Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
2nd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

X.  Other Central Florida Springs





This section describes springs in the Orlando, Tampa Bay, Lake Panasoffkee, Gum Slough, and other central Florida regions.  This catch-all grouping includes a wide variety of springs--large, small, developed, pristine, historically significant, attractive, or all-but-ruined by development.  Some pertinent statistics are worth noting, provided by the Wekiva Coalition.  Note, these numbers apply primarily to the Wekiva River watershed, basin, but other springs in this section face similar pressures:

Most of the springs in this section are readily accessible by road.  Two of the springs that were once well-known cure sites--Sulfur and the now-ironically named Health--are dangerously polluted/unhealthy and closed to the public.  Kissengen Spring, which hosted up to 20,000 visitors a day, no longer flows due to significant water extraction in its springshed by phosphate industry that lowered the water table to the point that it no longer reaches the surface at the spring.
 
 

Part X Contents

          A.  Orlando Area
               Blue Spring
               Clifton Springs
               Elder Spring
               Florida "Geyser"
               Gemini Springs (4)
               Green Spring
               Heath Spring
               Lake Jessup Spring
               Miami Spring
               Palm and Starbuck Springs
               Rock Springs
               Sanlando Spring
               Seminole Spring
               Wekiwa Springs

          B.  Tampa Bay Area
               Crystal Springs
               Espiritu Santo Springs (Beauty, Stomach, Kidney, Liver, Pure Water, & Unnamed)
               Eureka Springs (5)
               Indian Spring
               Lithia Springs
               Philippe Spring
               Salt Spring
               Sulphur Spring
               Tarpon Spring
               Wall Spring
 

          C.  Lake Panasoffkee and Gum Slough Springs Groups
          Lake Panasoffkee Spring Group
               Fenney Spring
               Shady Brook Spring
               Belton's Millpond Spring
               Canal Spring
               Henry Green Spring
               Maintenance Spring
               Unnamed Spring
 

          Gum Slough Springs Group
               Gum Slough Main Spring
               Gum Slough Springs 1-4
               Alligator Spring
               Wilson Head Spring
 

          D.  Other Springs
               Kissengen Spring
               Manatee Mineral Spring
               Warm Mineral Spring
               Zolfo Springs
 
 

A. Orlando Area Springs

Volusia Blue Spring
Volusia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude
Scenery'”outstanding
How Pristine?'”restored to very natural state, rising nitrate levels, falling flow levels due to nearby development
Swimming'”excellent, outstanding snorkeling
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends and winter weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”fine
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”$4 per car

Directions
In Orange City along U.S. 17/U.S. 92, turn west onto French Avenue at sign for Blue Spring State Park and proceed about to miles to the park entrance. Follow park road to spring run and walk on boardwalk to springhead.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring forms a circular pool formed by a large underwater cavern.  The pool is 100 feet in diameter, and the water is very blue and clear.  Water flowing upward from the cavern opening creates a large and powerful boil on the surface.  The banks and sides of the pool are steep and form a funnel leading to the cavern entrance, which has a large limestone shelf at a depth of about 10 feet.  The large part of the opening extends down about 40 feet.  The run is nearly as wide as the spring pool and flows about 1/4 mile to the St. Johns River.  The run abverages about 80 feet wide and has steep banks that gradually recede as the run approaches the river.  Flow from the spring is currently about 146 million gallons a day, and has declined since the 1980s due to drawdowns from many wells in the area.  The nitrate concentration in the water is 0.6 and rising (Fla. DEP, May, 2002).

Land rises steeply from the spring and run to a height of nearly 20 feet.  There is very thick and lush subtropical vegetation around the spring and the run, including, cypress, pine, oak, laurel, magnolia, and maple trees.  Manatees congregate in the run in large numbers in the winter.  Fish, including bass, catfish, and perch, may be observed in the pool and run.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
Walking along the boardwalk to the spring provides a glimpse of how wild Florida appeared to its early inhabitants and explorers. The landscape is deep jungle, with the spring in its center like a great blue eye amidst the riot of green and brown. It is one of Florida'™s most spectacular springs, and remains a critical winter habitat for the endangered manatee.

Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Heath Spring, Green Springs, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring, Rock Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest

Contact Information
Blue Springs State Park
2100 W. French Avenue
Orange City, FL 32763
904-775-3663
 
 

Clifton Springs
Seminole County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”good-very good
How Pristine?'” houses nearby, site of old development
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”small to none
Access'”good-very good to runs, springs not accessible
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From intersection of Central Florida Greeneway (Highway 417) and Highway 434 in Seminole County, go left (east) onto Highway 434. Turn right (north) onto Spring Avenue, the first road after going under (west of) the Greeneway. Proceed 0.68 miles to the springs at historic marker for White'™s Landing.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
There are two spring pools at this site, which is on the most southern edge of Lake Jessup.  The eastern pool is formed by the combined flows of three small springs that lie about 1,000 south of the lake. The creek formed by these springs is 2-3 feet wide and 1-2 inches deep.  It flows under Spring Avenue to form the eastern spring pool.  Nearest the road, the pool is filled with reeds.  The northern section is clear of plants, oval, and about 60 by 100 feet.  The pool opens directly into Lake Jessup.  Visibility in the pool was about 3 feet on date of visit in June 2001.  The spring water has a strong sulfur odor.

The three springs that feed the eastern pool are on private property and were not visited by JF. They are described (based on their appearance in 1972) as follows by Rosenau et al.:

Spring #1 consists of several small sand boils, each about 1 inch in diameter. . . . Most of the sand boils are in water about 3 feet deep.

Spring #2 is at the head of a small gully in a thickly wooded site. . . . The spring rises from a sand bottom inside and 3 feet below the top of a 39-inch diameter clay pipe buried about flush with the land surface. Water overflows the lip of the pipe to flow . . . southwestward.

Spring #3 has a circular pool about 15 feet across and about 3 feet deep at its deepest point. Flow is from several small sand boils about 1 foot in diameter in the pool bottom. (1977, p. 334)

These three springs flowed join into a common run and flow into a manmade impoundment as described based on the 1972 visit.

The western pool contains Spring #4 and is about 250 feet from the eastern pool.  The spring forms teardrop-shaped pool about 90 feet wide.  Its run is 20-30 feet across and about 100 yards to Lake Jessup.  The edge of the spring could not be accessed, so its clarity and depth could not be determined.  Like the other springs at this site, it has a strong sulfur odor.  The point of land between the two spring runs is partially cleared hardwood forest.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
As noted on the historic marker at the site (see photo of marker below), Clifton Springs was visited by John and William Bartram in the 1760s.  In the 19th Century, there was a major boat landing for Lake Jessup between the two springs. There have also been fish camps on the site.  Today, the main features at the site are the nearby houses and the massive expressway bridge which can be seen from the mouth of the runs.

Personal Impressions
The springs have a lot of historic significance, but appear to be all but forgotten today.

Nearby Springs
Wekiwa Springs, Rock Springs, Elder Spring, Lake Jessup Spring, Green Springs, Palm Spring, Sanlando Spring, Miami Spring, Starbuck Spring, Gemini Springs, Seminole Spring, Heath Spring, Volusia Blue Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Blue Springs State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Ocala National Forest
Tosohatchee State Reserve
 
 

Elder Spring
Seminole County

Summary of Features
Scale'”0 magnitude (no longer flowing)
Scenery'”poor
How Pristine?'”overgrown concrete and tin enclosure, adjacent to highway and empty house
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”in back yard
Facilities'”none
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From Orlando, go north on U.S. 17/92 for about 12 miles to intersection with Highway 427. Turn right or NE onto 427 and proceed 1.2 miles. The spring is 100 north (on the left side) of the highway in the back yard of an abandoned house. The house is also almost directly across the street from the Free Will Baptist Church.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring site lies at the top of a wooded slope and no longer has any visible flow.  The spring is enclosed in a circular concrete structure with a conical tin roof.  The enclosure is about 10 feet in diameter and 12 feet high and was in a condition of advanced disrepair and natural reclamation on date of visit in June 2001.  The yard around the spring enclosure and the enclosure itself are covered in either kudzu or similar-looking creeping vine.  There does not appear to have been any flow from this site for decades.  Roseneau et al., describe the spring furthers as having been "modified from its natural condition by placement of a short length of 3-ft-diameter clay pipe set vertically into the ground at the point of discharge" (1977, p. 336).

Use/Access
No use. The site is abandoned and overgrown with foliage to the point that it was nearly invisible from the road only 100 feet away.

Local Springiana
According to Rosenau et al., water from this surficial/water-table spring was bottled and sold for many years, beginning in 1900. The bottled water was used for drinking and "as a substitute for distilled water in batteries."  The spring was still flowing in the 1970s and was used by the residence for drinking and to fill a pool in the yard (1977, p. 336).  There is no sign of a pool at the site today.

Personal Impressions
Even though the spring no longer flows, locating this overgrown site was the find of the day for JF.  Thousands of people drive by it every day, it is likely that very few know that this interesting little piece of Florida history lies within view under the vines, quietly giving way to neglect and Mother Nature.

Nearby Springs
Wekiwa Springs, Rock Springs, Clifton Springs, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Lake Jessup Spring, Palm Spring, Sanlando Spring, Miami Spring, Starbuck Spring, Gemini Springs, Seminole Spring, Green Springs, Health Spring, Volusia Blue Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Blue Springs State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Ocala National Forest
Tosohatchee State Reserve
 
 

Florida "Geyser"
Orange County

Summary of Features
Scale'”unknown
How Pristine?'”in developed neighborhood, uncapped drainage well
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”small
Facilities'”none
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
(Incomplete directions) From the intersection of Interstate 4 and the East-West Expressway (408) in downtown Orlando, go west on 408 to first exit.  Proceed south on Highway 527, which becomes South Orange Road.  Go approximately 4-5 miles.  Turn left (east) onto Hoffner Avenue (Highway 15).  Go 2-3 miles, then turn left onto S. Conway Boulevard.  Continue about two miles to where Conway passes by Lake Warren to the east (left) and look for geyser.

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this site, which is not a spring but rather an erupting well into the Floridan Aquifer.  The following AP story was printed in many Florida newspapers, and is quoted from the St. Petersburg Times from December 29, 2002:

An accident of weather, geology and engineering has given Florida its own version of Old Faithful, albeit muddy, much shorter and apt to quit at any time.  Florida's geyser recently roared to life along the western shore of Lake Warren in southern Orlando.  Every few minutes, a gush of water and mud rockets skyward from a marshy area of the Crescent Park neighborhood, spewing as high as 60 feet.  By contrast, Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful is steamy white as it shoots as high as 180 feet.  And while Old Faithful is a quirk of nature, there's a man-made explanation behind Florida's geyser:  it's an old, uncapped drainage well running deep into the Floridan Aquifer.  During heavy rains, it sucks down so much water and trapped air that every few minutes, between 7 and 30 minutes in recent days, the aquifer belches some of it back up with a roar.  The sound can be heard throughout the Crescent Park neighborhood and into the nearby town of Belle Isle.  "Maybe this should be the new tourist attraction," said Richard Lott of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Orlando office.

. . . The 8-inch drain pipe drops straight to the aquifer, hundreds of feet below, causing water to suck air with it as it roars down the pipe.  "When the air gets down there in the aquifer, it forms big bubbles, and the huge bubbles have to escape," said Marty Wanielista, dean of engineering at the University of Central Florida.  There are some 600 drainage wells in Orange County, Wanielista said.  Many are capped, but of those that are open, few draw in the right mix of air and water to produce a geyser, he said.  For those who live near Lake Warren, the geyser has been an intermittent phenomenon.  "It's not like clockwork," said Paul Scarborough, 41.  "I walked my dog by here about 10 years ago when I first saw it.  It's really pretty cool."  At least one nearby resident isn't so thrilled.  "I live two doors down and it keeps me up at night," said Charles Craig, 62.

Use/Access Personal Impressions
The authors would like to see this site, but would hate to make the trip if it is not erupting.

Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Volusia Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Heath Spring, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring, Rock Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest
 
 


Gemini Springs
Volusia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”combined 1st magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”park setting with paths and swim area
Swimming'”very good
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”can be heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”fine
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$3 per person

Directions
From Interstate 4, take Enterprise Road exit at DeBary. Go west on Enterprise Road a short distance (mile or two?) to the entrance to Gemini Springs Park.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
Gemini Springs consists of three springs within a short distance (about 120 feet) of each other on the north rim of Lake Monroe in SW Volusia County. The springs have similar characteristics'”all form circular or semicircular pools at the base of banks (limestone, clay, and dirt) 6-10 feet high. Land continues to rise from the spring banks to the park'™s parking area. The pools range in diameter from 6-15 feet. All have clear and bluish if somewhat dark water, with brownish algae on the bottom and leaves or pollen-like material on the surface. The smallest spring has a strong boil, and the larger springs have mild slicks on the surface. The two larger springs appeared to be about 10 feet deep, but the depth of the small spring could not be determined visually. Land around the springs is lush and semitropical terrain of hardwoods and palmettos.

The springs are in a line, and their three runs join and flow eastward a short distance (only about 20 feet from where the three runs combine) to a manmade swim area/reservoir with dimensions of 100 by 150 yards in diameter on the edge of Lake Monroe. Water flows over a weir/waterfall into Lake Monroe.

According to Rosenau et al. (1977, pp. 396-7), the small spring was originally just a seep that was deepened by a well 100 feet deep. Hydrostatic pressure caused the well to flow, creating what looks like a natural spring today. All three springs have relatively high salt content.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
For many years, Gemini springs was privately owned and used by livestock and for recreation by the landowners only. There is now little evidence of the former use of the site.

Personal Impressions
The park is a nice recreational and "spring-watching" site and is well worth a visit. The springs are attractive and in a natural state. The boardwalks provide nice viewing. Gemini is only about 5 minutes off the Interstate.

Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Heath Spring, Green Springs, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring, Rock Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Blue Spring State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest
 
 

Green Springs
Volusia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”park setting with paths, retaining wall and gate around pool
Swimming'”unknown
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”small
Access'”private property

Directions
From Interstate 4, take Enterprise Road exit at DeBary. Go west on Enterprise Road a short distance (mile or two?) to the entrance to Gemini Springs Park.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have only see the spring run and have not visited this spring, so rely on the description provided by the SJRWMD:

Green Springs is in an open, semitropical hardwood and palm forest.  The pool is semicircular, about 90 feet (ft) in diameter and is reportedly about 125 ft deep in its north-central part, where a conical-shaped hole in limestone diminishes in diameter with depth.  Overhanging rock ledges are said to extend into the hole at depth from its east and west.  Algae growth is visible on the bottom of the shallow parts of the pool.  An eastward extension of the pool is bordered on the north and east by a concrete-block retaining wall 2 ft high that maintains the water level high enough to provide a wading or shallow-swimming area.  A diversion gate in the northeast corner of the wall can be opened to lower the water level for cleaning the shallow part of the pool.  Spring flow is into a shallow run 6 ft wide and 2 or 3 inches deep at the southeast edge of the pool and then southeast about 200 ft to a small creek that flows sough 0.25 mi to Lake Monroe (Springs of the SJRWMD, Draft, 2002, pp. 16-17).
In 13 measurements of the springflow at the site from 1932-2000, the median flow was 0.89 cubic feet per second (Springs of the SJRWMD, Draft, 2002, p. 17).

When JF drive by the spring run in July 2003, heavy rain was falling and the run was swift, swollen, and dark.  The SJRWMD description does not mention multiple flow points, leading one to wonder why the site is called "Green Springs" instead of "Green Spring."

Use/Access

Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Heath Spring, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring, Rock Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Blue Spring State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest
 
 

Heath Spring
Seminole County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude, est.
Scenery'”fair-good
How Pristine?'”near highway, run area appears disturbed, paths around/near spring
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”fair-poor; may be on private land

Directions
From Geneva:  At intersection of State Roads 46 and 426, go west on State Road 46 for one mile.  Spring is about 150 feet off road to the right behind two fences.  At 1.1 miles, there is a guardrail on the right, and it is possible to walk/slide down the embankment to a trail which can be followed back east around the spring run/slough area to the spring.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring flows from the base at the SE end of a conical/vase-shaped cut that the spring has formed in the side of the hill.
.  The area, which appears almost carved out of the hill, is about 25 feet in diameter.  Water seeps out from several tiny openings in rivulets that join after a few feet to form a small flow out of the steephead and into a heavily vegetated marshy slough and subsequently into a sinkhole below the highway and the guardrail perhaps 200 feet away.  The water is clear and has no odor.  Wading birds were observed in the marsh area.  The sides of the steephead are nearly vertical and sandy, rising about 12 feet.  Paths circle the spring area, and the dry land around the spring is semitropical forest.

Use/Access

Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Green Springs, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring, Rock Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Blue Spring State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest
 
 

Lake Jessup Spring*
Seminole County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude (estimated)
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”linked to drainage ditch, near homes, land partially cleared
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”water only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From the intersection of Central Florida Greeneway (Highway 417) and Highway 434 in Seminole County, drive east on 434 for 1.7 miles. Turn right (north) onto Tuskawilla Road. Go 0.58 miles to sharp left and turn left on to Orange Avenue. Orange Avenue becomes dirt. Go 0.3 miles to spring on the right.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
Lake Jessup Spring lies in a manmade boat slip that has been extended as a drain/runoff ditch. According to Rosenau et al., the spring was created by the excavation of the boat slip in 1952, and continued to flow after the spring hole was filled with logs, clay, and sand (1977, p. 339). The excavation was extended approximately 300 feet to create a municipal drain/runoff ditch into Lake Jessup.

The flow point is about 90 feet from Lake Jessup. On date of visit in June 2001, water could be seen starting at this point and continuing to the lake. The flow appeared very small, consistent with the 4th magnitude flow (about 1 cubic foot per second) described in Rosenau et al. Land around the spring is mostly cleared residential landscape, with large hardwoods and palms and decorative plants along the ditch.

*The declaration of this site as Lake Jessup Spring is not a positive identification. It is based on directions published in 1977, latitude and longitude records and matching (but JF did not have a GPS to be precise), and visual comparison of the site with a photograph taken in 1972 from the opposite direction (i.e., from Lake Jessup). JF could have the wrong site.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
See description above.

Nearby Springs
Wekiwa Springs, Rock Springs, Elder Spring, Clifton Springs, Palm Spring, Sanlando Spring, Miami Spring, Starbuck Spring, Gemini Springs, Seminole Spring, Green Spring, Heath Spring, Volusia Blue Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Blue Springs State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Ocala National Forest
Tosohatchee State Reserve
 
 

Miami Spring
Seminole County

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not yet visited this spring. A description based on a visit in the early 1970s is available in the publication Springs of Florida (Rosenau et al., 1977, pp. 341-2) or on the electronic version of the book on the Internet (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/springs_of_fl/aaj7320/index.html).

Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Volusia Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Heath Spring, Messant Spring, Palm Spring, Rock Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Blue Spring State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest
 
 

Palm and Starbuck Springs
Seminole County

Summary of Features
Scale'”each second magnitude
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”in developed subdivision
Swimming'”unknown
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”unknown
Access'”private

Directions
From Interstate north of Orlando, exit west onto Stae Road 434 and go a short distance (perhaps half a mile) to the entrance to "The Springs" subdivision. The springs are in the subdivision.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not yet been able to get access to see these springs. Descriptions based on visits in the early 1970s are available in the publication Springs of Florida (Rosenau et al., 1977, pp. 342-348) or on the electronic version of the book on the Internet (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/springs_of_fl/aaj7320/index.html).

Use/Access
Private'”use only by residents of the subdivision and their guests. Sanlando and Starbuck Springs appear to be used for swimming and for water extraction.

Local Springiana
Sanlando Spring was once a tourist attraction, with gardens and swimming, during the heyday of such roadside attractions from the 1920s to the 1970s (Breslauer, 2000).

Personal Impressions
Misrepresenting his intent as being a potential home-buyer in The Springs subdivision, JF was given a quick tour of the area by a realtor.  However, the tour did not include stops at these two springs, and JF did not feel it would be appropriate to press the matter!  It is a nice neighborhood.

Nearby Springs
Sanlando Spring, Apopka Spring, Volusia Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Heath Spring, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Rock Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Blue Spring State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest
 
 

Rock Springs
Orange County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”Excellent
How Pristine?'”path/boardwalk near spring, in county park
Swimming'”more wading than swimming at spring, fine swimming downstream; fine tubing and snorkeling
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”fine
Safety'”excellent
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$1 per person; children under 6 are free

Directions
From Apopka, at intersection of U.S. 441 and State Road 435, drive north on SR 435 for about 6 miles. Bear right onto Kelly Park Road and drive less than a mile to the county park, following signs for the park. Follow sidewalk and boardwalk to the spring from the main park drive.  Alternatively, from Interstate 4, take State Road 436 west until it merges with U.S. 441.  Continue west on U.S. 441 to Park Avenue.  Go north on Park Avenue for 6 miles, and then turn right onto Kelly Park Road and follow signs to the park and spring.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
Water flows strongly from a grotto/half-submerged cave entrance to form the spring and Rock Creek. The grotto has exposed limestone and creates an overhang/bluff/cave mouth more than 15 feet high. The rock overhang is luxuriantly covered in vegetation. Water flowing from the cavern opening is clear and forms a powerful flow. There is another vent in the creek bottom about 10 feet downstream of the cave; this vent also produces a prominent boil. The creek bottom is rocky, with some sand and vegetation in the run. There are also rocky outcrops and shelves near the spring. The run is 15-25 feet wide, shallow, and winds SE 8 miles before joining the Wekiva River, itself a spring run from Wekiwa Spring. About 100 yards below the spring is a widened swim area created by diverting water from the spring run into an area with concrete retaining walls and a wier to maintain water depth. The spring and run are in an area of lush subtropical vegetation.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
With its striking cave mouth, lush flora, powerful flow, and crystal-clear water'”and all protected in a well-maintained park setting'”Rock Creek is one of the most attractive and appealing springs in Florida. Its boardwalk also makes it accessible. Unlike most springs, which are silent, Rock Springs creates a very audible and pleasant rush of water at its headwaters. It is best to visit on a weekday to avoid crowds, which can be rowdy.

Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Volusia Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Heath Spring, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Blue Spring State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest

Contact information:
Kelly Park
400 E. Kelly Park Road
Apopka, FL 32712
407-889-4179
 
 

Sanlando Spring
Seminole County

Summary of Features
Scale'”second magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”in developed subdivision, retaining wall around much of spring, area partly cleared in park setting
Swimming'”outstanding
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”heavy on warm days
Access'”private

Directions
From Interstate north of Orlando, exit west onto Stae Road 434 and go a short distance (perhaps half a mile) to the entrance to "The Springs" subdivision. The spring is along one of the main roads in the subdivision near the clubhouse.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring forms a small circular pool that opens directly into a larger oval-shaped basin.  The small pool is on the south side, is about 35 feet in diameter and appears to be nearly 20 feet deep.  Water flows from an oblong limestone opening (8 feet wide) and creates a slick on the surface that is about three feet wide.  The water is clear, and a lot of sub-surface limestone was visible on date of visit in October 2001.

The spring pool is mostly surrounded by a stone and concrete wall that extends eight feet above the surface.  There is an opening in the wall on one side that serves as a dive/observation platform.  The larger pool is about 300 by 175 feet and has a sandy beach directly across from the spring on the north side.  Land rises up on all sides of the pools to a height of perhaps 30 feet.  Water flows from the large pool to the west through two weirs and into the little Wekiva River,forming an attractive creek

Use/Access
Private'”use only by residents of the subdivision and their guests. Sanlando and Starbuck Springs appear to be used for swimming and for water extraction.

Local Springiana

Personal Impressions
Misrepresenting his intent as being a potential home-buyer in the subdivision, JF was given a quick tour of the area by a realtor and was able to see and inspect this spring.  The things one does in the name of springs exploration--mea culpa.

Nearby Springs
Palm Spring, Starbuck Spring, Apopka Spring, Volusia Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che-Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Heath Spring, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Rock Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Blue Spring State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest
 
 


Seminole Spring
Volusia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”0 magnitude (no longer flows)
Scenery'”fair
How Pristine?'”in back yard of house, enclosed in plugged concrete well
Access'”private property

Directions
From Osteen:  Go approximately 6 miles west on the Enterprise-Osteen Road.  Turn left/south into Stone Island development.  Spring is at latitude 28.50.44N and 81.14.05W.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
In two attempts, JF has been unable to locate this spring, so relies on the description provided by the SJRWMD:

Since the description by Rosenau and others (1977), the spring has been abondoned by the owners.  In March 2000, the swimming pool was removed and only the small, 7-foot-diameter concrete pool enclosing the vent and a small-diameter well remain.  The vent appears to be filled with dirt, and only a trickle of water came from the valved spigot (Springs of the SJRWMD, Draft, 2002, pp. 2).
Use/Access Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Heath Spring, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring, Rock Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring, Wekiwa Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Blue Spring State Park
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest
 
 

Wekiwa Springs
Orange County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”Excellent
How Pristine?'”retaining wall around spring, cleared park area above spring
Swimming'”very good, excellent snorkeling
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”fine
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$3.25

Directions
From Interstate 4 north of Orlando, exit west on State Road 434. Go just over a mile, then turn right (north) onto Wekiva Springs Road. Follow about five miles to entrance to Wekiwa Springs State Park on the right. The spring is on the right, just past the pay station.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The springs form the headwaters of the Wekiva River (note that the spring is spelled "Wekiwa," and the river is spelled "Wekiva").  The main flow is from a crevice or fissure adjacent to the rock/concrete retaining wall as you walk down to the spring from the parking area.  The top of the vent is about four feet below the surface, and it extends and narrows down perhaps 15 feet before becoming too narrow for human passage.  Water flows up at the rate of approximately 42 MGD from this fissure, creating a large and raised boil on the surface.  A second spring flows from a small limestone opening about 50 feet to the right of the main vent (when facing the spring pool from the parking area near the retaining wall.  This spring creates a mild slick on the surface.

The springs form an oval pool, framed by a retaining wall on three sides, approximately 125 by 250 feet in diameter.  Water flows under an arched footbridge, through another larger pool, and then into a run where it is joined about 3/4 mile downstream by Rock Springs Run.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
Snorkeling in Wekiwa Springs in the narrow fissure against the powerful flow of the upwelling water is one of the more exciting skin-diving experiences one can have in Florida. Canoeing in the river is excellent. Wekiwa is one of Florida'™s best state parks and a lovely spring as well. The far-sighted individuals and organizations that preserved this spring and its (and Rock Spring'™s) watershed from development have done a great service to this and future generations.

Nearby Springs
Apopka Spring, Volusia Blue Spring, Camp La-No-Che Spring, Clifton Spring, Gemini Springs, Heath Spring, Messant Spring, Miami Spring, Palm Spring, Rock Spring, Sanlando Spring, Starbuck Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Rock Springs Run State Preserve
Hontoon Island State Park
Ocala National Forest

Contact Information:
Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, FL 32712
407-884-2009
 
 
 

B.  Tampa Bay-Area Springs

Crystal Springs
Pasco County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”retaining wall around pool, weir/dam at downstream end, some clearing abve spring
Swimming'”no
Protection'”privately owned natural preserve, restoration and study efforts, water extraction
Access'”permission required from land, reachable by canoe/kayak from Hillsborough River downstream

Directions
From Zephyrhills, go south on U.S. 301 about 2 miles. Go left (continuing south) onto Crystal Springs Road about 2 miles to the spring, which is on the right (west) side of the road.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring pool is roughly oval and about 275 by 125 feet in diameter. Water flows from a several vents, sand boils, and openings along the lower edges (outside) of the pool and in the run below the pool.  There is a large vent in the south end near a small island. This vent is about 5 feet deep, and the flow creates a slick on the surface. A pipe was visible amid the limestone opening, extracting water from the spring.  There is a small cavern system associated with the spring that has been measured to 85 feet.  The general pool depth is 3-5 feet, and there is a dam at the north end to raise the water level in the pool. There are concrete and riprock retaining walls along the edge of much of the pool. There is a concrete viewing/swimming platform with steps at the south end and a walkway around the pool and over the dam.

Water spills over the dam into the original spring run, where is it immediately joined by the flow from a creek and forms the headwaters of the Hillsborough River. Water in the spring is clear and blue/green. Aquatic vegetation covers much of the bottom, and fish, wading birds, snakes, and some algae may be seen.  Hardwood, pine, and cypress trees are along the banks of the spring.  Native plants, including trees, ferns, pickeral, and lizard's tongue, have been planted along the edges of the pool to give it a more natural appearance and to help prevent erosion and runoff into the pool.

According to Champion & Starks, Crystal Spring provides a large portion of the flow of the Hillsborough River during the dry season; from 1980-1985, 50-80 of the Hillsborough River's flow was from Crystal Spring (May 2001, p. 7).  Nitrate levels in the spring are above naturally occurring background levels; citrus fertilization has been identified as the most likely source of nitrate in the basin (FDCA/DEP, 2002, p. 13).

Use/Access

Local Springiana
The spring was formerly open to the public for swimming and picnicking. Public access was closed in 1996.  The owner proposed an increase in extraction from the spring from 300,000 to 1.8 million gallons per day (and up to 2.6 MGD over ten years).  Crystal Springs is a primary source of the Hillsborough River, Tampa'™s main water supply.  The proposal elicited strong protests from environmental groups, and the permit request (and subsequent appeal) was denied.  The company then scaled down its requested increase to 600,000 gallons a day.  In April 2002, the SW Florida Water Management District issued a permit allowing up to 300,000 gallons a day to be extracted.  In 2000, 106 million gallons were pumped from the spring for bottled water (Schneider, 2001).  An organization called Save Our Springs (SOS) was a leading voice against the spring drawdowns, writing petitions and calling for a boycott of Perrier products.  The SOS web site may be accessed at the following address: http://www.saveourspringsinc.org/home.htm

The spring pool was first created in the 1920s, when a basin was dynamited out of the limestone.  Water has been extracted from the pool for generations.

Personal Impressions
JF loved visiting Crystal Springs as a boy and young man, taking his bride-to-be and later his children there to enjoy the clear and cool water.  He saw an otter in the run just below the dam on his last visit in the early 1990s.  At that time, water was being taken from the spring but it was still open to the public.  JF spoke with the preserve manager, who noted the owners are very interested in being good stewards of the site and allowing groups--especially students--to use the preserve as a platform for learning and environmental study.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area
Withlacoochie State Forest
Hillsborough River State Park
Lettuce Lake County Park

Contact Information
Crystal Springs Preserve
P.O. Box 190
Crystal Springs, FL  33524
813-715-9707
 
 

Espiritu Santo Springs (Beauty, Stomach, Kidney, Liver, Pure Water, and Unnamed)
Pinellas County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude total
Scenery'”poor
How Pristine?'”springs covered by development, water piped for spa and fountain
Swimming'”in pool filled by spring water
Protection'”unknown
Access'”excellent to fountain and spa, none to actual springs
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”excellent
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free to spring-filled fountain, fees to use private spa

Directions
In downtown Safety Harbor at the edge of Safety Harbor in upper Old Tampa Bay.  Most of the springs are underneath the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa at the end of Main Street where it meets Bayshore Drive.  The fountain is across Bayshore and one block south of the Resort and Spa by the Marina Park Fountain and marina.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
Six small mineral springs are located in this developed area.  Five of the springs are underneath the building complex for the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa.  According to information provided by the spa (www.safetyharborspa.com), the five springs are named Beauty (for its cosmetic benefits), Stomach (for overall health problems), Kidney (for kidney benefits), Liver (to help the liver), and Pure Water (lower in mineral content and used for drinking).  In the past, the springs were also called Worth's Harbor Springs, and Green Springs, the latter name suggesting their water had a green tint.  According to the spa, the total flow from the five springs is about 67,000 gallons per day, which would mean an average of about 13,000 gallons per spring per day or 9 gallons per minute (6th magnitude flow) from each spring on average.

Additional information from the spa web site lists the following minerals as being present in the five springs' flows (no differentiation between springs or mineral levels by spring provided):  bicarbonate, boron, bromide, calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, flouride, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, phosphate, potassium, silicate, sodium, sulfate, and zinc.

A sixth spring is located about 300 feet to the SSW in the front yard of a private residence along Bayshore (a few feet from the street), across the street from the Marina Park Fountain.  This unnamed spring is covered with a steel lid.  The author could find no historical information about this particular spring, which for many years was piped a short distance into Safety Harbor at the marina.  In 2001, the town of Safety Harbor tapped water from this spring and existing pipe for use in the new Marina Park Fountain.  When visited by the author in July 2002, the attractive fountain was operating.  A park staff person said the high mineral contents of the spring were filtered so as not to clog the fountain with mineral deposits.

According to a story about the fountain in the St. Petersburg Times (Tucker, May 18, 2001), it was estimated that the spring flow would take two days to fill the 8,700 fountain pool.  If this is an accurate calculation of the spring's flow, its discharge is about 4,350 gallons per day or 3 gallons per minute--6th magnitude flow.

Traditionally, these springs flowed a short distance--perhaps 200 feet--into Safety Harbor.

Use/Access


Local Springiana
The springs are recognized as a National Historical Landmark and a Florida Heritage Landmark.  A marker near the springs says the following:

ESPIRITU SANTO SPRINGS
Where Healing Waters Flow
____________

On May 18, 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the shores of what is now Tampa Bay, landing near these mineral springs used by the native population for nearly 10,000 years.  Believing he had found the legendary Fountain of Youth somehow missed by Ponce de Leon, de Soto established a camp here, naming its crystal-clear waters Espiritu Santo Springs--"Springs of the Holy Spirit."
Each of the five springs on this site was identified and said to cure certain ailments, a claim drawing thousands of visitors yearly to the "Health Giving City" of Safety Harbor.
The Safety Harbor Sanitorium opened its doors here in 1926, offering porcelain bath tubs and a large swimming pool for "taking the waters."  In 1945 the springs and sanatorium were sold to Dr. Salem H. Baranoff, who opened the facility as a health spa.
Today the springs continue to attract health-conscious travlers.
 

JF would like to see documentary/journal evidence that de Soto believed these springs constituted the Fountain of Youth.

Personal Impressions
The springs are significant historically and one of only a few springs still utilized as a spa and for health purposes in Florida.  JF was a little disappointed, however, at not being able to actually see the springs themselves.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Honeymoon Island State Park
Anclote Key State Preserve
Chassahowitzka River National Wildlife Refuge

For More Information
Safety Harbor Resort and Spa
105 North Bayshore Drive
Safety Harbor, FL  34695
800-458-5409
727-726-1161
 
 

Eureka Springs
Hillsborough County

Photo and scan map

Summary of Features
Scale'”only flow in times of well-above-average rainfall; natural flow disrupted
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”in park/garden setting, paths, exotic plants and flowers
Swimming'”no
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”small to none
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”good
Safety'”excellent
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From Tampa, go east on Interstate 4.  At the U.S. 301 exit complex, take exit 6C east, then bear right onto Eureka Springs Road and continue to Eureka Springs County Park, on the left.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
At least five springs are located in Eureka Springs County Park. Little evidence of flow was observed in January 2000.  Three springs are within 150 feet of the parking area'”to the north, west, and south.  The largest spring site (to the north) is adjacent to the parking and picnic areas and is a circular pool about 50 feet in diameter.  There is no flow from the spring, which is covered with duckweed and other aquatic vegetation.  A second spring is in front of (west) the parking area, is oval-shaped and about 8 feet across and 15 feet long.  The spring forms a shallow and plant-covered run that flows about 125 feet south to join the run from a fourth spring to the west.  The third spring near the parking area spring has a small (sex feet in diameter) circular pool with brown water. The pool is mostly canopied.

Two other springs are located within a wooded, swampy area in the park that is encircled by a boardwalk on its perimeter.  The larger of the two springs is in the SW corner of the boardwalk trail, and its headwaters may be viewed through the dense foliage and plant-filled waters.  It forms a run that flows east and which is joined by the smaller two springs near the parking area.  No vent was visible.  A fifth spring is near the center of the heavily wooded and swampy area in the middle of a looping boardwalk that goes through the park.  Its narrow and shallow run was seen, but the foliage was too thick to permit view or access to the spring itself and it was not visited.

When the springs flow, their runs combine into a run that enters Six Mile Creek, which is now the site of the Tampa Bypass Canal.  Staff at the site told JF that the springs only flow in times of above-average rainfall.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
Any dead spring is a sad sight, and Eureka Springs is another example of how complex spring/aquifer connections can be.  The park is attractive, although it is virtually forgotten and lies an unattractive and somewhat obscure location between the interstate, the Tampa Bypass Canal, and an airport.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area
Withlacoochie State Forest
Hillsborough River State Park
Lettuce Lake County Park

Contact Information
Eureka Springs County Park
6400 Eureka Springs Road
813-744-5536
 
 

Indian Spring
Pinellas County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude (278-486 gallons per minute)
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”in yard of private residence, retaining wall around most of spring pool
Swimming'”used for wading and playing
Protection'”good
Crowds'”small
Access'”spring on private property, no access without owner approval

Directions
From St. Petersburg, go north on U.S. 19 several miles to Highway 688 (Ulmerton/Walsingham Road).  Go left (west on Walsingham Road for 6.3 miles to Hamlin Road and turn left (south).  Go 2 blocks and turn right (west) onto Pine Drive.  Spring and run are in the yard of a house on Pine Drive where the street makes a 90-degree turn to the left (south).

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
Water from a couple of flow points forms a kidney-shaped pool with dimensions of about 40 by 30 feet.  The main flow is at the east edge of the pool, from a small limestone opening near concrete/stone steps.  A second flow point is at the ESE end of the pool through another limestone opening in a small grotto adjacent to the spring pool.  Water in the pool is clear and clean, and pool depth range from a few inches to 2.5 feet near the center.  Water plants, algae, fish, crawfish, wading birds, and a brown water snake were visible in and around the pool on date of visit in November 2002.  The bottom is mostly sandy; limestone was also visible on the bottom.

Concrete and stone steps lead down to the pool (between the two flow points) from the adjacent house and carport.  There is a cinderblock retaining wall around most of the pool, built in the 1970s, which formerly had a wier/dam mechanism to raise the level of the spring pool.  The dam is now gone and the water flows naturally into its original run.  Near the spring, the run is 2-6 feet across and lushly vegetated with native and cultivated plants, including banana trees.  The run flows a short distance through a nearby condominum complex and thence into a lake that connects into the intracoastal waterway and the Gulf of Mexico.  Land rises gradually to the east and north of the pool, forming a little ridge near Hamlin Road.  There are oak and citrus trees in the yard near the pool.

According to the adjacent landowner, the spring is the largest of up to seven springs in the immediate area.  Not all still flow.  One of the other springs is located about two blocks SW on 113th Street.  A sign in front of a private residence says "Mask Spring."  JF did not visit this spring which is not visible from the street.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
The spring is named for the Native Americans who used the site for thousands of years before European colonization.  Artifacts have been found in the area.  Additional information on the spring is provided in the publication, Indian Rocks:  A Pictorial History (Indian Rocks Area Historical Society, 1985), which is available at the Indian Rocks Historical Society about half a mile from the spring.

Other Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Hillsborough River State Park
Little Manatee State Recreation Area
Fort DeSoto Park
Egmont Key State Park
Caladesi Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park
 
 


Lithia Springs
Hillsborough County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”good-fine
How Pristine?'”developed swim/park area, retaining wall and fence around one spring, sandbags and fence around other
Swimming'”fine-excellent, fine snorkeling
Protection'”very good
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”fine
Facilities'”fine
Safety'”excellent
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$2 per person

Directions
From Interstate 75 in Brandon, go east on State Road 60 (Exit 51). Go about 3 miles and turn right/south onto Lithia Road, which later becomes Lithia Pinecrest Road. Drive about 7 miles and turn right at entrance to Lithia Springs County Park and proceed to the spring.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
There are two spring areas/pools at this site. The larger pool is roughly oval and about 100 by 200 feet in diameter. The pool is formed by the flow from a couple of vents amid large limestones in the back center (western end) of the pool. The depth of the pool varies depending on the water table and rainfall. Under normal conditions, depths range from shallow at the edges to 3-5 feet in the center, except at the vents where it is up to 8 feet depending on water levels. In times of drought, the depth can be much reduced. A large grating placed over the vent prevents access.

Water in the spring is clear and blue over the vent. In the areas where there are plants in the water, the water has a greenish tint. Some fish may be seen in the spring around the grating and in the pool, and the bottom is mostly sandy with some large rocks. A retaining wall has been erected around much of the spring to prevent erosion. There is hydrilla in the lower end of the pool and in the run'”it is manually removed from the main pool area. At the lower end of the pool, the run bends to the SW and flows about 100 yards to the Alafia River. Land slopes up from the spring to a partially cleared park area. The Alafia River flows behind the western end of the spring and is separated from the spring by a 10-foot natural levee covered in hardwoods and palm trees.

The smaller pool is near the run of the larger spring to the SW. Water flows from a limestone opening at the base of a bank in the east end of the pool. Under normal conditions, the vent is about 6 feet deep, but is shallower in times of drought. The spring forms a roughly circular pool about 45 feet across that forms a short (about 100 feet), winding, shallow, and narrow run to the Alafia River. The pool and its run are canopied and mostly shaded, in contrast to the larger pool which is entirely sunlit. The eastern side of the pool is sandbagged to prevent erosion. A mild boil is visible on the surface above the vent, which is also grated to prevent access. There is some hydrilla in the pool and run. There is a fence above the sandbagged end of the spring.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions

JF grew up in nearby Tampa and visited Lithia Springs on several occasions as a boy in the 1970s. His love of springs had its genesis in these exhilarating days spent swimming, diving, courting, jumping from trees, hunting sharks'™ teeth, and hanging out at the springs. Some of his fondest memories are associated with Lithia Springs. The smaller spring was accessible during this time, and the trees that canopy it served as good jump-off points into the spring and its run.

Other Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Hillsborough River State Park
Little Manatee State Recreation Area
Fort DeSoto Park
Egmont Key State Park
Caladesi Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park

Contact Information:
Lithia Springs County Park
Brandon, Fla.
813-744-5572
 
 

Philippe Spring
Pinellas County

Photo and map

Summary of Features
Scale'”no current flow
Scenery'”good
Swimming'”fair
Protection'”fine
Crowds'”none at spring, can be crowded at adjacent park
Access'”fair, water only'”wading or boat from nearby launch
Facilities'”fine in adjacent park
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
From intersection of U.S. 19 and State Road 60 in Pinellas County, drive west on SR 60 1.5-2 miles to State Road 590 just before the Causeway.  Drive north on SR 590 about 5 miles, through the community Safety Harbor, to Philippe Park on the right at sign for the park.  Take entrance road into park and turn right at T-junction in front of the water (Safety Harbor).  Drive a short distance and park on the left just before the beginning of a low rock wall on the left side.  Between picnic pavilions is a small point of land with a weather monitoring station.  The spring is located a short distance offshore just to the left (north) of the small point of land.  Wetterhall (1965, p. 13) said the vent is "about 200 feet east of the west shore of Safety Harbor." A ranger at the park told JF in May 2001 that the spring was about 30 feet offshore. Based on recollections of a visit to the site as a youth, JF remembers the vent as much closer to shore than 200 feet.  With no sign of the spring or its manmade housing visible from shore, and without wading into the water, JF could not determine the spring'™s exact location.  See map.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The submarine spring site is not visible from shore, and all that can be seen is the relatively dark and murky water of Safety Harbor.  JF recollects, from a visit in approximately 1975, that there was once concrete pipe in the vent that was perhaps 6 inches in diameter and extending 1-2 feet above the surface.  This pipe was jammed with rocks and trash, and the spring was not flowing.  A ranger at the county park told JF in 2001 that no flow had been seen from the spring in years.

The ranger also noted that, over the past couple of years, two hillsides in the park had seeped water for several months each.  A small creek that enters the park a few feet from the west near the main entrance may also be a run from a small spring, and a pond in a housing development adjacent to the county park on the south also appears to be spring-fed but had no outflow on date of visit in May 2001, a time of historic drought.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
Visiting the park for the first time in over 25 years was a nice experience for JF, who coincidentally ran into his old 7th grade physical education teacher while looking for the spring.  JF remembers pulling rocks out of the spring pipe circa 1975 to see if the spring would flow again as a result.  When nothing happened, he jammed the rocks in again.

Other Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Hillsborough River State Park
Little Manatee State Recreation Area
Fort DeSoto Park
Egmont Key State Park
Caladesi Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park

Contact Information:
Philippe Park
2525 Philippe Parkway
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
727-669-1947
 
 

Salt Spring
Pasco County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fair to excellent
How Pristine?'”adjacent to mall and near highway, but spring pretty pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”none
Access'”none at time of publication; site in process of development as a state park

Directions
The spring is directly behind the south end of Gulfview Square Mall in Port Richey. From U.S. 19, turn west onto Salt Springs Road at the south end of the mall. Drive to the back of the mall and continued on the road which becomes sandy and passes alongside the mall'™s holding pond to the right (north). The spring pond will become visible through shrubs and grass to the left (south). Across from the west corner of the mall holding pond, look for and proceed down a path 200 yards to the spring run and spring.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring forms an oval-shaped pond behind it with dimensions of about 200 by 300 feet. Water flows from an indeterminate spot at the western end of the pond, either at the head of the pond or just before a constriction that flows an S-shaped run about 100 feet wide and 10-25 feet across. Water flows strongly in the short run, which is surrounded by shrubs and trees. While water in the lake is dark, the run is lighter and has some green color although it is not very clear. The run narrows and flows over a dirt/limestone road into an estuary/bayou system and thence into the Gulf of Mexico. Just below the spot where the run crosses the road is another vent in very shallow water.

Wetterhall and Rosenau (citing Wetterhall) describe two limestone bridges under which water flows. One of the bridges is likely the road over (and under as well?) which the spring flowed on date of visit in May 2001. JF did not see any spot where the run went underground, but there was also a second spot in which the water became very shallow and he was able to wade across. The locations of these two shallow spots correspond roughly to the Wetterhall descriptions:

The water flows 100 feet westward to a natural bridge where it enters a hole in a vertical bank, flows about 3 feet underground, and then emerges from a hole in the opposite vertical bank . . . the water flows about 75 feet westward to another natural bridge about 10 feet wide and emerges from three holes in the bottom of the sloping western side of the natural bridge (1965, pp. 19, 22). Use/Access Personal Impressions
Salt Springs State Park is now the 13th spring park in the state system. It acquisition is a happy testament to the efforts of citizens and local and state officials and their recognition of the value and fragility of this unique Florida feature.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Hillsborough River State Park
Little Manatee State Recreation Area
Fort DeSoto Park
Egmont Key State Park
Caladesi Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park
 
 

Sulphur (or Sulfur) Spring
Hillsborough County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”blighted urban area, near dog track and housing projects
How Pristine?'”dangerously polluted
Swimming'”no
Protection'”restoration efforts planned
Crowds'”none
Access'”none/closed

Directions
The spring is located about 1/8 mile east of Interstate 75 where it crosses the Hillsborough River. From I-75, exit onto Bird Street and go one block east (in front of dog track) to U.S. 41 (Nebraska Avenue). Go right or south on U.S. 41 just past dog track to the spring on the right just before the Hillsborough River.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring is encircled in concrete and about 50 feet in diameter. The pool was fenced off when visited in 2000, but previously was fairly clear and about 30 feet deep. Flow from the limestone openings creates large slicks on the surface of the pool. Water in the spring has a sulfurous odor. Water exits the concrete enclosure over two spillways and into a shallow and sandy run of about 200 yards to the Hillsborough River.  Large fish may be seen in the run.  There is a concrete retaining wall along part of the run outside the pool and a sidewalk around the pool.  A pumphouse is next to the pool. About 100 yards west of the spring is a domed structure that for years pumped water from the spring into a small drinking fountain. The spring is in a densely developed area of homes, businesses, and highways.

According to Dumeyer (in Abstracts of . . . 2003), the spring's

tributary area contains numerous sinkholes, many of which are used as urban stormwater drains because the area has no natural surface drainage to the [Hillsborough] river.  The only natural surface channel is Curiosity Creek which drains 3.5 miles of the NW part of the area and originally flowed into Blue Sink, a swallet, where the surface flow entered the solution channels to Sulphur Springs.  Blue Sink became plugged in 1974 and the surface waters now have to be pumped to the river.  In addition to the creek, Blue Sink was also fed by Ewanowski Spring, a third magniude spring located 300 feet to the NW of Blue Sink.  The plugging raised local water levels by 7-8 feet and blocked the flow from the spring.  Initial pump testing showed that Ewanowski Spring could yield about 6 cfs if the Blue Sink water level was lowered to the original level.  The Sulphur Springs flow recored show a subsequent decline after Blue Sink was plugged (p. 13).
An investigation is being made to see if Blue Spring can be unplugged to help restore the historic flow of Sulphur Springs.  The partners in this research are the Tampa Water Departemnt, the Hillsborough River Basin Board, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Abstracts of . . . 2003).

Florida'™s Springs: Strategies for Protection and Restoration (Hartnett, 2000), records that Sulphur Spring suffers from high levels of coliform bacteria (perhaps from septic and local sewage system intrusion), nitrate levels as high as 0.89 mg per liter from stormwater runoff, reduced flow due to the filling of sinkholes that fed the spring, and increased levels of sodium in the springflow (p. 19).

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Hillsborough River State Park
Little Manatee State Recreation Area
Fort DeSoto Park
Egmont Key State Park
Caladesi Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park
 
 

Tarpon Spring
Pinellas County

Summary of Features
Scale'”no current flow
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”near downtown, concrete retaining wall, near park and neighborhood
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”usually small
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”none at site
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
The spring is at the head of Tarpon Street in downtown Tarpon Springs. From the intersection of U.S. 19 and State Road 582 (Tarpon Springs Road) on the east end of Tarpon Springs, drive west (through downtown) about one mile to where road dead-ends at the spring.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring is set in a circular pool about 200 feet in diameter. Water once flowed from a large cavity near the south side, but does not flow today. The water is salty, and the spring was a submarine spring connected via a subterranean passage to Tarpon Lake 2-3 miles to the east. Fresh and salt water flowed back and forth from the spring to the lake, depending on tidal and other factors that are not fully understood. Periodic draining and filling of Lake Tarpon and the filling (with debris) of the hole in Lake Tarpon connecting the lake and the spring cut off the spring flow altogether.

Today, the water includes no fresh flow, and visibility is about 3 feet. According to Wetterhall, the spring was once up to 125 feet deep (1965, p. 17), but is now silted. A seawall and walkway surround the spring, and there is a park on the south side. Land rises above the spring on the north side toward downtown Tarpon Springs. The north side has decorative steps and lampposts as well as a small platform that extends a few feet over the basin. The former spring is connected to an estuary system that flows about three miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
As is sometimes the case with springs, Tarpon Spring'™s flow was reduced and ultimately shut off due to lack of knowledge or consideration for its special and complex plumbing. The site is now an attractive little park, but minus its flow might be any small cove or harbor.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Honeymoon Island State Park
Anclote Key State Preserve
Chassahowitzka River National Wildlife Refuge
 
 

Wall (or Health) Spring
Pinellas County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”in park area, double-fenced, concrete retaining wall, spring polluted
Swimming'”no
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”usually small
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”fine
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From downtown Tarpon Springs, go south on Alt. U.S. 19 an estimated 2.5 miles (note--distance was not measured).  Turn right (west) at sign for Wall Spring Park, cross Pinellas Trail and proceed to park entrance.  The spring is near the parking area, about 150 feet south of the restrooms.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring pool is about 20 feet in diameter and about four feet deep.  It is enclosed by a circular concrete wall and flows into an adjacent small cove or lagoon (Boggy Bayou) a few feet away.  The bay opens to the Gulf of Mexico.  The wall extends a few inches above the surface for about 1/2 of the enclosure, and is higher on the east and north sides, extending about three feet above the water.  There are two fences around the spring.  The floor of the spring is exposed limestone, and water issues from a limestone opening with dimensions of about 3 by 5 feet that looks like a human head profile.  The water is clear, creates a surface boil, and the pool had a greenish tint on date of visit in July 2002.  The vent appeared to be about 8 feet deep.  According to historic measurements (Rosenau et al, 1977), the flow has an elevated and variable chloride content, and the amount of salt in the water probably varies with the tide, amount of rainfall in the spring's recharge area, and other factors.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
The spring is significant historically and is set in a nice park and recreation area.  The fencing around the spring is unsightly, and it is unfortunate and not a little ironic that Wall or "Health" Spring is so unhealthy that no one can swim in it.  Because of it location near golf courses and the waste treatment facility, the spring's flow will likely remain polluted for a very long time.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Honeymoon Island State Park
Anclote Key State Preserve
Chassahowitzka River National Wildlife Refuge

For More Information
Wall Spring Park
3725 De Soto Boulevard
Palm Harbor, Fla.
727-942-4653
Fax:  727-943-4677

Revamped Park Offers Place of Tranquility
Theresa Blackwell. St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Fla.: Jun 21, 2005. pg. 6

http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sptimes/access/855841771.html?FMT=FT&FMTS=FT&date=Jun+19%2C+2005&author=THERESA
+BLACKWELL&desc=A+place+of+tranquility

The latest round of amenities is now open at Wall Springs Park. But don't slip into the cool spring for a dip - unless you like water
moccasins.

The aggressive, poisonous snakes are stirred up from the removal of cattails, a park official says.  And no matter how tempting the water looks from the railing of the new boardwalk, swimming is not allowed.

But there are plenty of other things for park visitors, including a new butterfly garden, picnic shelters, fishing piers and a 35- foot observation tower overlooking St. Joseph Sound.  The county spent about $2.5-million for the third phase of improvements to the southern section of Wall Springs Park.  The project renews the springs' status as a recreation destination, a role that goes back at least 110 years, probably much longer.

Pinellas County officials plan a grand opening dedication at 9 a.m. July 23 for the more than 190-acre park located at 3725 De Soto Blvd.   Previous phases included parking, restrooms and a house for the park supervisor.

Visitors are already checking out the new playground with ramps for wheelchair access, resting in the picnic shelters and gazing into the depths of the spring.
There's a fishing pier off the new southern parking lot.   From the boardwalk, a wide sidewalk loop goes to Picnic Island, where there are more picnic shelters, restrooms, fishing piers and the observation tower.
 
 
 

C.  Lake Panasoffkee and Gum Slough Springs Groups

Lake Panasoffkee Springs Group
 
 

Fenney Spring
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”surrounded by ranch land
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”by water only, land is private
Facilities'”none
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
The spring lies at the head of Shady Brook, which flows into the southern tip of Lake Panasoffkee.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this spring, so rely on the description by Champion & Starks:

Fenney Spring, situated on private property, is located about 2 miles east of Coleman in Sumter County on Hwy 484.  Fenney Spring lies at the head of Shady Brook, in a spring pool 50 feet in diameter.  The spring vent is in about 25 feet of water, and after heavy rain events, may discharge tannic water, as was the case during a site visit in July 1999.  The spring is surrounded by woodlands and ranch land used to pasture cattle (May 2001, p. 78).

Use/Access

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 

Shady Brook Spring
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”unknown
Swimming'”unknown
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”small to none
Access'”unknown
Facilities'”none
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
The spring lies about 1 mile below (southwest) of the head of Shady Brook, which flows into the southern tip of Lake Panasoffkee.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this spring, so rely on the description by Champion & Starks:

Shady Brook Spring is located in Sumter County approximately 2 miles southeast of Coleman.  The spring is about one mile southwest (downstream) of Fenney Spring, and is surrounded by private property.  Access to the spring is by foot traffic only.  The spring pool is approximately 30 feet in diameter with a maximum depth of 10 feet.  The spring produces a noticeable boil on the pool surface (May 2001, p. 79).

Use/Access

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 


Belton's Millpond Springs
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude total
Scenery'”fair-good
How Pristine?'”incorporated within golf course and RV park
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”small-none
Access'”seek permission for access

Directions
In complex of Shady Brook Golf Course and RV park just east of the intersection of U.S 301 and CR 470 in Sumter County.  The spring vent areas are near the main entrance to the property.  After turning off the highway, the road immediately turns left and winds back around the golf course and the RV and mobile homes.  the spring vent areas on on the right just after this initial left turn where the elevation drops away into trees.  Look for signs of karst terrain--exposed limestone at the surface.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
There are 3-4 springs where water flows up through limestone openings in small alcoves.  These vents each create small pools (5-12 feet in diameter) and runs within an area of a few hundred feet of each other.  The pools all have clear but dark water and depths that appeared tp be 6-10 feet on date of visit in April 2003.  The vents are framed by trees and other vegetation, and their surfaces have duckweek and other aquatic vegetation, although not above the vents.  The runs converge after about 200 feet to form a main run that widens from 10-30 feet wide over the next few hundred feet before widening into a large pond that has been created by a weir about 500 feet downstream.  There is an island in the pond, the latter of which covers several acres.  In the run shortly before it widens into the pond, there is another vent that creates a clear and large (10 feet in diameter) click on the surface.  The depth of this vent could not be determined visually.  Water flows powerfully over the weir in a water fall and what appears to be the original spring run.  This run is about 25 feet wide and several feet deep, and large fish were observed in the water.  The banks of the run are heavily vegetated and sub-tropical.  The run flows into Shady Brook, which flows into the southern tip of Lake Panasoffkee.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
The springs are attractive, and the spring run below the manmade pond is beautiful.  JF wonders if the owners of the golf course utilize best management practices to reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides that are used on the adjacent land and springshed.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 


Maintenance Spring
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude
Scenery'”fair-good
How Pristine?'”adjacent to golf course and RV park, artificially enlarged
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”golfers and residents walking by
Safety'”poor; alligators in pond
Access'”on private property

Directions
In complex of Shady Brook Golf Course and RV park just east of the intersection of U.S 301 and CR 470 in Sumter County.  The spring is between two holes of the golf course and adjacent to RVs and mobile homes.  After turning off the highway, the road immediately turns left and winds back around the golf course and the RV and mobile homes.  Look for a circular pond, with woods behind it, a golf cart path along side, a utility pole next to it, and about 150 feet from a low, grassy, manmade rise/hill.  It is about 1/5 mile to the west of Belton's Millpond.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
This prosaically named spring is in a man-enlarged circular pond that is 150 feet in diameter.  Water flows from a two-foot-wide limestone opening in the south-central portion of the pool and creates a mild boil on the surface.  Some limestone and a sandy bottom are visible in this section of the pool, which appear to be 2-5 feet deep.  There was some vegetation and algae in the water on the date of visit in April 2003.  Water appears to flow through a pipe at the NW end of the pool, in to tun from Belton's Millpond, and thence into Shady Creek and Lake Panasoffkee.  Land is cleared and developed for golf and residences on three sides of the spring and if flat.  A mother alligator and several baby alligators were living in the pool on date of visit.

Use/Access

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 


Canal Springs
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”total 2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fair
How Pristine?'”along canal in developed area
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”little-none
Access'”very good
Facilities'”boat launch nearby
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
Fromthe intersection of Interstate 75 and County Highway 470, go west on 470 for a few miles (exact figure not measured).  Turn right onto County Road 485.  The head of the canal is on the left shortly after the turn.  The main spring flows from the head of the canal; the others are within 250 feet of this spring and in the canal.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
JF located one definite spring and two probable springs in this canal, based on the directions and descriptions provided by Champion & Starks:

Canal Spring #1B is located in the southwest corner of Lake Panasoffkee near C.R. 485 and C.R. 485A off County Hwy 470.  Spring #1B is composed of two vents on the bottom of the canal channel.  Both vents are 2 feet in diameter and are 4 feet apart.  One vent is 5 feet deep and the other is slightly deeper at 8 feet.  Spring #1B produces a visible boil at the surface of the water.  Another Spring, Canal Spring #1A, is located 10 feet north of #1B (May 2001, p. 82).

The most obvious spring flows from a pipe or hole at the base of the concrete/cinderblock wall at the head of the canal.  The opening is just above the surface, and the flow appeared to be less than a gallon a second.  The canal wall forms a semicircle, and the land rises up steeply approximately 10 feet to the level of the street and adjacent houses.  Steps lead down to the canal, which was covered in exotic water lettuce and did not appear to have been used by a boat for some time.  The bottom appeared to be about 4 feet deep.  Banks along canal are coverd in vegetation, including poison ivy, and there are houses and trees above the canal along its course to the Lake Panasoffkee.

The resident of the second house on the south side of the canal said there was a vent behind her house, but JF could not see a slick on the surface.  From a boatramp about 300 feet down the canal, JF could see the sites of the springs described by Champion and Starks, but could not see any sign of a boil on the surface.  A resident of the house next to the boat ramp told JF there had also been boils near the boat ramp in the past, and that many of the canals in the neighborhood had springs in them.

Use/Access

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 


Henry Green Spring
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”unknown
Scenery'”unknown
How Pristine?'”unknown
Swimming'”unknown
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”unknown
Access'”unknown
Facilities'”unknown
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”unknown

Directions
This spring is located just west of Interstate 75 between its intersections with the Florida turnpike and S.R. 44.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this spring and had not heard of it before July 2002.  It is pinpointed on a map by Champion & Starks (May 2001, p. 76), but no other information is provided.  Based on the map, it lies at the head of Little Jones Creek, which flows about 4 miles into the northern end of Lake Panasoffkee.  About a mile below the spring, the run is joined by the run of the unnamed spring listed below.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 


Unnamed Spring
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”unknown
Scenery'”unknown
How Pristine?'”unknown
Swimming'”unknown
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”unknown
Access'”unknown
Facilities'”unknown
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”unknown

Directions
This spring is located just east of Interstate 75 and the Florida Turnpike where they intersect.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this spring and had not heard of it before July 2002.  It is pinpointed on a map by Champion & Starks (May 2001, p. 76), but no other information is provided.  Based on the map, it flows about 1.5 miles to enter Little Jones Creek, which flows another three miles into the northern end of Lake Panasoffkee.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 
 

Gum Slough Springs Group

Gum Slough Main Spring
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”dock near spring, mostly natural
Access'”no access

Directions
The spring is adjacent to private land near the Marion/Sumter County line, about 4 miles NE of the Withlacoochie River and 6 miles W of Interstate 75.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this spring, so rely on descriptions by Champion & Starks from the late 1990s and by Rosenau et al. in the 1970s.  According to the more recent information from Champion & Starks,

Gum Spring Main is surrounded by private property and is posted no trespassing.  The spring pool is approximately 80 feet in diameter. Flow emanates from a circular rock vent in the central part of the pool.  The vent is about 25 feet in diameter at the top edge, which is at a depth of 5 feet, and funnels down to a depth of 13 feet below the pool surface.  The owner of the land surrounding the spring has maintained the natural condition of the area for the protection of wildlife, and calls it "Seven Springs Wildlife Refuge" (May 2001, p. 87).

There is an old dock at the spring.  To see Rosenau et al.'s earlier description of this spring and the others in the group, click on the following address:  http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/springs_of_fl/aaj7320/gum.html

Use/Access

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 


Gum Slough Springs 1-4
Sumter County

Summary of Features
Scale'”total large 2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”mostly natural state
Access'”no access

Directions
The springs are adjacent to private land near the Marion/Sumter County line, about 4 miles NE of the Withlacoochie River and 6 miles W of Interstate 75.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this spring, so rely on the late 1990s descriptions by Champion & Starks and the 1970s descriptions by Rosenau et al.  According to Champion & Starks:

Gum Slough #1:  Located approximately 300 feet northeast of Gum Spring Main.  It has an irregular shaped pool about 20 feet in diameter and is located in an open, grassy, wooded area.  Surrounding land types include swamp forest to the northwest and higher, flat terrain which is sparsely pine-wooded to the southeast.  The pool is about 40 feet in diameter, and the vent is approximately 15 in diameter at its top, wihch is about 3 feet below the pool surface (May 2001, p. 88).

There appears to be a typographical error in this description, which first states that the pool is 20 feet in diameter, then that it is 40 feet in diameter.

Gum Slough #2:  Located approximately 0.5 miles downstream from Gum Spring.  The vent is approximately 30 feet in diameter with a maximum depth of 17 feet.  A slight boil is visible at the water surface above the vent.  The spring vent is located on the north side of the spring run, and there is a small island that borders the south side of the spring.  Gum Slough #2 and Gum Slough #3 are less than 100 yards apart from each other.  The owners of the property have named the spring "Blue Hole" (May 2001, p. 89).

Gum Slough #s 3-4--no description provided.

To see Rosenau et al.'s descriptions of these springs, click on the following address:  http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/springs_of_fl/aaj7320/gum.html

Use/Access
The springs are surrounded by private property and there is no land access.  The run looks swampy and shallow, and is probably not navigable.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 


Alligator Spring
Sumter/Marion County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”very natural
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”no access

Directions
The spring is adjacent to private land on the Marion/Sumter County line, about 4 miles NE of the Withlacoochie River and 6 miles W of Interstate 75.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this spring, so rely on the description by Champion & Starks:

Alligator Spring (Gum Spring 01A) is located in dense swamp woods on the Mation - Sumter County line.  The spring pool is about 50 feet in diameter.  The edge of the vent is about 6 feet from the pool surface and is 20 feet in diameter.  Spring flow emanates from under a rock ledge on the north side and near the bottom of a circular vent in the central part of the pool.  The run, which is the uppermost reach of Gum Slough, bends wouthwest about 500 feet.  There is a large 10-foot alligator that lies at the bottom of the pool, and has been there every time the spring has been visited for sampling (May 2001, p. 86).

To see Rosenau et al.'s 1970s description of this spring, click on the following address:  http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/springs_of_fl/aaj7320/gum.html

Use/Access
The spring is surrounded by private property and there is no land access.  The run looks swampy and shallow, and is probably not navigable.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 


Wilson Head Spring
Marion County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”land cleared near spring, pool enlarged and enclosed by dike
Access'”adjacent to private property, water access blocked

Directions
From Ocala, drive SW on State Road 200 to where is crosses the Withlacoochie River.  Put in boat and go upriver about 1.5 miles.  Run from spring enters the river from the left NNE.  Enter run and proceed another 1/4 mile to edge of spring pool.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The authors have not visited this spring, so rely on the description by Champion & Starks:

Wilson Head Spring is located about 20 miles south of Ocala off State Hwy 200 on private property.  The spring pool is about 100 feet in diameter in a semitropical hardwood swamp forest about 0.25 miles north of the Withlacoochie River.  The pool has been artificially enlarged and is enclosed by an earthen dike with a 5-foot wide outlet on the northeast side.  The pool water level is about three feet below the top of the dike.  The pool is approximately 10 feet deep in the west central part of the spring.  A slight boil is evident at the surface.  Spring flow discharges to the Withlacoochie River via a short spring run (May 2001, p. 90).

Use/Access

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area
 
 
 
 

D.  Other Springs

Kissengen Spring
Polk County

Summary of Features
Scale'”does not flow
Scenery'”poor
How Pristine?'”former recreation area, now overgrown and unkempt
Swimming'”no
Crowds'”none
Facilities'”none
Scuba'”no

Directions
For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring has not flowed since 1950.  The area around the traditional flow site is grassy and overgrown. It historically was a second magnitude spring that flowed into the Peace River.

The authors have not visited this spring, but heard a presentation on by Charles Cook of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at conferences on Florida springs in Gainesville in February 2000 and 2003.  According to Cook:

Kissengen Spring, located on the upper Peace River in south-central Polk County, historically discharged approximately 15-20 million gallons per day (MGD).  Ground-water withdrawals from the upper Floridan aquifer, initially for mining and later for agriculture and public supply, have lowered the potentionmetric surface in the vicinity of the Spring by over 40 feet since the mid-1930s.  This resulted in a gradual decline in discharge from the spring with a complete cessation of flow by the late 1950s.

 . . . In 2001, the SWFWMD conducted an investigation to determine the degree to which ground-water withdrawals in Polk County would have to be curtailed to resume discharge to the spring.  Results of the study indicated that in order to return 10 mgd of discharge, average annual ground-water withdrawals would have to be reduced by approximately 200 mgd over a 690 square mile area surrounding the spring in Polk County.  Since reducing ground-water withdrawals by this magnitude would result in severe economic impacts to the region, it was decided to determine the cost of replacing the ground-water withdrawals with alternative water sources.

Using estimates developed in the SWFWMD's Regional Water Supply Plan, the cost of developing alternative sources to replace 200 mgd of ground-water withdrawals could be as high as $1.2 billion (pp. 24-25).

Use/Access
There is no current utilization of the spring, which is not open to the public.

Local Springiana

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Paynes Creek State Historic Site
Hillsborough River State Park
 
 


Manatee Mineral Spring
Manatee County

Summary of Features
Scale'”0 magnitude (no longer flows)
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”in small park near downtown in neighborhood
Swimming'”no
Protection'”good
Crowds'”low recreational use
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”good
Safety'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
From the intersection of State Road 64 and U.S. Highway 41 in Bradenton, drive south on U.S. 41 for about five blocks.  Turn left (east) and go another two blocks to park/spring site.  Note:  JF did not write down the name/number of the side street from U.S. 41, and it may not be 5th Street but is nearby if incorrect.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The site of the historic spring is covered with a circular concrete plug that is about 7 feet in diameter and nearly one foot thick.  There is no flow or evidence of flow (i.e., a dry run) a the site, which has evidently been dry or plugged for many years.  It appears that the spring originally flowed north and emptied into the Manatee River a few blocks away.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
An historic marker is next to the spring (see photograph) and has the following inscription:

MANATEE MINERAL SPRING

Here flowed a spring which had been used by Indians and was found by Manatee's first white settler, Josiah Gates, who settled nearby in January 1842.  It served Branch Fort, when the early settlers camped nearby for protection from the Seminole Raid of 1856.  During this encampment, the first child born (March 4, 1856) was Furman Chairs Whitaker, who became Manatee County's first native born doctor, practicing here from 1896, until shortly before his death in 1945.  In the early 1900s, the spring became the center of a small park which included a pacnic pavilion.

Personal Impressions
JF stumbled across the park while visiting the historic district in 1993.  He remembered the park and was able to find it again in December 2001, when the photograph was taken.

Other Nearby Natural Features
Lake Manatee State Recreation Area
Little Manatee State Recreation Area
Myakka River State Park
Myakka State Forest
Egmont Key State Park
Fort DeSoto Park/National Historic Site
Oscar Sherer State Park
 
 


Warm Mineral Springs
Sarasota County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”developed spa, adjacent buildings, land cleared near spring
Swimming'”yes
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”can be heavy
Access'”excellent, fee for use
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”excellent
Scuba'”only with special permission
Cost'”varies by services and use

Directions
The springs are located about a mile north of U.S. 41 in North Port in southern Sarasota County, a short distance above Port Charlotte. The entrance is well signposted off U.S. 41.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The spring forms a circular pool about 200 feet in diameter. Water in the pool is clearer in the mornings and after periods of rain, but tends to get cloudy during the day. The flow may also be affected by tide (Rosenau et al., 1977, p. 327). Water flows from a cave system that has been explored to depths of more than 250 feet. The water is high in salt and sulfur content and is about 85 degrees on the surface. The temperature rises as the depth increases and is over 90 degrees in the deepest portions. Land around the spring is mostly cleared, except for ornamental plants and palms. Much of the perimeter of the spring has been modified into a beach area. Water exits the spring pool on the SW side and flows into Salt Creek, which flows about 2 miles into the Myakka River.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
Visiting this spring is not just like traveling in time, it is also like traveling back to the old world.  When JF visited the spring in 1996, he did not hear any of the customers speaking English; the all sounded like they were from eastern Europe.

Nearby Springs
Little Salt Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Myakka River State Park
Myakka State Forest
Oscar Sherer State Park
Port Charlotte Beach State Recreation Area
Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Don Pedro Island State Recreation Area
Gasparilla Island State Recreation Area

Contact Information
The Springs:  An International Spa at Warm Mineral Springs
San Servando Avenue
Warm Mineral Springs, FL 34287
941-426-1692
 
 

Zolfo Springs
Hardee County

Summary of Features
Scale'”0 magnitude (no current flow at historic site); est. 5th magnitude nearby
Scenery'”fiar
How Pristine?'”overgrown area of pool site, near park and house
Swimming'”no
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good
Facilities'”fine in adjacent park
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
The historic spring site is behind a house in an area set aside as a city pioneer park and museum on the west side of the town of Zolfo Springs along Highway 64.  Turn north off Highway 64 into the park/museum/historic area/zoo and look for an old house in the NE end of the park along the back road that parallels Highway 64.  Look behind the house for remnants of concrete in the brush at the edge of the forest and for the dry spring run.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
There is no current flow at Zolfo Spring and apparently has been no flow since the town plugged up the spring with concrete in the 1960s, according to a park staff person working at the site.  The site of the pool once built around the spring is completely overgrown, and evidence of the pool is difficult to see amid the brush and overgrowth.  The historic spring run passes through semitropical forest (estimated to be 1/3 mile)  to the Peace River.  On date of first visit in December 2001, portions of the old run contained water but no flow.  The run is 6-10 feet wide and countersunk several feet below the general surface.  The size of the run suggests the historic flow was probably third magnitude.

A short distance downstream in the Peace River--perhaps 1,000 feet south of the original spring--there are numerous drips and seeps on the east side of the river and on both sides of the boat ramp.  The more northerly seeps are from 3-4 cracks in the limestone back and trickle into the river.  The cracks appear to have been worn into the limestone by the flow, are a few inches wide, and extend up the bank which was 5 feet high on date of visit in April 2002.  This portion of the bank is on the river side of a peninsula perhaps 400 feet long and 75 feet wide.  A pool created by the peninsula to the east of the river abuts the campground at the park.  It is possible that these little flows are merely river water seeping through the narrow peninsula into the river.

The other seeps are south of the boat ramp and consisted of perhaps six distinct trickles from the bank and a large wet area, all within 100 yards of the boat ramp on the east bank.  It is possible that these seeps are merely surficial flow from a large pond/small lake a short distance to the east.  There is also what appears to be a sinkhole just above these seeps to the south, which is being used as the alligator pen in the park's zoo.  Alternatively, all these seeps may be caused by the stopping up of Zolfo Spring in the 1960s..

Use/Access
There is no utilization at the old spring site.  The adjacent historic/pioneer park includes a museum, boat ramp, RV park, campground, zoo, locomotive, old cabin, and other historic structures.

Local Springiana
The old pool at Zolfo was built in the 1930s as a WPA project.  It was used until at least 1963, based on an article published  that shows a photo of the pool and touts its recreational value ("Zolfo Springs Awakens After Long Sleep," in Area Development Progress, Nov.-Dec. 1963, p. 2).  Based on the old photograph, the pool was rectangular, about 25 yards in length, and had a low diving board.  The article states that the spring has "quite a history.  Years ago, Seminole Indians came here to drink the spring water, at times camping for months or more," p. 2.

Personal Impressions
The site is worth a visit to search for the remnants of the old pool and the historic run.  JF did not know the fenced area above the seeps was a zoo until he saw an ostrich just a few feet away inside the fence!

Other Nearby Natural Features
Highland Hammocks State Park