Devil’s Den, Williston, Fl

 

40595685_10156025039309983_6839136975316844544_o

The entrance to the spring head is via these steps which looks more ominous than it really is. You must duck at the bottom depending on your height to get to the platform which is currently submerged due to rain. When we went, it was waist high. We stood there for a few minutes to acclimate to the 72 degree water which at first is cold, but just takes a minute or two. Other people just went right in.

40502811_10156025039574983_2559348746575937536_o

The spring is crowded on weekends, we went on a holiday weekend, which of course has a few more visitors. They do limit the number of people who are in the den and there is a rotation of people coming in and out. This is about as full as it gets. It’s most crowded on the entry platform pictured below where people are getting in and out.40484276_10156025039589983_6368417742315323392_o

There was still room to explore once you got off the ramp. Some of us lingered on the ramp a little longer than others ; ) It was cold! But I was fine after about 3 minutes, lol. Here is Jeff patiently waiting for me…40600265_10156025039674983_1765943127362764800_oIt really is magical. Felt a bit like a set for an episode of Star Trek. They give you a 2 hour limit and that really is plenty of time for one day.

40514540_10156025039774983_9091059904239632384_o

The park has a few other diving ponds (see below) however they were closed the day we went.

40479034_10156025039754983_5346493521920524288_o

They have food trucks, picinic tables, and a few games but other than that, the spring is really the only attraction at this campground which is small and basically just dirt, grass, and trees. So when camping here, you will want to venture out for some fun beyond the spring. 40524679_10156025039214983_1688296677066145792_o

We enjoyed this ice cream shop : )40470627_10156025039379983_6698086353780867072_o40533147_10156025039489983_7012556673713700864_o

We also recommend a day trip to Rainbow Springs State Park to go tubing which is about a half hour drive from Devil’s Den. Here’s a video to get a glimpse of what tubing is like at Rainbow Springs. You need to rise and shine, because the park limits the number of visitors and often fills up by 10 am and you will see lines of cars waiting for people to leave so you can get in. Rainbow Springs does have a nicer campground than Devil’s Den, but it does not have the full hook ups that our rig needs.

88060.ngsversion.1473816477738.adapt.1900.1.jpg

 

Happy Camping! – Holly

 

Blue Springs State Park

Not only do snowbirds return to Florida in the winter but so do the Manatees. One of their favorite spots when the weather cools down is in Blue Springs where the water remains a constant 72 degrees from the millions of gallons of fresh water that continually flow up into the spring.

That first evening of our last visit, the kids saw over 40 manatees! Here’s an underwater view…

20121116-233232.jpg

We had hoped to go tubing, but the spring run was closed to protect the many manatees.

20121116-233258.jpg
20121116-233313.jpg

We also observed tarpon and other fish in the crystal clear water.

20121116-233451.jpg

There are 6 cabins at Blue Springs which need to be reserved many months in advance through Reserve America. They have plenty of tent sites too.

20121116-233501.jpg
20121116-233511.jpg

The cabins are clean and fully equipped and we had a great night sleep in their beds. Plenty of picnic tables and a handy grill and campfire ring with enough room for 7 lawn chairs. All appliances worked in the kitchen – oven, microwave, dishwasher and all were clean. I will probably bring a few of my own pots and pans next time though and a pack of 9×13 foil pans from SAMs club were indispensable as well as pre-purchased firewood because collecting firewood on-site is prohibited at all state parks.

Beautiful scenery, relaxing weekend, great kids, multitudes of manatees… November days well spent at Blue Springs State Park

20121116-233524.jpg
20121116-233544.jpg
20121116-233559.jpg
20121116-233606.jpg
20121116-233632.jpg
20121116-233730.jpg
20121116-233845.jpg
20121116-234004.jpg
20121116-234017.jpg