We will be visiting Blue Spring Park, which is a 45-minute bus ride from Gainesville. Here is some additional information to help you get familiar with the park:

  • The main attraction of the park is a large freshwater spring. The bus will park close to the spring, so we will not be walking long distances.
  • The water is incredibly clear and the maximum depth is 15 feet, but you can stand in most places.
  • The bottom is mostly sandy with underwater plants near the edges. Here is a 360 underwater view.
  • Underwater, you will mostly see fish and turtles. There are no manatees or gators at this spring.
  • The water is pretty chilly. At 72 degrees F, it is about 10 degrees F colder than a swimming pool.
  • Regardless of swimming ability, everybody will be wearing a life jacket. There will also be 2-3 lifeguards on staff in addition to the photography instructor.
  • We will supply lifejackets, masks and snorkels, cameras, notebooks, and pencils. Here is a packing list to help you get ready.
  • We will be snorkeling and taking photos. Don’t worry if you’ve never done either of these things before! We will go over both in detail and let you practice. Watch this video if you want to learn more about snorkeling.
  • We reserved a pavilion next to the spring to use as our home base. You can keep your belongings there. It is also where we will eat lunch and do our creative writing activity.
  • There are bathrooms on site, located next to the pavilion.
  • You can find a detailed schedule of the day here.