Originally opening in 1958 as a private park, Blue Springs Park has always been a popular local recreation spot.
On June 14, 2017, Florida's 45th Governor, Rick Scott, and Cabinet officials approved the acquisition of the 407-acre Blue Springs parcel in Gilchrist County. The property was purchased from Blue Springs Properties Inc., which has managed it as a private park and campground, known as Blue Springs Park , since 1958.
On October 30, 2017, Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park will officially open as Florida's 175th state park.
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park has five named springs which are all exceptionally clear. Blue Springs is the largest and is a second magnitude spring. At its deepest point, 24 feet in the main boil, there is a jumping platform that allows visitors to submerge themselves in the 72 degrees spring waters. About 50 yards of white-sand beach surround the entrance to Blue Spring providing easy walk-in access.
The other springs are smaller, but provide beautiful scenic vistas and photographic opportunities. Johnson Springs features "Aric the Giant," a very large and old cypress tree. Naked Springs is also available for swimming; it is more secluded and provides a quiter experience away from the busy main spring. Little Blue Spring is the swampy smaller sister to Blue Spring. The last-named spring is Kiefer Springs, which is only visible when the river is at higher levels.
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is located along the Gilchrist Blueway, a 55-mile paddling corridor along the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers that is meant to provide sustainable recreational opportunities while encouraging stewardship and the protection of natural resources in Gilchrist County.