Located on the Suwannee River, this inviting source of cool, clear water has attracted people for thousands of years. Fanning Springs now produces less than 65 million gallons of water daily, making it a second magnitude spring. Historically, Fanning Spring was a first-magnitude springs as recently as the 1990s. Swimming or snorkeling in the spring is a refreshing activity on a hot day. Visitors can enter the park by boat from the Suwannee River or by car from U.S. 19/98. Visitors enjoy the picnic area, playground and sandy volleyball court. A boardwalk overlooks the spring and river. White-tailed deer, gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers and barred owls are some of the animals seen in the park. Manatees sometimes visit the spring during the winter months. Five full-service cabins are available for rent. Overnight vehicle parking for primitive campers is not permitted. Primitive camping is available only for those arriving by foot, bicycle or paddling on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.
For those doing day trips, don’t forget the Nature Coast State Trail and Manatee Springs State Park. The Nature Coast State Trail provides an excellent opportunity to experience the Sunshine State's Natural North Florida. In the early 1900s, trains were replacing the steamship as the freight and passenger carrier throughout the Suwannee River Valley. Today, visitors can retrace this historic route of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad, traversing 32 miles of Florida's beautiful Nature Coast region. It consists of two primary alignments built along abandoned rail lines that intersect at Wilcox Junction, connecting the communities of Cross City, Trenton, Fanning Springs and Chiefland.
Manatee Springs State Park is a first-magnitude spring at this park produces an average of 100 million gallons of clear, cool water daily. In winter, West Indian manatees swim upriver to the warmer waters of the springs. Popular for snorkeling and scuba diving, the headwaters of the spring are also a great spot for swimming. The spring run forms a sparkling stream that meanders through hardwood wetlands to the Suwannee River.
Directions to this Park