Jackson Blue Springs Recreation Area in Marianna, FL, is a watery wonderland boasting rich blue colors and a vast open pool with a developed swimming area around a first-magnitude spring. The seasonal park is open every day from the end of May through July, and then just weekends during August and September.
The main Blue Springs area has been used for centuries since prehistoric times and was also a favored hunting ground for tribal peoples. Spanish explorers also trekked through the region and wrote about their experiences there in documents.
During the 19th century, the springs were a part of plantations and served as a Confederate camp during the war. Post-Civil-war era, Blue Springs became a popular place for picnics, vacationers, and even old-fashioned baptisms.
The Blue Springs provides water to Merritt’s Mill Pond, a 202-acre reservoir and well-known fishing spot. For the last four decades, this principal spring and headwaters have been subcontracted to Jackson County and operated as a leisure facility with swimming, picnicking, and some scuba diving instruction and discovery.
Before that, the U.S. government operated the facility for officers at Graham Air Force Base.
With a year-round water temperature in the range of 68-72℉, Jackson Blue Springs pumps an impressive 64.6 million gallons daily. The crystalline fluid is one of the most visually stunning in the region and is built for visitors. Surrounded by trees and many types of birds, the peaceful atmosphere is very popular among residents and visitors.
Swimming, Scuba, Tubing and Other Activities
The recreation area is known for many activities both on land and water. With such clean, clear water, snorkeling and swimming are fantastic ways to cool off on a hot day. Boat and innertube rentals are available on-site for an hourly rate.
The park also has many facilities like a kids’ playground, basketball courts, volleyball courts, benches, and picnic tables. Sunbathing around the spring is also pretty popular, especially on a warm summer day.
Pavillions are rentable for the day, and anyone interested in cave diving must show their certification and pay a fee. Divers may arrange trips throughout the year through the Cave Adventures organization, but they are the only ones allowed in during the off-season. Day passes, and annual passes can be purchased.
Address: 5461 Blue Springs Rd, Marianna, Florida 32446
Season: Memorial Day to Labor Day