Manatee Park is a rare opportunity to see the endangered West Indian Manatee in its natural habitat. During the months from ... More
Manatee Springs State Park
Manatee Park is a rare opportunity to see the endangered West Indian Manatee in its natural habitat. During the months from October through March, the manatees travel to the area, attracted by the warm water discharge from the nearby Florida Power plant. The 16-acre park features viewing areas, a fishing pier, picnic areas, and native plant and butterfly gardens. There's a kayak/canoe launch to the Orange River as well. Call ahead for optimum viewing times. The park is open daily from 8a.
Just a note for anyone coming to dive the caverns here at manatee Springs State Park..
I just had an unfortunate Experience here. After driving almost two hours to come dive the caverns and spend the day kayaking here. We Checked in and drove down to the unloading area. I am a Padi Instructor and my buddy is a Master Diver with over 500 dives. We have been diving the caverns in Fla for several years since my buddy moved down here. There is NO WHERE that is written that you have to be CAVERN certified to dive in any of the caverns in Florida or anywhere else that I have ever been.... More Importantly it is not written in any of the info about Manatee Springs! However Cave certification is required to go into the caves where there is no ambient light and no direct access to the surface. Some of the Caverns that we have been to ask if you are not CAVE certified that you leave your dive lights in your bags to prevent you getting in farther than your training or good common sense.....
While checking out the entry for the manatee springs we were approached by two very RUDE female rangers who asked who I was and told me We needed to report back to the checkin and show Proper ID...aka my drivers licence... I informed her my c-card has a picture on it..and that the young lady at the checkin has it. She argued that because it was old (didnt know that 11 years ago was old) that made it invalid... I have dove the world with it and no one has ever questioned it...Then she pointed out that it was an instructor card not a cavern diver card and how I should know better. bla bla bla.... Then the pleasant ranger told us how they wern't cavern Certification cards and with out those we COULD NOT enter the CAVERNS!!!! I politely told her that she was wrong, but if those are her rules they are her rules and not those of any certifying agency, or the other Caverns in the local areas. But we would abide by them. We promptly left and drove and hour to Ginnie Springs and signed their waiver that states all other certifications levels other than cave must leave their lights in their bags.
I must say WE WERE very Disappointed because it looked like a beautiful park.... I can bet my buddy who is a local wont be in a hurry to bring any friends back to visit, and as an instructor I wont be recommending it as a dive site
These pictures are from a recent visit to Manatee Springs State Park in Ft. Myer's, FL
This is a definate must see if your in the area & want to visually experience watching the manatees swim around. It's a very beautiful & informative park with very friendly staff to make your stay a memorable one. The only cost is a $1 donation for parking & the experience is worth much more than that.
I am not a yahoo member and don't wish to become one so am not able to submit a correction. I am a Park Ranger at Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland, FL 352-493-6072. We are 4 hours North of Fort Myers.
We recently had guests from New England and took them to the Manatee Park, also our first visit there as we are new to this area.
There were numerous manatees that day, all sizes. The viewing area is such that you can actually see them rather close. Also there was an informational talk about the manatees and a very informative talk about the butterfly garden and the butterflies and their life cycle. The walk around the park grounds is very pleasant and there is even kayaking available. Before we left we enjoyed our picnic in the beautiful surroundings. We look forward to our next visit to this Lee County Park and hope there will be manatees there again. It is great for all ages!!
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