• Manatee Springs State Park

  • LocationTypeDistance From UsPermitted Diving
    Chiefland Florida State Park 10-15 Minutes Open Water / Cavern / Cave
  •  Manatee Springs State Park is located approximately 7 miles west of Chiefland off of State Highway 320.

     The spring is in a densely wooded area on the Suwannee River. Its pool is bounded on the north by cypress and gum trees and marsh shrubs, and on the south by a pine grove and picnic area. The pool is about 100 ft in diameter and is deepest at the boil near its center. The spring orifice is under a ledge near the center of the pool. The spring discharges southward to the Suwannee River through a 1,200 foot run.

    Since this is a state park, there is an entrance fee and one must check in and show proof of certification before diving. Open water divers are welcome to explore the spring and catfish hotel sink basin, but only those certified in cavern or cave diving may use lights. During the winter months, manatees often hang around the warm waters of the spring. 

    Recently the park changed its method of calculating the total amount of divers allowed in the park per day.  Previously you needed to make a reservation and the divers were all calculated together (Open water and Cavern/Cave Divers).  Now, reservations are no longer required and divers are checked in on a first come first serve basis.  Also, Open Water divers and Cavern/Cave Divers now have their own separate "maximum counts" per day.  So if a dive class shows up with 30 people it does not close out the cavern/cave divers for the day.  Also, if you are cave diving and want to enter at Friedman sink there is a limited number that are allowed in that sink at a time.  

    It is always a good idea to call ahead and check current diver loads for the time of year before making the trip out.

    Typical State Park Fees Apply (or you can use an annual pass if you have one).

    Manatee Springs State Park
    11650 N.W. 115th Street
    Chiefland, Florida 32626
    Phone: 352-493-6072

    Official Manatee Springs Website