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

XI. Northeast Florida Springs







Contents

          Northeast Florida Springs
               Beecher Springs
               Forest (Sulfur) Springs
               Fountain of Youth "Spring"
               Green Springs
               Green Cove Spring
               Heilbronn Springs
               Kingsley Lake
               Mud Spring
               Nashua Spring
               Satsuma Spring
               Welaka Spring
               Whitewater Springs
 
 

Beecher Springs
Putnam County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”poor
How Pristine?'”retaining wall around pool, used as fish hatchery
Swimming'”no
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”none
Access'”not open to public
Facilities'”none

Directions
From Fruitland in Putnam County, go about 1.5 mile north on State Road 309 to entrance to national fish hatchery on the right. The hatchery road goes another 0.8 miles north, then turn west onto a sand trail and go another 0.2 miles to the springs.

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 not open to the public and was not visited. According to Rosenau et al., the spring is (or at least was in 1972) impounded and partially framed by a retaining wall.  It is oval and about 150 by 75 feet.  The pool contains several sand boils and is 8-10 feet in the deepest areas.  There are many small fish in the pool, the waters from which are used in the fish hatchery on the site (1977, pp. 308-309).  The pol has a natural bank on the east side and a concrete walk and retaining wall witha 4-foot metal rail on the west side.  Land is cleared or partially clear around much of the pool, and there are woods to the south (Springs of the SJRWMD, draft, 2002).  The spring run flows south about 1.25 miles to the St. Johns River.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions

Parts of the hatchery may be seen from State Road 309, but not the actual spring pool.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ocala National Forest
Welaka State Forest
Ravine State Gardens
Washington Oaks State Gardens
Faver-Dykes State Park
 
 


Fountain of Youth "Spring"
St. Johns County

Summary of Features
Scale'”0 magnitude (no longer flows)
How Pristine?'”Enclosed in building as part of historic attraction area
Swimming'”no
Protection'”very good
Crowds'”in tourist attraction that can be crowded
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”excellent
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for kids age 6-12

Directions
11 Magnolia Avenue in St. Augustine; part of the Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth National Archeological 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 spring site is incorporated into a diorama depicting Spanish explorers meeting with Native Americans in St. Augustine in 1513.  A springhouse is built around the site from coquina in a Spanish mission style.  A framed description of the spring house in the gift shop notes that the springhouse "houses Ponce de Leon's famous spring of eternal hope."  The spring does not flow; the flow apparently ceased following a geological event in the 19th century.  The flow point is now surrounded by a small shaft, serves as a well, and still contains water.    The well is a cylindrical tabby-lined shaft in the floor with a low pipe-fence enclosure around it to keep people from falling into it.  The diorama is immediately behind the well, depicting the Indian village of Seloy, the historic landing site of Ponce de Leon.  An adjacent sign says the following:
 


T H E   F O U N T A I N   O F   Y O U T H
 ________________

THIS SPRING WAS DISCOVERED IN 1513
AND WAS RECORDED A LANDMARK IN A
SPANISH GRANT

Use/Access

Local Springiana Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Ravine State Gardens
Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area
Anastasia State Recreation Area
Guana River State Park
Gold Head Branch State Park
Anastasia State Recreation Area
Faver-Dykes State Park
Ocala National Forest

For more information:
Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth National Archeological Park
11 Magnolia Avenue
St. Augustine, FL  32084
904-829-3168
 
 


Forest (or Sulfur) Springs
Putnam County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”near path, otherwise completely pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”none
Access'”good
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From intersection of Highways 309 and 308B in Welaka (Putnam County), go south on Highway 309 for 1.5 miles to entrance to Mud Spring trailhead on the west (right) side of the road. Walk about ¼ on Mud Spring trail until trail crosses a wide sand road. Turn left and continue about another 0.3 mile to springs on the left at sign.  One pool is 150 feet east of the access trail, the other is 250 feet east of the trail.

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 only found one of the springs at this site (Spring #2). The spring forms a shallow oval pool with dimensions of about 4 by 12 feet. There was one visible vent'”a small hole in the bottom at a depth of about 18 inches. The rest of the pool was about one foot deep. The vent forms a visible boil on the surface, and the water is clear and has a sulfur smell. Flow from the spring forms a creek the same width as the spring that flows alongside and then under the sandy road thence about ¾ mile to Lake George. The area around the spring is forested and low.

SJRWMD notes there are two spring pools, about 100 feet apart.  Spring #1 is smaller and more upstream than #2.  The description continues:

Flows from the two springs join about 50 feet west, below Spring 2, in a meandering brook, or run, that continues west about 100 feet to pass through a culvert beneath the access trail and then flows toward Little Lake George, which is about 0.75 mi west of the trail . . . There was a red deposit on the bottom of the run just below Spring 1.  The water was clean and clear (2002, draft, pp. 9-10)
Use/Access Personal Impressions

Biting insects prevented JF from conducting a more thorough reconnaissance of the area. The spring itself is not much to look at'”just a little wet spot that forms a creek along the sandy road.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

Green Cove Spring
Clay County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”encircled by concrete, in urban park setting
Swimming'”none in spring, good in adjacent spring-fed pool
Protection'”good
Crowds'”in well-used park that can be crowded
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”outstanding
Safety'”excellent
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free to see spring; $2 for adults and $1 for children to swim in adjacent pool

Directions
In the center of Green Cove Springs. From the intersection of U.S. 16 and SR 17 in Green Cove Spring, go one block north on U.S. 17 and turn east onto Spring Street and continue one block to the spring and Spring 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 spring appearance has not changed since it was described in detail by Rosenau et al. in Springs of Florida (1977). The authors of this Guide cannot add to or detract anything from Rosenau'™s excellent physical description of this spring:

The spring is in a city park amid oak and palm trees on the west bank of the St. Johns River.  The spring pool, about 20 feet in diameter at land surface, is bounded by a 2-ft.-high decorative concrete railing.  The pool tapers downward in soft marl like an irregularly shaped funnel to a 2-ft. diameter cavern opening in its bottom, 31.5 feet below water surface.  The 2-ft. opening then opens into a cavern 25 feet wide trending in a NE direction toward the St. Johns River.  The roof of the cavern descends to a depth of 50 ft. and the bottom of the cavern falls to 150 feet.  Some of the flow in this cavern is toward the St. Johns River, and it is possible that the spring does discharge water into the river bed.  Most of the flow appears to emanate from the 2-ft. opening in the bottom of the pool.  Discharge from the pool is through a 4-ft.-wide weir opening in the NE side to a 50-ft. by 100-ft. swimming pool.  The swimming pool overflows through a weir on its east end to a spring run that is tributary to the St. Johns River about 300 ft. farther east.  Some or all of the flow from the spring can be directed from a flume to bypass the swimming pool.  The water is clean and clear and has a hydrogen sulfide odor (pp. 169-170). One dates of visit (1995-2001), JF has observed coins, a golf ball, a brick, and other debris that had been thrown into the spring.  There is algae growing on the rocks in the spring, and there are whitish deposits in the run.  The spring run below the pool winds through the city park surrounding the spring and is clear, a few inches deep, and 8-10 feet wide.  Banana and other trees have been planted along the spring run.  A sign next to the spring says it is 28 feet deep and provides 1990 measurements of its flow and water content/quality characteristics.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
Of all the developed springs the authors have seen, Green Cove is perhaps the nicest and most pleasant. The system for filling the city pool is as simple as it is ingenious. While the wall around the pool is not natural, it does seem to keep most people out of the spring if not from occasionally tossing things into it.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ravine State Gardens
Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area
Anastasia State Recreation Area
Guana River State Park
Gold Head Branch State Park
 
 


Green Springs
Volusia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”very low flow
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”remnant of pumping structure around spring
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”none/private

The authors have not visited this spring and so rely on directions and descriptions from Roseneau et al. (1977) and an historic description by Bill (1869).

Directions
Green Springs is about 5 miles WNW. of Osteen. Drive west for 6 mi on the Enterprise-Osteen Road from the junction with State Highway 415, turn right (north), and continue 0.2 mi 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
Description from Roseneau et al.:

Green Springs is in an open, semitropical hardwood and palm forest. The pool is semicircular, about 90 ft in diameter and is reportedly about 125 ft deep in its north-central part, where a conical-shaped hole in limestone gradually diminishes in diameter with depth. Overhanging rock ledges are said to extend into the hole at depth from its east and west. On April 21, 1972, the water had a moderate hydrogen sulfide odor and a turbid green color, in part the result of algae, which limited its clarity. 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 low-swimming area.  A diversion gate in the northeast corner of the wall can be opened to lower the water level for cleaning of the shallow part of the pool.  Spring flow is into a shallow run 6 ft wide and 2 or 3 in. deep at the southeast edge of the pool and then southeast about 200 ft to a small creek that flows south 0.25 mi to Lake Monroe (1977).
Use/Access
In 1977, there was no public access, and the spring was used for private recreational use (Roseneau et al., 1977).

Local Springiana
In his 1869 book describing winter travels in Florida, Ledyard Bill described Green Spring as follows:

It is circular in form, and nearly eighty feet in diameter; and its surface is as smooth as unrippling as if congealed.  The water is of a delicate green and quite transparent.  Its depth is said to be full an hundred feet.  No living thing was seen in its waters, which are sulphurous, though not markedly so.  Its taste, however, was not especially pleasant; and we should prefer good clear spring-water to it, for purposes of health.  It might serve a good use for bathing; but it is, in all respects, far inferior to the healthful crystal spring at Green Cove. . . . This spring is not now used, and we observed no signs of its having been by any one.  It is simply a curiosity, and is visited as such.  An expert swimmer might bathe in it, but none others, since its shores are as deep as its center, and it is quite forbidding in view of its depth and color.  A small outlet, six feet wide and as many inches in depth, carries the wastage waters to the lake, a third of a mile distant (pp. 134-135).
Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
Ravine State Gardens
Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area
Anastasia State Recreation Area
Guana River State Park
Gold Head Branch State Park
 
 


Heilbronn Springs
Bradford County

Summary of Features
Scale'”very low flow
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”remnant of pumping structure around spring
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”none/private

Directions
In Starke, from intersection of U.S. 301 and State Road 16, go NW on SR 16 for 6 miles to bridge at Water Oak Creek. Walk west (left) along bank to locate the flows. Two are about 150 yards from the bridge, and the main flow is a short distance further on 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
JF found two small flows in the creek as well as the probable run from the main flow on a visit in 1998. The first flow is about 150 yards from the SR16 bridge on the right or north bank. Water flows from a small opening at the rate of about 1 gallon/second a few feet into the creek. The second flow is in the creek bed a few feet to the west. The flow from this spring is greater than that from the first spring.

About ¼ mile west of the bridge, a run enters the creek from the left (south). It appears to be the run from the spring described in Rosenau et al. (1977, p. 74-75). In 1998, this flow was only a trickle and frequently dipped below the ground and out of sight. When the run neared trailer homes, JF did not proceed further. There were no signs of a structure (in Springs of Florida, there is a cylindrical wall with a roof and fence around the spring, a pump, and pipes leading from it), although there was lumber in the run.

The banks of the creek are steep and about 10 feet high. The area around the spring is forested. Water Oak Creek flows into the New River.

Use/Access
No apparent use. The spring may still be used, however, to provide water for local residents.

Local Springiana

Personal Impressions
It was kind of creepy walking up the run; JF feared attack by pit bulls if he made too much noise or went too far up the spring run.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ravine State Gardens
Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area
Anastasia State Recreation Area
Guana River State Park
Gold Head Branch State Park
 
 



Kingsley Lake
Clay County

Summary of Features
Scale'”Surficial spring- and rain-fed lake 2 miles across
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”some of shoreline is developed
Swimming'”excellent
Protection'”good
Crowds'”can be heavy on warm days
Access'”very good
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”yes

Directions
In Starke, from intersection of U.S. 301 and State Road 16, go east on SR 16 for 8 miles to community of Kingsley Beach. Turn right at convenience store on right (currently called Strickland'™s One-Stop), and proceed to either the campground or swim park that both offer access to the lake.

Spring Description
Kingsley Lake had previously been described on this site as a spring-fed lake.  According to information from William Osburn, a Hydrologist tiwh the St. Johns River Water Management District,

Kingsley Lake is a more or less a perched lake that is fed by rainfall and Surficial aquifer seepage along the lake bottom. Water leaks out of the bottom of the lake into deeper aquifer system.  During construction of the monitor wells near the entrance to Camp Blanding, the water management district found the top of the Floridan aquifer to be around 410 ft below land surface (BLS) or -184 ft MSL. The water level in the Floridan aquifer is at 64 ft MSL, while the water level in the lake is at 175 ft MSL. Only water from the Surficial aquifer system--the shallowest--can feed water to the lake. Since the Surfical consists of about 95 ft of unconsolidated sands at this site, it can't support openings--thus the water flows through the sands as seepage. This is the most common method by which Florida lakes exist. The Intermediate and Floridan aquifer water levels show that the lake would be loosing water to both of those aquifers. If water is flowing in the hole in the middle it is flowing out of the lake. However, there must be little flow as the lake maintains a pretty stabel level (e-mail communication, February 23, 2004).

The lake is notable for being both nearly perfectly round as well as nearly exactly two miles across. There is an 85-foot deep hole in the middle of the lake (Scalpone, p. 30). Water in the lake is clear and blue.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
The lake has been a recreation site since the 1890s.

Nearby Springs
Heilbronn Springs
Wadesboro Spring
Whitewater Springs
Green Cove Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ravine State Gardens
Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area
Anastasia State Recreation Area
Guana River State Park
Gold Head Branch State Park

Contact Information
Kingsley Beach RV Campground
6003 Kingsley Lake Drive
Starke, FL 32091
904-533-2006
Strickland Landing (swim park)
904-533-2321
 
 

Mud Spring
Putnam County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”Fine-excellent
How Pristine?'”land cleared above spring, pavilion nearby, otherwise pretty natural
Swimming'”no
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”small to none
Access'”2/3 mile hike to spring
Facilities'”good
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From intersection of Highways 309 and 308B in Welaka (Putnam County), go south on Highway 309 for 1.5 miles to entrance to Mud Spring trailhead on the west (right) side of the road. Walk about 2/3 mile to 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 in area of deep hardwood and palm/palmetto forest near the St. Johns River. The spring forms a circular pool about 40 feet in diameter. There is a small footbridge at the western edge goes over a 30' concrete weir/gate of the pool where the run begins. This western end of the pool is bounded by an earthen dike.  The weir--with stop logs--controls the level of the pool.  A boil is evident near the center of the pool, flowing upward from a 12-foot vent at a depth of about 6 feet.  The pool was clear and blue. Flow from the pool creates a ½-mile run to Mud Creek Cove, which is part of the St. Johns River. The spring and run contain eelgrass, water lilies, and duckweed. The path to the spring and the spring run pass through areas of wetlands, bayheads, hammocks, and sandhills.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
The spring was formerly dammed to form a large swimming pool, and there were houses near the spring (Rosenau et al., 1977, pp. 312-313). There is little evidence of the development today, and the site is in a very natural condition.

Personal Impressions
JF first found the spring trail on a business trip in June 2001. It was 8:20 p.m., and JF was dressed in business clothing, but he decided to see the spring. Running/stumbling down the path to the spring in the gathering darkness, he was rewarded by the lovely site of the pool'”which is not the least bit muddy'”and its babbling run. He photographed it and panted his way back to the car. When the film was developed, the Mud Spring shots were too dark to see anything! It took a subsequent trip to secure the photographs that are included herein.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ocala National Forest
Welaka State Forest
Ravine State Gardens
Washington Oaks State Gardens
Faver-Dykes State Park
 
 

Nashua Spring
Putnam County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude, est.
Scenery'”good-very good
How Pristine?'” spring pristine, houses nearby
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”no direct access
Facilities'”fine nearby
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From intersection of U.S. 17 and Highway 309 in Satsuma (Putnam County), drive south on Highway 309 for 3.4 miles and then turn right (west) onto a dirt road and go another1/3 mile 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
JF has not visited this spring, so relies on the description provided by the NWFWMD, itself derived from Roseneau et al., 1977:

Nashua Spring is in a grassy clearing in the mouth of a shallow wooded ravine on the east side of the St. Johns River.  It has a pool basin about 25 ft wide and 85 ft long, oblong westward.  Flow is from two vents in rock about 50 feet apart near the north side of the popl.  A spring run 4-5 ft wide connects the pool with the St. Johns River, 250 ft to the west.  Its stage is reportedly affected by tides, the spring is subject to flooding by the river.  The east vent measured 6.5 feet deep and 3-4 feet in diameter; the west vent was 8 ft deep and tapered down from 8-3 ft in diameter.  The of the rest of the pool was about 2 ft, and the run was only a few inches deep.  The bottom of most of the spring basin and the run is sandy.  rooted aquatic vegetation is common.  The water has a hydrogen sulfide odor and a salty taste (2002, draft, p. 22).
Use/Access
Land around the spring is privately owned, and not accessible to the public.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ocala National Forest
Welaka State Forest
Ravine State Gardens
Washington Oaks State Gardens
Faver-Dykes State Park
 
 


Satsuma Spring
Putnam County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”good-very good
How Pristine?'”spring pristine, houses nearby
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”no direct access
Facilities'”fine nearby
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From intersection of U.S. 17 and Highway 309 in Satsuma (Putnam County), drive south on Highway 309 for 2.9 miles and then turn right (west) onto Norton'™s Fishcamp Road. Continue another half mile until road ends directly in front of the Satsuma Spring run. The spring is 100 feet to 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
Satsuma Spring lies in a depression/ravine in a area of deep forest adjoining the St. Johns River.  The spring forms a semicircular pool 30 feet in diameter.  Water flows from a clearly visible funnel-shaped opening perhaps 5-6 feet deep.  The water looked clear and greenish from the author'™s vantagepoint 65 feet away, and the depth was only a few inches. The water has a pronounced sulfur odor.  Water from the spring forms a small run that flows 350 feet into the St. Johns River. Another small spring run joins the Satsuma run just below the pool on the SE side.  The run is 4-6 feet side and only a few inches deep.

Use/Access
There does not appear to be any utilization of the spring. There are houses on the north and east sides of the pool and run, and there is a fish camp at the site.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ocala National Forest
Welaka State Forest
Ravine State Gardens
Washington Oaks State Gardens
Faver-Dykes State Park
 
 


Welaka Spring
Putnam County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude (estimated)
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”near marina, otherwise very pristine
Swimming'”fair-good
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”small-none
Access'”boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”fair-good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
At junction of highways 309 and 308B in Welaka, proceed 300 feet west on 308B to public boat ramp. Travel by boat about 1 mile upriver on the St. Johns, enter wide mouth of Welaka run on the right (east) side of the river, and proceed to the spring.  From land (not allowed without permission), drive 1.1 miles north on SR 309 fromthe junction with SR 308B.  Turn west onto a dirt trail for about 500 feet, then follow trail north another 500 feet to the edge of the 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
Welaka Spring lies at the head of a 1,000-foot run that empties into the St. Johns River. The spring forms a shuttle-cock-shaped pool that is about 85 feet wide at its head and widens in the run. Water flows powerfully from two main vents near the center of the pool. The larger boil is more central, about 6 feet in diameter, and raises the water about 2 inches. The smaller boil is about 6 feet south of the large boil, is perhaps 3 feet in diameter, and is not as pronounced.  The bank rise approximatley 15 feet above the water and is densly wooded.  According to the SJRWMD, water flows from a cavity in the central part of the pool that is 20 feet in diameter.  In addition, there are several small springs that flow from the sandy bottom "near the south edge of the run, midway between the main spring and the river.  One of these springs reportedly has a considerably lower chloride concentration than Welaka Spring and has at times been used as a domestic water supply" (2002, draft, p. 32).

On date of visit in July 2001, the spring flow was bluish but not clear, and the surrounding water was brownish-green. According to Rosenau et al., the general depth around the spring is 5 feet, and the vents are approximately 13 feet beneath the surface (1977, p. 318-9). Land rises up around the spring and is dense hardwood forest.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
Welaka is a large and attractive spring of at least 2nd magnitude flow. There is no development at all on the north side of the spring, which has a primeval appearance. Welaka Spring is worth the trouble to visit.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

Whitewater Springs
Putnam County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude total
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”some flows very natural, others amid exotic vegetation and flowing wells
Swimming'”no
Protection'”fine
Crowds'”small
Access'”excellent to state gardens, fair-good to flows
Facilities'”excellent in state gardens
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$3.25 per car

Directions
From the intersection of U.S. 17 and State Road 20, go south on U.S. 17 for 0.9 miles. Turn south onto 18th Street and proceed to Twigg Street and the entrance to the Ravine State Gardens. Using a map and directions from state staff. Walk down into the ravines behind the visitors'™ center. Proceed upstream along the spring-fed creek (also upstream of the footbridge) to main spring flows in the NW part of the ravines. Other spring flows are in the other 20 ravines in the area.

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
A number of steephead springs, seeps, and flowing wells flow from the approximately 20 ravines that make up the geologic feature that is today called Ravine Gardens. The ravines were formed "by water flowing from beneath the sandy ridges that flank the west shore of the St. Johns River" (Florida State Parks, 1999, p. 27), which is a short distance to the east.

Two connected sets of ravines form a V-shaped depression nearly a mile long and from 70-130 feet deep. Creeks are formed in the bottom of each arm of the "V" and meet at the bend to flow to the St. Johns River. The larger springs are in the NW end of the upper or northern arm of the "V." Three springs are easily visible flowing up in the bottom of the ravine. At least one is a flowing well, and water comes up in a small fountain about 4" in height. The main flow was a pool at the west end of the ravine. It is perhaps 50 feet across and was obscured on date of visit (December 2000) by felled bamboo. The bamboo had been planted ornamentally in the ravine and appeared to have recently been felled.

Other springs and seeps may be viewed from the walking trails within the ravine along both arms of the "V." They typically lie along the steep slopes of the ravine and flow to the creek in the bottom. Rosenau et al. (1977) cite statements from staff at the State Gardens that there are more than 100 springs in the ravines altogether (p. 320). Water is impounded at the bend of the "V" and then flows in a canal toward the St. Johns River.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
The ravines are an oasis of nature in an otherwise unattractively developed area (a golf course flanks the western side of the ravines, for example). The area is very appealing and worth exploring by car, bicycle, and foot. The site is uncrowded except during festivals, and the visitor can have solitude on the ravine trails. The exotic plants, especially the bamboo, detract from the natural beauty of the ravines and even can block access to and view of the springs. Some of the park staff were knowledgeable about the springs.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area
Anastasia State Recreation Area
Guana River State Park
Gold Head Branch State Park

Contact Information
Ravine State Gardens
1600 Twigg Street
P.O. Box 1096
Palatka, FL 32178
904-329-3721