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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Manatee Springs State Park, Florida, United States

Jan 11, 2017 - Camping 2017

Well, since my old camping blog disappeared a few years ago, I decided to start a new one. Dave and I have been camping at Florida State Parks since 2004 when we bought our very first little 18 foot travel trailer. From that one we graduated to a 20 ft trailer and after that we went to a 25 ft trailer. We actually lived in that one for a while while our house in Chiefland was being built. Last year we downsized and now own a 21 ft trailer. It's easy to tow and has plenty of room for us and our cat Stewie. This is our maiden camp in this new...

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Trip Journal


Camping 2017

Nov 25, 2015 - Day 17 - Manatee Springs, Florida

Today, Wednesday before US Thanksgiving, was again sunny and getting warmer. There were 12 manatees at the mouth of the spring today, very exciting for the visitors here. We took our pontoon boat river cruise, from 4:30 to 6:00 finishing at sunset, up the Suwanee River. Paul, the guide, talked the whole time about the vultures, the history of the river, the manatees, and other wildlife. He was very good and answered questions from the six of us guests. He was friendly and easy going and pleasant to listen to. We picked up smoked chicken and...

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Nov 24, 2015 - Day 16 - Manatee Springs, Florida

This Tuesday was sunny and warmer and we went on our usual walk down the boardwalk to the mouth of the river before lunch. Surprise, there were seven manatees at the mouth of the spring. the locals say this is very early but because the river is quite low, it may have bought them here early. They are slow moving as front fins are small but have a very strong tail, shaped like a paddle. Their closest relative is the elephant. Very docile, and curious, the group today included one young one. We had a mostly lazy day. My only chore was to...

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Nov 23, 2015 - Day 15 - Manatee Springs, Florida

We were up early today to phone Rose for her 10th birthday. Talked to her for a few minutes, then they were out the door early because icy roads were slowing the drive. After breakfast, we drove to Steinhatchee, Florida to check out the town that Mel and Wendy are going to be staying in for a couple of months in new year, We could not find the place as Wendy does not have exact address as yet. The town is a fishing village on a river that opens up into the Gulf. The town is spread out so it is hard to determine how big but I would say...

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Nov 22, 2015 - Day 14 - Tallahassee, Florida to Manatee Springs, Florida

Hey, I got the sleep in today, we were not on the road until 9:45 AM, I guess because it was Sunday. It is rainy but the forecast says it will clear up soon. Heading south again, we stopped in Cross City at a new Walmart Neighbourhood Grocery., it even had self- service check-outs, the first we had seen in the US, so new that the staff is still giving instructions on use. We were able to get a site for 4 nights even though the website said they were fully booked. After setting up and having lunch, we took a stroll down to the spring and the...

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Mar 22, 2014 - Manatee Springs State Park

Cindy has this “thing” about getting every last drop of condiment out of the bottle. Sure, frugality is a good thing and I’m as frugal as the next guy… but she got “O.C.D.” on me the other night when I made spaghetti. (She’s been known to take jars out of the trash, and take a spatula to them. This time, I was gonna teach her a lesson!) After dinner, she makes this comment; “There’s still a little bit of sauce in that jar.” Oh… REALLY? I opened the jar and pulled her hand toward me… “Let’s just see how much is in here, shall we?” “HEY!...

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Dec 5, 2012 - Day 143 - Manatee Springs State Park, Florida

Our morning walk was not intimidated by the vultures today. We met two other couples at the river, both from Canada, and spent an hour talking with one of them from Ontario, comparing notes on places to stay, and things to see, while watching turtles and fish and looking for manatees. Garry decided to try snorkelling in the spring pool after lunch. He geared up in his wetsuit and spent about half an hour in the water. He says there are hundreds of catfish in there as well as some other kind of bottom feeder and dozens of other breeds of...

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The Wandering Nunns

Dec 4, 2012 - Day 142 - Manatee Springs State Park, Florida

Garry was up early, as usual, and went out exploring with his camera while I was still in bed. When I found him he said take a walk out the boardwalk to the river, and see the buzzards. When I got out there, every flat surface of the railings, the roof of the shelter, the posts for the boat dock and edges of the dock were filled with buzzards. They fought/played among themselves, pushing each other from spaces, stealing the space for themselves. They are very intimidating and I was too chicken to walk between them. Garry said he walked...

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The Wandering Nunns

Dec 3, 2012 - Day 141 - to Chiefland, Florida

We headed north today again, stopping in Crystal River for lunch. We arrived at Manatee Springs State Park in the early afternoon. After setting up, we walked around the park to see what they had to offer. This park has a "first magnitude spring" which means that it has a natural spring that produces between 35 and 150 million gallons of crystal clear freshwater daily at 72 degrees F year round. It forms a deep stream out to the Suwannee River. This river and spring provide winter refuge for West Indian Manatees from November to April. The...

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The Wandering Nunns

Jul 27, 2011 - Manatee springs, Florida

We finally made it to our first scheduled stop Manatee Springs, which after all the mechanical problems we had turned out to be our third! Darren managed to fix the exhaust manifold which kept blowing out air plugs and the transmission is now somewhat behaving....hooray! We got to the state park around 5pm and managed to squeeze our motorhome into a tight camping space in the state park. We're happy we woke early before anyone else so we got to see the wildlife and have the springs all to our selves. If all goes to plan the next stop will...

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Oct 23, 2010 - Manatee Springs, Florida

We used to go camping at Manatee Springs when we lived in Orlando, Florida. Due to the drought the water level in the spring is down about two feet. You can see the difference in the water levels from the water marks on the trees along the bank. Cypress used to be logged and the photo of the old cypress stump still shows the notch the logger used.

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Trip Journal


TravelLust USA

Jan 13, 2010 - Manatee Springs Vol II

Manatee Springs has been described as one of the gems of the Florida State Park system. Its 2400 acres cover heavily wooded hammocks dressed out in Spanish moss alongside the lower Suwannee River. There are several huge springs in this area of Florida. The ground around here acts like a giant sponge, absorbing surface water. That water then connects in underground passages, and occasionally has found ways to surface. Thus, a Manatee Springs! On average, 100 million gallons of crystal clear, 72 degree warm water pours out of the ground...

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