Blue Spring State Park, home to manatees in the winter and a favorite place for a swim in clear, bracing spring water in the summer, will allow visitors to stay one hour after closing during firefly season from now through March 31.
Really? When I first read this, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke. As a South Florida resident, am I alone in my ignorance of “firefly season”? But I did a quick Google search, and, indeed, Central Florida is awash with fireflies at dusk near bodies of water in the late March and early April.
There is a firefly season and Blue Spring, located 35 miles north of Orlando in Orange City, is firefly central.
In 2019, “firefly season” began in mid March and will continue through Sunday, March 31.
To allow visitors to enjoy this phenomenon, Blue Spring lets visitors stay after the traditional closing time to see “Mother Nature’s light show.”
Here’s how it works:
You must must arrive before sundown to gain admission. Please bring a flashlight to safely navigate the paths and boardwalks after dark. Best viewing is along the boardwalk between the Thursby House and the Spring Boil. Insect repellent for mosquitoes may be needed.
One park staff member describes the scene as “pretty spectacular …..It’s like a bunch of Christmas lights thrown out there into the woods.”
Check out this Florida Rambler story on the nearby Wekiva River Basin.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection web site about Florida’s Springs
For campground reservations, call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern) or TDD (888) 433-0287, or online at Florida State Parks.
Take Interstate 4 to exit 114 (State Road 472) and follow the signs to U.S. 17/92. Go a little more than two miles south on 17/92 to the traffic light at French Ave. Turn right and go two miles through a neighborhood of modest homes to Blue Spring State Park.