Manatee Springs – Catfish Hotel USA

Discover the captivating beauty of Manatee Spring, nestled approximately 7 miles west of Chiefland within the scenic expanse of Manatee Springs State Park. This enchanting locale, sourced from information derived from Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 66, offers a haven for nature enthusiasts, adventurers, and those seeking to connect with the great outdoors.

  • Region: Florida
  • Coordinates: 29.48858, -82.9759
  • Depth: 105 ft
  • Remarks:
  • Type: Cave, Cavern, OW

Getting There

Embarking on a journey to Manatee Spring is a breeze. Starting from the US 19/27A and CR 320 intersection in Chiefland, simply head west for around 5.2 miles on CR 320 until you arrive at the park’s entrance. Following the park road will lead you to the main parking area, mere steps away from the spring, positioned a mere 200 feet from the lot.

A Natural Gem within the Suwannee River Landscape

Manatee Spring graces the eastern banks of the Suwannee River, nestled within a lush and verdant lowland floodplain. The spring emerges into a conical sink depression, forming a tranquil oasis that invites exploration and appreciation.

Catfish Hotel

Features and Dimensions

The spring pool itself boasts dimensions of 60 feet from north to south and 75 feet from east to west. Its depth reaches an impressive 25 feet, with the pool’s bottom consisting of sand punctuated by submerged logs. Notably, a limestone ledge lies just 3 feet beneath the water’s surface, offering a perch for curious onlookers. Adjacent to this, a vertical wall adorns the southern boundary of the spring pool. Wooden steps thoughtfully embedded in this wall provide convenient access for swimmers.

A Visual Feast

Witness a spectacle of nature as a remarkable boil characterizes Manatee Spring’s presence. The spring’s limestone ledge and wall, adorned with captivating aquatic life, are partly veiled by thick algae. Gazing into the water reveals a mesmerizing sky blue hue, a testament to the spring’s purity and vibrance.

Flourishing Ecosystem

The spring run, meandering southward for approximately 1200 feet, treats observers to a spectacle of native aquatic grasses swaying in harmony with the water’s gentle flow. Along the shores, cypress trees and distinctive cypress knees create a picturesque scene, particularly on the northern and eastern fringes of the spring pool.

A Path to Exploration

A delightful boardwalk traces the spring run’s path, leading adventurers to a welcoming dock at the point where the run meets the Suwannee River. On the opposite bank, elevated uplands rise to around 15 feet above the water level, forming a recreation area cocooned beneath the protective canopy of live oak and pine trees.

Activities and Delights

Manatee Spring and its surroundings form the heart of Manatee Springs State Park, offering a plethora of recreational possibilities. From camping and hiking to swimming and scuba diving, this haven beckons individuals eager to experience nature’s wonders up close. Engaging in nature study amidst the park’s breathtaking vistas completes the journey of discovery.

Manatee Springs map


What is Manatee Springs – Catfish Hotel USA?

Manatee Springs – Catfish Hotel USA is a unique underwater cave system located within Manatee Springs State Park. It’s a fascinating destination known for its intricate network of submerged caves that offer a glimpse into the hidden world beneath the surface.

How do I get to Manatee Springs – Catfish Hotel USA?

To reach Manatee Springs – Catfish Hotel USA, head to Manatee Springs State Park, located approximately 7 miles west of Chiefland. Follow CR 320 from the US 19/27A and CR 320 intersection in Chiefland for around 5.2 miles to the park’s entrance. The underwater cave system is an awe-inspiring feature within the park.

What activities can I enjoy at Manatee Springs – Catfish Hotel USA?

While visiting, you can engage in activities like exploring the underwater cave system, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The intricate passageways and unique underwater environment offer a thrilling experience for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Dive Right In Scuba
Underwater caves