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Ultimate Guide to Madison Blue Spring State Park, Florida (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

Ultimate Guide to Madison Blue Spring State Park, Florida (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

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Madison Blue Spring State Park is a relatively new attraction in Florida. It has a crystal-clear magnitude spring and is very popular for its swimming and scuba diving facilities. In 2015, the park was recognized as the best swimming hole in the US. 

Madison Blue Spring State Park Cover Image
Photo Credit: Florida Springs Map

The state park is visited by thousands of people every year to view the 82 ft wide spring that bubbles up in a limestone basin on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River. The woodlands act as a perfect setting for wildlife viewing and picnicking.

History of Madison Blue Spring State Park

In the early days, the Madison Blue Spring was used as a source of freshwater by the local inhabitants. The park was set up after the private owner sold 38 acres in 2000. Today, the park is an internationally known diving destination, and cave systems afford beautiful underwater scenery and many recreational opportunities.

More than 26,000 ft of underground passages have been explored to date, and it provides a perfect habitat for cave-dwelling invertebrates. The park plays a major role in protecting national significant karst topography, including the limestone outcroppings. 

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Geological Cave Formations

The park has an extensive cave system and is known for its Karst topography. The rocks above the spring are limestone outcroppings with great geological significance and hence protected. 

Wildlife in Madison Blue Spring State Park

The wildlife you would encounter includes catfish, freshwater turtles, and sunfish. The cave system at the park has two to three species of crustaceans. 

Is Madison Blue Spring State Park Haunted?

Madison Blue Spring State Park is a favorite haunt among cave diving enthusiasts. There have been many instances of people talking about shadow figures seen in the caves. They usually float in the water and suddenly attach themselves to the back of the diver.

A story goes that a strange thing happened to a couple a few years back when they were having a blast. The girlfriend suddenly screamed and swam away from the spot in sheer panic. Her boyfriend quickly came there, and the girl told him that there was something on her back and he needed to throw it off. Unfortunately, the guy couldn’t see anything on her back, but he did see claw marks on the shoulders. 

How Big is Madison Blue Spring State Park?

The park’s main attraction is the Madison Blue Spring, which is 82 ft wide, 25 ft deep, and has a length of 150 ft. 

Madison Blue Spring State Park
Photo Credit: Top Hot Springs

Madison Blue Spring State Park Tours

Madison Blue Springs is widely regarded as one of the top cave dives in Florida, and it boasts 26,000 ft of mapped passages. However, only certified cave divers are encouraged to explore the tight spaces beneath the crystal-clear blue waters. Solo diving is strictly not allowed due to the difficulty level of the dive. 

The Martz sink entrance is around 650 ft past the main parking area. When you use this entrance, you can get further into the cave. However, it is not at all easy although stairs are provided. Apart from the Martz sink offshoot, there are two main areas of interest. When you jump near the front of the cave, it will take you to the Godzilla Room circuit. You will love the unusual formations and how the cave topography changes by the minute.

Further, into the cave, a tunnel leads to an entirely separate cave system known as the Courtyard. This one is for cave divers with advanced certifications, and only certified cave divers will be allowed to jump in and explore the cave system. 

Tour Prices and Discounts

There is a charge of USD 4 to 5 for every vehicle and a fee of USD 2 for pedestrians and bicyclists. If you are into scuba diving, then be prepared to shell out USD 10 per diver, which includes the admission fee. State Park Passes are honored at Madison Blue Springs State Park.  

Is Madison Blue Spring State Park Cold?

The temperature is a constant 72 degrees F throughout the year. 

What to Wear?

You should wear loose, comfortable clothes but what is essential is that you must bring water shoes. Many families also prefer to bring a float as people enjoy floating in the river 

Madison Blue Spring State Park Hours

The state park is open from 8 am till sundown, all 365 days of the year. 


What to Do (Beside Tours)

At Madison Blue Spring State Park, it is difficult to feel bored. There are so many things to do here that you sometimes feel that you should come back here week after week! 


Some stairs will take you down to the water level making the spring a hot destination for a cool swim. If you ever wanted to take a plunge in a Florida spring, then this is it. There is no diving platform, but you can jump in. The clarity of the water is simply outstanding, but you should swim with care as lifeguards are not provided. 


There is a small canoe launch area that gives access to the river. However, you will not find any canoe rentals on the site, but the area outfitters will provide the required services. 

Scuba Diving

Madison Blue Spring State Park scuba diving

The park strongly recommends that all divers dive within their certification limits. The C-card must be displayed in full view on the vehicle dashboard, and all divers must get out of the water at least one hour before sunset. There is a fee of USD 10 per diver that includes the admission fee. 


There is a great picnic area in the clearing just behind the spring. Three huge picnic pavilions are suitable for groups. Grills and picnic tables are readily available here. The park has also provided a volleyball area with a net and ball. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to come here is in summer, but you might be tempted to avoid the weekends as it gets too crowded. On top of that, the park gates will also close if the parking area reaches total capacity. It usually happens on the weekends; so, you can choose to come on a weekday if you want a quieter atmosphere. 

How to Get to Madison Blue Spring State Park

The park is approximately ten miles east of Madison, on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River. You need to drive on State Road 6 to the Withlacoochee River if you are coming from Madison. On the western part of the Withlacoochee River Bridge, you will come across the park sign, and then you need to turn south. The entrance to the spring is roughly 520 ft south of the highway. 

Provide a safe bat habitat
Provide a safe bat habitat!

Hotels Nearby

There are decent hotel options near the state park, such as Best Western Plus Madison Inn and Super 8 by Wyndham Madison. 

Madison Blue Spring State Park Fun Facts

  • Pet dogs on a leash are allowed in the park, but they are not welcome in the springs. 
  • The state park has one of the 33 magnitude springs of the state. 
  • Many people confuse this park with Blue Spring State Park, nearby. The names are very similar, but the name ‘Madison’ is added to it. 
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Madison Blue Spring State Park Details 

  • Length: The spring is 82 ft wide and 25 ft deep.
  • Time Recommended: 3 to 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: They are allowed but should be put on a leash. 
  • Fees: USD 4 to 5 per vehicle
  • Hours: 8 am till sundown 

Visiting Madison Blue Spring State Park

Do you need more information before visiting Madison Blue Spring State Park? Call (850) 971-5003 for an information packet. 

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