Manatee Springs Update

Discussion in 'Florida' started by scubacamper, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    I've read with interest some of you that live here in FL haven't been to Manatee Springs...WHY?
    We've now been there twice this year already and though the water is currently up and swimming is closed the campsites are very open and accessible. With only a few exceptions there are plenty whenever you want to go and even cabins for those who want to feel like you're at a resort. They recently redid the bathhouses / restrooms and nature abounds. The deer love marshmallows and will almost take them out of your hand. The raccoons and opossums are around every night often ignoring you if you make a late night head call. For us Divers it's both an open water (spring side) and a cave dive (sink side-Catfish Hotel). There are 2 loops and we've camped at both this year and there's pluses and minuses to both but we weren't disappointed at either loop.

    Check out www.floridastateparks.org and check it out. Also the town of Chiefland is nearby with anything you may have forgotten and a wonderful Bar-B-Q place just out on the main drag. We stop every time we're down there. I have heard others say it's good for only one night but I would disagree. We've been there for multiple days and there's always something new to find to do. Also if you play golf a local course is about a mile from the main gate.

    Hope you enjoy.

    Doc
     
  2. jmcclung11

    jmcclung11 Active Member

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    We liked Manatee Springs and will go back. But, people shouldn't feed the wildlife. Makes them too tame to eat their natural food. Now that we have the kayaks, would love to go kayaking up and down the river.
     
  3. Bmoore257

    Bmoore257 New Member

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    I've heard great things about Manatee. Might get there this summer. I like wooded campsites and I believe that park has them.
     
  4. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    Just about everyone is wooded and we like it.

    Doc
     
  5. cuckoo

    cuckoo Active Member

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    Sounds like Bill would love this place...
     
  6. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

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    I do love that place!

    Glad they redid the bathrooms!

    If you book online, I may be wrong, but I think this is the park that has a whole loop that does not show up on line. Lots of spaces.

    FL Bill
     
  7. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    That was true last year as they were open only for those who drove up or the locals as the loop was under construction but now it should be available.

    Doc
     
  8. clif1025

    clif1025 New Member

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    We have been there twice so far. Last July, and again this past February. Had a great time both times. We are looking at going back again sometime this summer. It needs to be hot out to make that 72 degree water feel good. [8D]
     
  9. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    Clif,

    Here's a thought, think "wetsuit". As a scuba diver I keep mine with me whenever we go.

    Doc :)
     
  10. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    I have lived in central florida for 45 years and have only been to Manatee springs one time. Last July for a day trip. And we loved it.

    We were standing in a camping spot just checking it out and two dear just came walking by, its was so wonderful just to watch them.

    Loved the springs, we didn't camp or swim. Just went to check it out.

    I was just looking online this weekend to see what was available for our July trip. And seen a ton of spots open. Like a whole loop. I thought that was odd for July.

    But I guess with swimming closed that could be the reason.


    How do we find out if its still closed?

    Sharon
     
  11. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    Sharon,

    Call their local number that you can get from the website... www.floridastateparks.org or I happen to have it on my cell... (352) 493-6072.

    Doc
     
  12. Bmoore257

    Bmoore257 New Member

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    Headed to Manatee Springs in a couple of weeks. Plan to kayak and hike the trails. We'll probably dip our toes into the springs [:D] . Looking forward to it.
     
  13. Bmoore257

    Bmoore257 New Member

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    Just spent 3 days at Manatee. We absolutely loved it. By far, our favorite State Park Campground so far. Deer were everywhere throughout the CG. They would walk right thru our camp site if we were relaxed. The Spring was awesome. We could only do a short trip, but we plan to come back soon and stay longer. Ticks were kind of bad, but that's part of being in the woods. Just spray down if you go.
     
  14. williamtalbott

    williamtalbott slacker since 1981!

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    I loved it when I went two years ago ,very peaceful and lots to do especially for the kids ,playgrounds the water great fishing dock all the way at the end, etc.. they even have a small convenience store right at the entrance of the park just in case you ran out of something ,I think it is managed by the park people ,but all and all I loved it!, and im planning for the future to go again, my problem is that it is quite a drive for me, but it is totally worth it believe me when we went there they told me that the water is 70 degrees almost all year round
     
  15. Bmoore257

    Bmoore257 New Member

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    Yeah, it's a bit of a drive for us. A 4 or 5 day trip would be better. The store has closed down unfortunately but Walmart is only 6 miles away. They have a concession stand at the spring, too.
     
  16. BillBlackett

    BillBlackett Member

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    I just spent 2 nights at Manatee Springs. I would have liked to stay one more day, but we had to get back for a Christmas Eve family get together.

    Pros:
    - Very friendly and helpful staff
    - Tons of wildlife. We were fortunate to see two manatees on our first day there, but there is plenty of other critters around the spring, the river and the campground.
    - Nice Playground for the kids
    - I'm not a scuba diver, but I rented goggles from the concession stand, and spent a good couple hours exploring the spring.
    - Nice weather - Florida in December and January is very pleasant. We neither had to put on the heat, nor the AC.

    Cons:
    - It's definitely off the beaten path as far as Florida vacations go. Although some people would consider that to be a plus.
    - The racoons and armadillos were clearly far too comfortable around humans. The dumpsters should really have proper wildlife lids on them.
     
  17. bjugrad79

    bjugrad79 New Member

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    I live in northern IN, but my wife has relatives near Chiefland and we have been to Manatee many times. It's a great place to visit- well worth the time.
     
  18. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    If you want to get wet and enjoy the 68-72 degree water NOW is the time. With water temps being that high and the air temps in the 40's to 60's the water feels warmer and you might not want to get out. We cave dive in the winter specifically because there are very few swimmers stirring up the silt and because the water feels so much warmer than the outside ambient air.
     
  19. williamtalbott

    williamtalbott slacker since 1981!

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    i have been to manatee springs once and i really loved it ,crystal clear waters ,some stuff floats on the water that my kids saw coming from the bottom cave , the fishing /pier area at the end of the spring was amazing ,lost of fish splashing around,great view ,the campgrounds where very accessible and the bathrooms where clean , all and all a great experience. [PU]
     
  20. dmonette

    dmonette Member

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    We planned a trip there back in late January. We will be there this thursday until tuesday. So far the weather forecast sucks.
     

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