Many Florida Springs are a mecca for cave divers from around the world, and Madison Blue Springs should be a top contender for any bucket list. The cave system is extensive, stretching to include over 26,000 feet, and is accessible from a set of stairs leading to the spring hole. Only certified cave divers are permitted, and they must check in with the ranger station and either show certifications to the ranger or display it on the car.
For those interested in swimming or snorkeling, the spring is 82 feet wide and 25 feet deep, which is perfect for observing numerous turtles and fish species. Visitors should keep their eyes open for the impressive Longnose Gar, which can reach several feet long. A trail follows the contours of the spring, providing a vantage point for photography as well as a dry path to the river.
The spring runs 150 feet into the WIthlacoochee River, where it merges with the tannin-filled current in beautiful shallows that are ideal for swimming and wading alike. The jewel-colored spring is so popular it was named the best swimming hole by USA Today in 2015.
In addition to aquatic activities, the park offers grassy picnic table areas, grills, fishing, and birding opportunities. A launch area for canoes or kayaks is available, though it is located 175 yards from the parking area.