Looking down the Suwannee River from Fanning Springs State Park

Technically, Fanning Springs is a second-magnitude spring, producing less than 65 million gallons of water per day. Twenty years ago, it produced more. Still, this is fresh water pouring out of the ground at a steady 72°F year round. At times, weather conditions and spring water flows can allow the tea-colored river water to overlay the crystal clear waters of the spring. Swimmers, divers and snorkelers enjoy the water most during Florida's hot season. The winter will often see manatees congregating here in the relatively warmer water.

Swimming, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking, fishing, hiking and wildlife watching are common activities at Fanning Springs State Park but the only camping allowed is of the primitive type, and that is only for folks who enter the park on foot, bicycle or by paddling in on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. No overnight parking is allowed on the property unless you happen to be renting one of the five full-service cabins for the night. The park has a series of boardwalks along the edge of the river that make for some great overlooks... There is also a 3/4-mile nature trail leading through an upland area of mixed hardwood and pine forest, complete with sinkholes in the karst topography.

Fanning Springs State Park is open from 8 am until sunset, every day of the year. Entry fees: $6 per vehicle for two to eight occupants. $4 for single occupant vehicles. $2 each for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers. If the Entrance Station is closed, pay $2 per person into the honor box just inside the entrance. Boaters also need to pay $2 per person into the honor box at the dock on the river. The large picnic pavilion can be rented for $25 (plus tax) per day; the two smaller pavilions for $15 (plus tax) per day. Primitive camping runs $5 per site per night for wilderness trail users only. The cabins rent for $100 per night (plus tax).

Fanning Springs State Park is located on the east side of a loop in the Suwannee River, right off US Highways 19/98 in Fanning Springs.