Manatee Springs

USA East


Submitted By:

Submitter Comments:
We went there to test out dry suits through DUI. The manatee spring wasn't that fun but the other one right by it (in the same park) was neat, and had a lot of interesting things to look at. The visibility was shot that day since it was so crowded but it still was fun.

  11650 N.W. 115th St., Chiefland, Florida 32626,Phone: 352-493-6072


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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

05/10/2012 Flaski (Avg: 2.96 Review) - This is a must visit place for divers of all levels, the sink hole known as catfish hotel is beyond words. It may be scary for a new diver but only upon entering then amazement will take over.

08/07/2009 Bobby (Avg: 3.24 Review) - Dove Manatee Springs & Catfish Hotel (2 springs within the same state park) during OWD cert dives. Manatee Springs has very high flow at the mouth of the cave(rn), but still very diveable across the odd underwater 'forest' landscape. High flow allows 'log wrangling,' which is walking across a fallen log across the entire opening, hanging on as if dangling from an airplane. Catfish hotel has more life (as name would indicate), and is deeper, but not as wide. Don't be intimidated by the duckweed on the surface: it's only a plant floating on the surface. Move it easily out of your way on entry. Bubbles clear it out of your way while you're under the water. Didn't cling to my gear, but there is a shower immediately upon exiting.

08/27/2007 Jeff Lovell (Avg: 2.70 Review) - This was a good 1 tank dive. Not much wild life, but lots of snorkelers, boats. Nice picnic area and facilities. Current from the spring is like standing in a 50 mph wind! Over all not much to see through. Had to do it once.

08/24/2006 Trevor Bunner (Avg: 2.85 Review) - Great fun dive, weird green lighting, and almost like a walk in the woods at the bottom. Inlet to the spring was really strong but very localized strong current to drop into and get "blown away". I'd do it again anytime!

07/16/2005 Jason Saybrook (Avg: 4.14 Review) - We dove from the state park. There are great caves, and just to dive the spring was fun. Wildlife was good; we had a deer walk up to us. Plenty of deep blue water!

03/19/2005 Anonymous (Avg: 3.85 Review) - Lots of manatees - few crowds. Need at least a 3-7 mil suit with hood. Temperature about 72 degrees. Visibility was 10-15 feet early morning. Be aware of FL law concerning manatees. No diving, just snorkeling. No flash photography. No chasing or feeding. Must enter water from boats VERY quietly so as not to disturb manatees. Fabulous experience for everyone of any age. Winter is best time since crowds are few.

03/09/2005 Mike Houser (Avg: 3.86 Review) - We found this place by mistake while doing a snorkeling road trip last spring break and ended up staying two nights. It isn't the biggest of springs but was very impressed and had more fun here than at Ginnie Springs (also visited that trip). At the time of going, March 15, 2005 timeframe, there were no crowds to speak of. Wildlife was great, tons of fish and turtles. Manatees closing the spring was not an issue. Camping facilities were great and the animals were almost tame, but bring your own firewood.

Dive Site Pictures:
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Special thanks to David Szklarski!
Submitted by David Szklarski

Special thanks to David Szklarski!
Submitted by David Szklarski

Special thanks to David Szklarski!
Beam me up.
Submitted by David Szklarski

Special thanks to David Szklarski!
Looking up.
Submitted by David Szklarski


Diver Averages for  Manatee Springs  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.43
Bottom Conditions:  3.57
Reef Conditions:  2.71
Animal Life:  3.00
Plant Life:  2.71
Facilities:  4.00
Solitude 3.71
Roads:  4.29
*Site Average:  3.37

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  4.00
Beginner Scuba:  3.57
Intermediate Scuba:  3.29
Advanced Scuba:  3.00
Night diving Scuba:  2.29

Number of reviews for this site: 7


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