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Manatee Springs State Park, FL

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Manatee Springs SP is located about 7 miles west of Chiefland FL on State Route 320.

352 493-6072

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Arriving on a Sunday in mid-December there were plenty of empty sites to choose from. We decided on site 86 in the Hickory Loop. I was able to find a hole through the trees for our satellite TV.

Date of latest visit: Dec 2010

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Back in Feb 2007 we arrived on a Thursday afternoon and had no problem getting a site. We were assigned site #60, conveniently located near the day use area, and with a bathhouse just a short distance behind the site.

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There are 3 camping loops - this shows a large pull-through site, #93, in the Hickory Loop. All RV sites have 30A and water hookups. The bathhouse for this loop is at the right.

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Here are sites 94 - 98, starting on the right, also in the Hickory loop.

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I would put site 93 at the top of the "desireability" list. It's a large pull-through site overlooking the Catfish Hotel sinkhole.

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These are 2 of several European RV's that were here as a group. Site 42 on the right, 44 on the left. These are in the Magnolia 1 loop.

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The pick-up camper is in site 75 in the Magnolia 2 loop. All sites are quite shaded - setting up a satellite dish can be quite a challenge. You may need quite a bit of cable to reach to an opening in the trees somewhere.

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Magnolia 1 loop has the newest bathhouse.

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Manatee Spring is a large, first-order "boil", whose warm waters attract manatees in colder weather. It also offers SCUBA diving.

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A two-tenth of a mile boardwalk follows along the "run" from the boil to the Suwannee River.

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The boardwalk passes through a large cypress stand. This huge old stump still stands among cypress knees.

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Every time we have visited Manatee Springs, we've found dozens of turkey vultures in the trees along the river bank.

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The run is especially beautiful on an early mid-winter morning. The cold air over the warm water creates a shallow layer of fog, which the rising sun slowly burns off.

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On an early morning walk along the boardwalk we found this great egret patiently patrolling for his breakfast.

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Near the boil one finds a concession stand and canoe rentals. The run is closed to canoes and swimmers from Dec through March, to help protect the manatees.

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Near the Hickory camping loop is a large sinkhole known as Catfish Hotel. It is 90 feet deep and connects to more than 5 miles of underwater caverns.

Notes

The camping fee is $20/night. Reservations are made through ReserveAmerica

Hikers can enjoy 8.5 miles of trails through the woods and along the Suwannee River..

Verizon Wireless National Access is not available.

 

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