We drove miles down a narrow winding road to reach Blue Springs Park, a natural spring and popular swimming hole near Bronson, Florida. The gates to the Levy County park, better known as Bronson Blue, were padlocked. Never mind swimming, they weren’t even going to let people walk in there! It was winter in Florida. I already had to go a great distance just to find pig food for the kid’s market swine project and was determined not to let such a beautiful winter’s day go to waste. It was the perfect time for exploring wild Florida!
A little side dirt road supposedly led to another spring (yes, I AM a little spring-obsessed), so we headed down it – a curvy, narrow road. If I had met up with another vehicle, we would have been in trouble as the road was swamp on one side and ditch on the other with no place to turn and no place to pass. Luckily, today we had the wilderness to ourselves.
Up ahead I saw the water, a beautiful lake that stretched across the road from one side to the other, blocking our way (it’s the photo above- beautiful, right?). We were in Devil’s Hammock Wildlife Management Area, 7,000+ acres of wild Florida along the Wacasassa River & Otter Creek, and some little devil out there was having a little giggle at our predicament! (Check out my Georgia Swimming Holes post to learn why you should be wary about these certain place-names!)
“Just drive through it, mom,” my son said, impatient to get on with the day’s adventure.
The puddle looked deep- like by a few feet, and we were in the middle of nowhere with no phone service. There was no way I was going to drive through it. I looked around, wondering if we should continue on foot. An endless swamp stretched through the trees on both sides.
Though my sister and her husband have been known to forge waist-deep water on their Florida Trail hikes, I had no desire to wade through this swamp in sneakers and jeans ( I need to outfit the family with snake boots, I think!). I made the executive decision. We would abandon our Bronson Blue explorations for another day.
We did explore the Wacasassa River by boat on another day. Huge gators in the Wacasassa Preserve!
Check out this video of the nearby Wacasassa River!
This beautiful winter weather makes for perfect Florida outdoor adventures. Grab the family or a friend and get outside. Hike. Bike. Paddle. Go fishing. Either way, just go! Poke around the nearby parks in your area or drive a bit farther. Though I have yet to make a hiking video or a kayaking one- I think I’ll need a Go-Pro for that, there are a few outdoor adventure videos you may have missed. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and check out some more wild Florida explorations. Perhaps they will inspire you to take your own adventure!
Incidentally, on our Bronson Blue adventure day, we stopped by Henry Beck Park as well and found that padlocked too. I later discovered that the county parks in Levy County are closed in the winter! We will return!
Parks Mentioned in this Post:
Bronson Blue (AKA Blue Springs Park)
- Located at: 4550 NE 94 Pl, Bronson, FL 32621
- Opens 19th March to 1st October
- Fees: $2 per person. Under 5 free.
- Phone number: (352) 486-3303
Henry Beck Park
- Located at: 3770 SE County Rd. 343, Gulf Hammock, FL 32639
- Open from 1st April to 1st October
- Fees: $2 per person. Under 5 free.
- Phone number: (352) 486-5326
Florida Outdoor Adventures to Inspire You:
Walking the Gator Gauntlet on Gainesville’s La Chua Trail
The Japanese Botanical Garden Hidden in North Central Florida
Family Adventures on the Chassahowitzka River
Hiking Churchhouse Hammock Trail in Crystal River
Kayaking on Dunnellon’s Rainbow River