Important Note: I tried to ensure the accuracy of this page but there may be errors, mistakes and/or outdated information.
Citrus Blue Spring is beautiful and well worth a visit. It is relatively unknown when compared to other popular springs.
One reason is that it’s only accessible via boat. It is located up a river, deep in a forest and the spring itself is surrounded by private property. Visitors should be aware of, and respect private property.
All visitors should be respectful of the spring, river, wildlife and natural environment. Please leave the environment cleaner than you found it!
People love it because it is beautiful and remains a hidden gem. One downside is that depending on the day there may be loud airboats present which kill the peace and quiet.
Citrus Blue Spring has a round spring basin. It is approximately 120 feet in diameter.
The water in Citrus Blue Spring is generally a blue-green with a sandy bottom. Visibility is generally good but water clarity can become poor if people stir up the sandy bottom.
There is often a healthy amount of aquatic grass, which is important for the spring and river health.
The east side of the spring is partially dammed by a man-made dam in the form of a berm/dike. There was controversy many years ago from private land owners preventing the public from accessing the spring, but an illegal dam has since been removed.
There is a canal which directs the spring run into the Withlacoochee River, approximately .4 miles downstream.
The spring basin is mostly broad and shallow except for the spring vent, which is 22 feet deep. The spring flow is generally strong and there is often a spring boil on the water surface.
There is an extensive underwater cave system beneath Citrus Blue Spring. It is extremely dangerous and should not be accessed except by trained and qualified professionals with all safety precautions taken. The cave system descends to a depth of approximately 180 feet.
Note: Make sure your volume is low before playing this video!
Citrus Blue Spring is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Dunnellon, Florida.
It is relatively near Tampa and Orlando; both cities are approximately 1.5 hours away from the Spruce boat ramp.
It sits on the Withlacoochee River and is accessed via the river.
Citrus Blue Spring can be accessed by boat. There is a boat ramp/launch area approximately three miles downstream of Citrus Blue Spring.
The launch area is near the Stokes Ferry Bridge on the southeast side of the river.
The land surrounding Citrus Blue Spring is private property.
Nearby springs and rivers
There are several other springs and rivers near Citrus Blue Sprigns:
- Rainbow River
- Crystal River
- Chassahowitzka River
Note: These were taken from an old State of Florida resource and I am not sure of their accuracy today. There are links to Google map direction below.
From the US 41 bridge over the Withlacoochee River in Dunnellon:
- Travel south on US 41 approximately 1.3 miles to the intersection with CR 39.
- Head east (left) on CR 39
- Travel approximately 7.6 miles to the intersection with CR 200.
- Head northeast (left) and travel 0.1 mile to the bridge over the Withlacoochee River at Stokes Ferry.
- A boat launch is on the southeast side of the river.
- The spring can be accessed by boating 3 miles upstream from the CR 200 bridge in Stoke’s Ferry.
- The spring is situated on the south (right) side of the river.
Citrus Blue Spring can be accessed via boat ramps on the Withlacoochee River.
There are two convenient boat ramps or launches to choose from.
The Turner Camp boat ramp is near the Potts Preserve Campground which offers free camping with reservations.
The Spruce boat ramp is located 3-4 miles downstream of Citrus Blue Spring, so paddles would need to paddle against the river current. The paddle usually takes between 1-3 hours depending on the river flow conditions, paddling speed and other considerations. The downstream return is usually faster.
River conditions vary considerably by season. During and after periods of heavy rainfall the river flow may be strong. During periods of low rainfall the river level can be low and hazards may be exposed above water.
Paddlers and boaters should exercise extreme caution at all times because hazards are always present and may be slightly submerged beneath the water surface.
The Turner Camp boat ramp is located approximately 5.5 miles upstream of Citrus Blue Spring.
Note: There are many springs in Florida named “Blue Springs”, and there are even others named “Big Blue Spring”, such as the one in the Florida panhandle.
Citrus Blue Spring is should not be confused with others.
Citrus Blue Spring is known by several different variations. It is also known as:
- Big Citrus Blue
- Big Blue
- Citrus Big Blue
The Best Time to Visit
Citrus Blue Spring is a lovely place to visit year-round. There are pros and cons to each of the seasons.
If possible it is always best to visit during the week when crowds are lower.
Extreme caution should be exercised at all times, and especially during alligator mating season.
Winter and early spring are lovely times to visit Citrus Blue Spring.
Crowds are usually much lower in the winter.
Air temperatures are typically lower and more comfortable, and river traffic is reduced. Water clarity in the spring basin may be better because of fewer crowds, less disturbance and reduced water flow.
There are also fewer insects, especially mosquitoes and noseeums.
River levels are typically much lower in the winter due to reduced rainfall. River hazards and shallow water may present problems; users should be aware and take appropriate precautions.
The spring water remains 72 degrees year-round but water in the rest of the Withlacoochee is colder during the winter. Wetsuits are advised in cold weather and may be necessary even during mild weather depending on personal preference.
Citrus Blue Spring is a popular swimming hole during hot summer months.
It will probably be more crowded, especially on weekends and holidays.
Mosquitoes and biting insects may be a nuisance.
Summer rainfall may cause flooding along the Withlacoochee river.
Visibility in Citrus Blue Spring may be severely compromised, or even reduced to zero, during flooding events.
Caution should be used at all times on the river. Extreme caution should be used during or after periods of high rainfall.