Blue Springs Manatee Tours Orlando

Kayaking Blue Springs

 Orlando Manatee Tours

The Manatee Experience


Join us for amazing manatee tours in Blue Springs State Park near Orlando. Kayaking Blue Springs is a magnificent Florida kayaking tour. If you're visiting Orlando, Blue Springs State Park is about thirty minutes from the Orlando metropolitan area.

Attention - The spring is closed due to the construction of stabilizing the shoreline. The St Johns River is open and full of wildlife, including the possibility of seeing resident manatees, and swimming is allowed in the river.

Blue Springs Winter Home of a Record-Breaking  736 Manatees New Years Day 2024

The manatees of Blue Springs are spectacular to watch, and our guided manatee kayaking tours are some of Florida's most amazing wildlife adventures. We also offer Paddle Boards for this tour. Blue Springs State Park is a Florida manatee winter sanctuary in the cold, winter months, with over 736 manatees recorded at one time. Kayaking or paddle boarding is the best way to enjoy these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. Step outside and enjoy a relaxing, informative, and slow-paced manatee tour in this little wildlife paradise.

Sit back and relish in the natural splendor, as your friendly naturalist guide enlightens you about some of Florida's amazing wildlife and the unique history of Blue Springs. Our guides will also take pictures of you and your experience, for lasting memories of your adventure. This kayaking tour is also a beautiful wildlife adventure in the spring and summer, with crystal clear water, and Florida wildlife including fish, amazing water birds, alligators, otters, wild turkeys, a pair of bald eagles, and even some resident manatees.

 Of course, these animals are wild, and there is no guarantee to see all of them, however, you have as good a chance to see wildlife here, as in any place in Florida, The kayaking tours paddles through two state parks, Blue Springs & Hontoon Island, with thousands of acres of wetlands. Truly a real, and wild Florida adventure!

Blue Springs Summer Time Fun

Learn to Paddle Board!

In the spring and summer months, the manatee migration is over, however, there are resident manatees that come to the spring often, and still tons of wildlife to see. Blue Springs State Park opens the spring on April 1 to paddlers and offers swimming as well. We offer paddle board lessons with our Eco wildlife tours. 

Guided Tour Pricing Fast Facts -

Public Tours - $80.00  for solo/single kayaks & $150.00 for tandem kayaks

Private tours - $ 95.00 per person. 5-person minimum Kayaks or Paddle Boards

Tour times - 9:00 am ( beat the heat) & noon We see much more wildlife in the mornings, foraging for their morning breakfast.

Tour location - French Landing 2398 W French Ave Orange City 32763

Tour duration - 2 hours

Tour distance - about 2 miles

Please see below for more details.


Call or Text - 407-205-3631


Our kayaking tour meanders up the beautiful Snake Creek, which is part of the St Johns River Watershed, and part of Hontoon Island State Park. Our kayak tours paddles through two amazing Florida State Parks and the beauty of this area is home to a wide range of Florida native wildlife, as well as some migrating visitors. So what are you waiting for? Join us on an amazing kayak wildlife tour in Blue Springs State Park today!

Blue Springs Kayaking Tours


We offer these kayaking adventures as public group or private kayaking tour. The prime prime time manatee migration season, is usually Nov 15 through March 15 with chances to see hundreds of manatees, pending the cool weather.

In the spring and summer months, there are a few resident manatees, however there is no guarantee to see them. Wildlife that may be seen is alligators, otters, turkeys, deer, bald eagles, and vast array of epic water birds. The spring is open to kayaks in the spring and summer, and pumps out up to 101 million gallons of crystal clear water a day. Your guide will explain the different species of fish and the delicate Eco system as well as some very cool steam boat history of the park.

Blue Springs State Park is located at 2398 W French Ave. Orange City Fl. 32763. This is a family friendly kayak tour. We perform a short paddle clinic before each tour, as well as a full paddle board lesson for beginner paddle boarders if you choose to take a paddle board rather than a kayak. Kids 5-15 years old must ride in a tandem kayak with a parent. Sorry, because of the distance and safety. No kids under kids under 5 on our public tours, kids under 5 are welcome on our private tours. Our guides are great, please don't forget them!  Gratuity is not included in the price. Just let us know at the end of the tour if you would like to add a tip to your credit card.

Kayak Tour Time : 9:00 & 12:00 The mornings are a much more pleasant experience, much quieter and we see much more wildlife. Prime time for the manatee migration is Dec. through Feb. cold days are the best time to see hundreds of manatees if the water is below 68 degrees in the river. Keep in mind, on warmer days in the winter there is no guarantee to see manatees.

Kayak Tour Location :  Meet us at French Landing located at 2398 W French Ave. Orange City 32763. You will receive detailed instructions on your confirmation email, please read it carefully.

Paddle Distance :  About  2 miles

Paddle Duration :  2 hours pending how much fun we are having

Equipment  We offer solo, and  tandem kayaks as well as paddle boards for this adventure. We use sit on top kayaks with integrated seats, which are very comfortable for your lower back. We also use lightweight carbon fiber paddles that are easy on your shoulders.

What to Bring :  Wet shoes or shoes that can get wet, hat, sunblock, snacks, change of clothes and camera, water. We will take pictures of your adventure. In the summer just bring your bathing suite or shorts.

 Tour Includes  kayak, PFD, paddle, dry bag, and a friendly, professional naturalist kayak guide equipped with a camera to capture lasting memories. Kids under 15, must ride in a tandem kayak with an adult.

Our guides are great, please remember them. Gratuity is not included in the price.

Private Tours

We offer paddle boards, and solo and tandem kayaks for our private tours with a four person minimum

Reservations for this tour must be made and pre paid 24 hours in advance online credit card is required. Must be 18 yrs old or accompanied by an adult. Kids under 5-15 years old must ride in a tandem kayak with an adult. We require a 24 hour cancellation notice for any and all refunds, or rescheduling.

There are no refunds and no rescheduling without a 24 hour cancellation notice.

Any and all cancellations by Kayaking Florida due to weather or for any reason, the customer will receive a full refund of all charges. You will be notified by email and text of weather updates and in the event of a cancellation of this tour.


A Note from the Owner

Feeling a bit worried lately? Stress got you down? You might be suffering from nature deficit disorder. We have the cure!

The Elegant Beauty of Kayaking Blue Springs State Park

Kayaking Blue Springs is one of Florida's most exciting and captivating kayaking tours. Kayaking along the spring run and the amazing St. Johns River, elevates one's senses and brings awareness of the areas raw natural beauty. The spring can pump up to 102 million gallons of crystal clear water a day. Kayaking down some the small tributaries off the St. Johns River, gives you a true feeling of old Florida with wildlife at almost every turn. The huge cypress trees drape over the forest wetland, as if they were standing guard over all the abundant life beneath them. Kayaking Blue Springs can bring a blissful calm to the soul, and a peaceful awareness of the simplistic elegance of nature. Relax & Enjoy!

Greg Braswell - Florida Native, UF Master Naturalist, Owner/Guide - Kayaking Florida


History of Blue Springs

Blue Springs is rich in history. Blue Springs was visited by botanist John Bartram in 1776. John Bartram is an early American botanist and explorer. He is called the father of botany. He is also the father of William Bartram, a famous naturalist, botanist and explorer. John sketched and wrote about the flora and fauna of Florida and the St Johns River.

In 1856, a New Yorker by the name Louis Thursby bought Blue Springs and moved his family down to a small wooden shack, and started an orang growing business. A few years later he built a large plantation style home on top of a Indian midden, which still stands on the property today. Thursby's Blue Springs Landing was a hot spot for steam boat activity, shipping goods and tourists back and forth to Jacksonville on the St Johns River.

In 1880 the railroad came in and eventually the steam boats became a thing of the past. In the 1890's a killing freeze occurred, wiping out the citrus grove pushing the industry further south. Thursby and his family switched his focus to the tourist trade, and took advantage of the beautiful spring and excellent hunting and fishing opportunities along the St Johns River.

In 1971 a famous French marine biologist by the name of Jacques Cousteau filmed a documentary about the manatees of Blue Springs for an episode of a very popular program on TV called the Under Water World of Jacques Cousteau. The episode was called the forgotten mermaids. The documentary highlighted the Florida manatees and the importance of Blue Springs as the manatees winter refuge. Bringing attention to Blue Springs sparked the Florida department of environmental protection to purchased the land one year later in 1972, and begin the manatee protection program.


The St Johns River

The Saint Johns River is the longest river in Florida. The river is 310 miles long and begins south in Indian River county, and flows north to Mayport in Jacksonville, where is dumps into the Atlantic Ocean. It's been called the lazy river because it flows at a rate of 3 mph. There is only 30 ft. difference in elevation between the headwaters and the mouth of the river, Blue Springs is the largest spring on the St Johns River.

Kayaking Blue Springs Manatee Tours

Manatee Fun Facts

  • Florida manatees are a subspecies of the west Indian manatee.
  • Closest living relative is the elephant & hyrax.
  • Fossil records date back 45 million years. The oldest fossil found was in Jamaica.
  • The word manatee is a Caribbean word meaning breast.
  • The fossils show that manatees were amphibious creatures with four legs about the size of a pig.
  • Average length is 9-11.5 ft. / Average weight is 450-1200 pounds.
  • Largest on record is 15 ft and 3,649 pounds.
  • Average life span per FWC is 30 years.
  • Snooty was a captive manatee that lived 69 years.
  • Manatee are herbivores. They eat about 60 different plant species with sea grass being their major food source.
  • They can consume up to 10% to 15% of their body weight per day.
  • The average manatee has about 50 ft of intestines which is very long for a animal of this size.
  • Manatees have a very low metabolic rate.
  • Manatees lack the insulating body fat to keep to keep them warm. They can't survive in prolong water temperature below 68 degrees.
  • Manatees are very agile and swim up to 20 mph in short bursts, however usually swims at 2-3 mph. They can dive up to 20 min. while resting and 4-5 min not resting.
  • Manatees are solitary animals except during mating herds and when they are staying warm in the 72 degree springs. The females are larger than the males.
  • Manatees are non territorial and do not have complex predator avoidance behavior. They have no common predators, not even alligators.
  • Manatee have been called experiments of nature by scientist.
  • Man and the loss of warm water habitat, such as springs are the only real threat to our beautiful FL manatees. With more and more people moving to Florida. Our creeks and rivers are getting crowded with boats. Please slow down and be aware of these magnificent animals.



Florida Wildlife Commission Viewing Guide Line for the Florida Manatee


The Florida manatee is a threatened species and is protected by federal and state law. Please do not disturb or harass manatees. Harassment is defined as any activity that alters the animal's natural behavior. By altering the manatee's natural behavior, you may create the likelihood of danger that is bad for the animal and against the law.

Look, but don't touch. Please don't feed manatees or give them water. If manatees become accustomed to being around humans, it can alter their behavior in the wild, perhaps causing them to lose their natural fear of boats and people, which may make them more susceptible to injury or death. .
Do not pursue or chase a manatee.
Never poke, prod or stab a manatee with your hands, feet or any object.
If a manatee avoids you, do not chase the animal for a closer view.
Give manatees space to move. Avoid isolating or singling out an individual manatee from its group and do not separate a cow and her calf.
Keep hands and objects to yourself. Don't attempt to snag, hook, hold, grab, pinch, hit or ride a manatee.

Would you like to see some wild monkeys and more manatees? Join us in the jungle at a" Silver Springs State Park.

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We are always happy to answer any questions or concerns you have. Please fill out the form below and will we contact you soon!

We look forward to seeing you at Blue Springs State Park!
Here is our meeting point!<

Kayaking Blue Springs Manatee Tours
2109 West French Ave.
Orange City Fl 32763