For hundreds of years the Timucuan Indians made the spring area their home. The spring run, river and the surrounding swamps and uplands provided food, clothing, shelter and materials for tools and weapons. Snails gathered from sandbars were staple food for these people. Over the centuries, the discarded shells formed a massive mound. By the mid-1800's, most of the Indians had been killed or driven south and pioneer settlers took their place. In 1872, the Thursby family built a large frame house atop the Indians' shell mound, safe from the floodwaters of the St. Johns. The pilings of the steamboat dock remain relics of a bygone area. Three years after England acquired Florida from Spain, John Bartram, a prominent British botanist, explored the St. Johns River in search of resources of value to the Crown. On January 4, 1766, he rowed his boat past sunning alligators into the clear waters of Blue Spring. Temperatures in spring and river run remain a constant 72 degrees year round. Being the largest spring (magnitude 5) on the St. Johns River, Blue Spring produces 104 million gallons of water a day. Open water divers can dive to 60 feet, but cavern or cave divers can dive with lights to 120 feet. It is a safe haven for the West Indian Manatee. The park is designated as Manatee Refuge, Mid-November through March during cooler months Manatees are here and the spring and river run is closed for swimming and diving. Other Water Activities, Canoeing, Snorkeling, tubing, fishing and Kayaking can all be enjoyed at the park.
The river is about six miles long and originates at Rainbow Springs State Park about one mile north up river. There are no runoff tributaries so the spring fed river is nearly perfectly clear. Clarity is its number one feature. The glass like surface makes it all the better to see more clearly the wonderful array of flora and teaming organisms both big and small. Underwater visibility is 150 feet plus. With no wind or waves, one can see to the bottom of the deepest hole. The entire Rainbow River was designated as a Registered Natural Landmark in 1972. Then an Aquatic Preserve in 1986 and an Outstanding Florida Waterway in 1987. The River is fed from numerous springs and vents starting at the headwaters and popping up the full length of the river. Over 500 million gallons of water pour into the river at a constant temperature of around 72 degrees every day. The Rainbow River is home to a plethora of marine life with many types of fresh water Turtles, River Otters, Bass, Alligator Garr fish, Catfish, Fresh water shrimps and many other types of fish and critters. The fossilized trees in the bottom of the river also provide some amazing sites and tend to be home to many of the smaller life.
The Rainbow river is a great dive for new divers and very interesting for the patient experienced diver who loves marine life.
*Max Depth 30ft
Blue Grotto is the safest cavern dive in the area, but it is a thrilling and fun experience for all levels of diving experience.
The dive begins at the mouth of the cavern, which is 80ft wide. Look from topside into the sharp blue of the pool and you will understand why Blue Grotto is so well known for its exceptional visibility year round. 30ft below the surface is the only air bell available to spring divers in the region, filled with fresh compressed air that allows you a unique opportunity to stop and talk with your buddy under the water.
A permanent guideline brings you to the crescent shaped cavern where you will experience an array of fossils along the walls of the camber and an abundance of aquatic life waiting to see you. But words will not do justice to the experience of diving in this secret underwater hideaway.
Dive the largest clear water cavern located in the heart of freshwater spring country. The Blue Grotto lets you dive down to a depth of 100 feet (30 meters) in crystal clear water all the way down at a water temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) all year round!
At Devil’s Den they know about the amazing connection that can occur when man goes underwater and explores a whole new world. At Seminole Scuba, we take pleasure in guiding you in that amazing journey.
Bought in 1993 by current owners, this natural wonder has transformed from a historically rich dive site into a world class tourist attraction. Visit one of North America's most prehistoric places, Devil's Den Spring! This underground spring inside a dry cave has been home to many extinct animal fossils dating back to the Pleistocene Age, which are on display at The University of Florida's Museum of Natural History.Devil’s Den maintains a satisfying 72 degrees F/22.2 degrees C water temperature year around. Entering an inverted mushroom shape just below the surface you will be delighted with 120 ft. surface diameter, that continues downward to a maximum depth of 54 ft/16.45 m. Being centrally located in an area with many beautiful springs, this is a prime spot for phenomenal diving.