fill up with water and mud. The comfort station at Mag 1, is the worst I have ever seen at any park as far as I can remember, with 3 of 4 toilets backed up, one day, but again, it is being rebuilt soon. Hickory and Mag 2 were not that bad as far as the comfort stations go. The bugs actually weren't that bad, but we did pick off a few ticks.

We drove the truck to Cedar Key on a rain-threatening day, enjoying Tony's famous clam chowder, which is indeed wonderful! Other days, we rode the motorcycle... to Yankeetown and up to Steinhatchee. Yes, the roads are long straight and boring, but smooth... like most of FL, this is the case. I got out early because by late afternoon it was either bumping the mid-90 degrees or a rain. But, how beautiful is Yankeetown! and the terminus of CR-40!! Steinhatchee is worth a visit, too. It was a bit hot and humid as usual, but worth it.

Fanning Springs is just up the road, if you want to see another first-magnitude Spring close by. First-magnitude is springs that flow from 50 to 150 million gallons a day. Florida has over 33 of them. Scuba cave divers frequent these springs.

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Old 08-19-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: NW
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Great write up...Thanks for the info!

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Old 08-19-2014, 09:14 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 188
The top side isn't bad but the cave systems in Florida are some
Of the best.

Cave diving is one of my pass times and Florida is great for it. A lot of good friends great people down there

Glad to hear they are cleaning up manatee
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