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

Part VI.
The Santa Fe River



The Santa Fe River (Spanish for "Holy Faith") begins at Santa Fe Lake and Little Santa Fe Lake in NE Alachua County.  Flowing for about 50 miles, it serves as the northern boundary for Alachua and Gilchrist Counties.  Hernando DeSoto explored the river in 1539.  According to A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to the Streams of Florida (Carter & Pearce, 1993, p. 134), the river is too shallow, obstructed, or swampy for good paddling until it crosses State Road 241.  From there one can paddle about 5 miles to O'™Leno State Park.

Within the state park, the river goes underground to pass through the Cody Scarp (or escarpment), an ancient coast line that divides the Gulf Coast Lowlands from what is optimistically called Florida'™s "Northern Highlands" (SRWMD, n.d.).  After flowing underground for three miles, the river rises again just north of High Springs.  Under new definitions, this river rise is considered a spring, adding another substantial first magnitude spring to the currently recognized total of 33.  Alapaha Rise and Holton Creek Rise are similar hydrologic occurrences.

From the River Rise to its conjunction with the Suwannee River, the Santa Fe may be paddled by even the novice canoer.  Its width averages about 100 feet, and there are no major obstructions or shoals.  In times of low water, rocks, fallen trees, and aquatic vegetation can pose a hazard to boat motors.  The current is mild except in times of flood, and there are about a dozen public or fee-for-use boat ramps on the north and south banks.  Water in the river can vary from clear to dark, but is generally clearer in the lower stretches due to the influx of spring water.  The river water is dark in times of flood and after heavy rains.

Most boaters enter the river at the U.S. 41/441, U.S. 27, or SR 47 bridges or at Rum Island.  The stretch from the U.S. 41/441 bridge to the Suwannee River is about 28 miles, with the ten-mile stretch from U.S. 27 to SR 47 being the most popular.  In general, the river passes through forested lowland, with occasional floodplains and swampy areas.  Banks are moderate and rise to about 15 feet in times of normal river flows.  There are public parks on both sides of the river, and major campgrounds at Blue and Ginnie Springs in the upper section and at Sandy Point and Elly Ray'™s in the lower section.

Below the State Road 47 bridge, there is more development, and a couple of springs are in the back yards of houses along the river.  Even so, there are still extended stretches that are in a natural state.  Below Wilson Springs, there are a couple of dramatic bends in the river that include some choppy water and even shoals and rapids during times of low water.  A major marker in the lower part of the Santa Fe is the confluence with the Ichetucknee River.  Under normal conditions, there is a dramatic difference in the clarity of the two rivers, with the Ichetucknee being much clearer. During the historic drought of 1998-2001, the Santa Fe was much clearer than usual and sometimes nearly as transparent as the Ichetucknee.

Springs, siphons, and abundant wildlife are defining features of the Santa Fe.  Sixty springs have been classified and measured below Worthington Springs, and another 8 named springs feed the Santa Fe from the Ichetucknee River.  The springs range dramatically in size, appearance, flow, and potential for swimming and diving.  In this short stretch, however, lie 8 first-magnitude, and 25 second-magnitude springs (Hornsby & Ceryak, 1998).

Most of the larger springs are clear and accessible to the canoer, snorkeler, or wader.  Among the many that may be dived, the Devil'™s Complex Cave System at Ginnie Springs, a private campground, is an internationally known dive mecca.  Fissures and shafts are common spring-vent types.  The majority of the springs lie alongside the river or just off the river at the head of short runs.  Some, including first magnitude springs, are in the river and more difficult to spot.  A few others lie well off the river in runs that may or may not be paddled because of obstructions, shallow water, or because they are on private property.  Water in these springs averages about 72 degrees year round.

Because of the unique combination of springs, interconnected springs, and siphons along the Santa Fe, it is likely that at least some of the water in the river sinks and rises several times in the course of its run to the Suwannee River.  For the spring aficionado, the Santa Fe is superceded only by the Suwannee.  However, springs are more clustered along the Santa Fe, and the river is more attractive and manageable for visitors in canoes or small boats.

Poe Springs County Park, Ginnie Springs, and Blue Springs all require a fee (currently $4-$10 per person) to make landfall.  At Blue Springs, a fence actually blocks boat access to the main spring and some of the smaller springs on the property.  That one spring excepted, however, one may enter spring runs and the springs themselves from the river as long as no landfall is made.  At Lily Springs, polite visitors are welcomed by Ed the Hermit, who lives in a wood and palm-frond hut and is caretaker of the property surrounding the spring.  Ed, a fixture at the spring since the mid-1980s, wears only a loincloth, and the owners of nearby Pickard Spring often wear less than that.  There are canoe livery companies in High Springs to cater to people who wish to canoe the river.  Outfitters include Adventure Outpost, phone (386) 454-0611, web site:  http://www.adventureoutpost.net.

Most of the Florida'™s major siphons also lie along the Santa Fe.  Like springs in reverse, siphons are locations where quantities of water flow directly from the surface back underground into the aquifer.  The six identified siphons along the Santa Fe drain an estimated total of 337 million gallons of water each day (Hornsby & Ceryak, 1998).  With siphon names like Big Awesome Suck and Little Awesome Suck, the siphons range from undramatic pools with gentle swirls to powerful--even dangerous--vortexes that drain as dramatically as a flushing toilet that is 15 feet across.

For precise GPS coordinates of the springs and siphons on the Santa Fe, obtain a copy of Springs of the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, which is published by the Suwannee River Water Management District, Department of Water Resources, 9225 County Road 49, Live Oak, FL 386-361-1001 or toll-free (in Florida) 800-226-1066.

Much of the land along the river is managed and protected by the Suwannee River Water Management District.  Because of this protection, canoers will see an abundance of wildlife, particular in the upper sections.  Turtles of all stripes bask on logs and often allow very close approach.  All major types of heron and egret will be seen on most days, and owls, hawks, osprey, limkin, and ibis are also common.  Alligators are less frequent, but have been seen by the authors even in areas that are used heavily for recreation.  Otters, feral hogs, deer, beavers, raccoons, and armadillos may also be spotted in quiet spots, especially in the mornings and evenings.

In all, the Santa Fe is perhaps the best little stretch in the world for seeing springs.  One can see over 30 springs in a one-day paddle.

On a related note, recent research had shed additional light on the underground flow of the Santa Fe River.  Heck et al., reported on exploration of nearly 50,000 feet of previously unexplored cave passages that began in 1995.  The outflow at the Santa Fe River rise is significantly larger than the amount that goes underground where the river sinks at O'Leno State Park.  Divers and researchers found a series of sinkholes (11 so far) that feed the sub-surface river.  The divers also removed an extensive amount of garbage from the sinkholes, including a Harley Davidson motorcycle (in Abstracts of . . . 2003, pp. 22-23).
 
 

Part VI Contents

          A. North of High Springs
               Worthington Spring
               Santa Fe Rise
               Treehouse Spring (ALA112971)
               Hornsby Spring
               COL428981
               Darby
               Columbia

          B.  U.S. 27 to State Road 47
                    An Essay on the Santa Fe River Between U.S. 27 and S.R. 47
               ALA930972
               ALA930971 (Alcove and Log) Spring
               Allen Spring (or COL428982)
               Poe Springs
               COL930971
               Lily Springs
               COL101971
               Pickard Spring
               Jonathan Spring (or COL101972)
               COL101974 (at Rum Island)
               COL101975 (at Rum Island)
               Rum Island Spring
               GIL101971
               Naked Spring
               Johnson Spring
               Blue Spring
               Little Blue Spring
               Little Devil Spring
               Devil's Eye Spring
               Devil's Ear Spring
               July Spring
               Ginnie Spring
               Dogwood Spring
               Twin Spring
               Sawdust Spring
               Deer Spring
               Unnamed Spring
               COL1012972
               COL1012971
                Big Awesome Siphon
                Little Awesome Siphon
               Siphon Creek Rise Spring (GIL1012973)
               Myrtle's Fissure
               GIL1012971
               GIL1012972
               47 Boatramp Spring

          C.  State Road 47 to the Suwannee River
               GIL928971
               Cedar Spring
               GIL928972
               COL928971
               Wilson Springs
               GIL99974
               Unnamed Spring
               Unnamed Possible Spring
               COL917971
               Sunbeam Spring
               Oasis Spring
               SUW917971
               GIL99972
               GIL99971
               Betty Spring
               GIL729972 (or GIL729973)
               GIL917971
               SUW917972
               Campground Spring
               Trail/Pleasant Grove Spring
               SUW107971
               GIL107971
               GIL729971
 
 

A.  Santa Fe River, North of High Springs

Worthington Spring
Union County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude
Scenery'”fair
How Pristine?'”overgrown concrete structure around spring
Swimming'”no
Protection'”none
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From the junction of State Roads 121 and 18 in the town of Worthington Springs, drive south about 0.4 miles and turn right onto poorly maintained dirt road that leads down to the river before the bridge over the Santa Fe. Park at the bottom and look to the right for the remnants of the enclosure around 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 in a low and damp wooded area near the north bank of the river. The area is subject to flooding when the Santa Fe River is high. The spring is surrounded by the crumbling remains of a concrete pool enclosure that rises up to 20 feet from the ground. The pool was once filled with water from the spring that was enclosed by an adjacent 12-foot-square concrete wall at the east end of the pool. The enclosure is overgrown with foliage. The pool walls are crumbling, and the nearly imperceptible flow from the spring piddles through a hole in the wall into the river at the east end.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
The spring is vaguely reminiscent of an overgrown Mayan ruin. There appear to be no plans to either restore the pool or tear down the crumbling structure that once enclosed it. It is not worth visiting for its physical beauty.

Nearby Springs
Santa Fe River Rise Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features


 
 

Santa Fe River Rise Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”trails around spring, fairly pristine
Swimming'”fair
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”none to small
Access'”can be difficult by water
Facilities'”none
Safey'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
By land:  Go north from High Springs on U.S. 27 about three miles. Cross the Santa Fe River and pass turnoff to boat ramp.  Look for entrance to River Rise State Preserve on the right in the next quarter mile.  Use map in State Preserve to walk to river rise.
By water:  From downtown High Springs drive about two miles north on U.S. 41/441 to bridge over the Santa Fe.  The boat ramp to the river is on the NW side of the bridge.  Put in and go two miles to river rise.

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 Santa Fe River rises and forms a horseshoe approximately 200 feet in diameter.  The large upwelling is visible in wide slicks on the surface. The water is tannin colored, and the depth of the vent cannot be determined visually.  According to Hornsby & Ceryak (1998, p. 27), the pool is 61 feet deep.  According to Scott et al., water flows up from beneath a limestone ledge at the NE side of the pool (2002, p. 51).  Land around the spring is hardwood forest and contains several trails and some small cleared areas.  Little aquatic vegetation is visible in the pool, except for duckweed.  The run below the pool was thick with vegetation, making passage by canoe challenging.

Use/Access
The river rise may be accessed by either land or water, although the authors have not been to the site from the land.  People appear to picnic on the banks above the river.  The site has few visitors.

Local Springiana
The land between where the river sinks and rises is a natural bridge that has been used for millennia by animals and people.  Because the area is in state hands, hunting for and removing artifacts is prohibited.

Personal Impressions
The authors, lacking any scientific standing or knowledge, do not consider this river upwelling to be a "true" spring, for its water is not clear and has not been filtered like that of other springs.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 

Treehouse Spring
Alachua County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”fair
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”none
Access'”good, boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
From downtown High Springs drive about two miles north on U.S. 41/441 to bridge over the Santa Fe.  The boat ramp to the river is on the NW side of the bridge.  Put in and go upriver about 2/3 mile.  Look for a circular cove on the right, created by 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 large first-magnitude spring, with an estimated flow of nearly 260 MGD, was not formally classified as a spring or measured until 1997 by Hornsby & Ceryak (1998, p. 20).  It is, however, one of Florida'™s largest individual springs.  Water flows up in wide slicks from a depth measured at 44 feet.  The spring pool is oval and was about 150 by 200 feet in diameter on date of visit (April 2000), a time of drought.  On this date, water in the Santa Fe River was quite clear, but the water in the spring was not clear enough to see the bottom or any limestone formations.  The authors speculated the flow might be an additional portion of the Santa Fe River Rise a short distance upriver.  The land surrounding the spring sloped upward about eight feet into low rolling hills of hardwood and floodplain forest.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
One of Florida's largest, this spring was not named until 2001.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 

Hornsby Spring
Alachua County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”boardwalk and swim/recreation area around spring, float in water, land above spring is cleared and park- or campus-like
Swimming'”excellent
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”can be heavy
Access'”private, access must be arranged
Facilities'”outstanding
Safety'”excellent
Scuba'”only with special permission
Cost'”varies

Directions
From downtown High Springs, drive about 1 mile on U.S. 41/441 to entrance to (and sign for) Camp Kulaqua on the right. Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to Camp Kulaqua grounds and the spring. There are signs in the Camp.

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 150 feet wide and 150 feet long before narrowing into a run that flows about 0.8 mile to join the Santa Fe River a short distance above the U.S. 41/441 bridge.  The water is clear and blue and flows from under a long (50 feet) limestone ledge.  The ledge is 15-20 feet deep, and a lifeguard at the spring said the bottom was more than 40 feet deep.  The spring run can be paddled in times of normal to high water on the river, but can also be obstructed. The run flows through a bottom-land floodplain area with hardwoods.   There are small springs in the run.  Land above the spring rises perhaps 18 feet in a park-like setting withlarge hardwood trees and buildings associated with Camp Kulaqua.  There are boardwalks and swimming facilities (dive board, lifeguard chair, large flotation device) at and in the spring.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
The spring is lovely, well maintained, and in a beautiful setting designed to restore the mind, body, and soul.

Local Springiana

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Camp Kulaqua
High Springs, Fla.
386-454-1351
 
 

COL428981 Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude to dry
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”very pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”private
Crowds'”none
Access'”private
Scuba'”no

Directions
From downtown High Springs, drive about two miles north on U.S. 41/441 to bridge over the Santa Fe.  The boat ramp to the river is on the NW side of the bridge.  Put in and go upriver about 1/2 mile.  Look for a small (3-5 feet) opening in the bank on the left that is the mouth of 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 lies just behind the 4-6 foot bank of the Santa Fe River. On date of visit (April 2000), a time of drought, the spring contained water but was not flowing.  The circular pool was 45 feet across and covered in duckweed. Hornsby & Ceryak (1998) describe the spring pool as "100 feet wide with a maximum depth of 15 feet and the run is approximately 15 feet long" (p. 35).  They measured a flow of 1.54 MGD on April 28, 1998 (p. 35). In times of high water on the river, the spring would be flooded and would perhaps reverse.

Use/Access
No apparent use. The spring is on private property.

Personal Impressions
Except in times of high water (when dark water would prevent a good look at the spring anyway), the spring cannot be canoed or otherwise entered by boat.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 

Darby Spring
Alachua County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fair
How Pristine?'”exotics in water, dock adjacent to spring, cleared land and highway nearby
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”adjacent to private land
Access'”very good
Facilities'”none
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From downtown High Springs drive about two miles north on U.S. 41/441 to bridge over the Santa Fe.  The boat ramp to the river is on the NW side of the bridge.  Put in and go upriver about 100 yards to spring run on the right.  Look for small dock.

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 lies in a pool that is just above where the 0.8 mile run from Hornsby Spring joins the Santa Fe River.  On date of visit (April 2000), the water was completely covered in exotic aquatic vegetation and clogged to the point that it could not be canoed.  The vent from the spring, measured by Hornsby & Ceryak at 9.6 MGD from a vent ten feet deep (1998, p. 21), was not visible.  Land rose up above the spring and was cleared and grassy.

Use/Access
The land around the pool is private and posted. A swinging bench is built into a small platform above the small dock near the spring.

Personal Impressions
The clogged spring was unappealing and a disappointment'”the legacy of invasive exotics.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 

Columbia Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude
Scenery'”fine to excellent
How Pristine?'”very pristine, near highway
Swimming'”poor
Protection'”unknown/private
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, water only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
From downtown High Springs drive about two miles north on U.S. 41/441 to bridge over the Santa Fe.  The boat ramp to the river is on the NW side of the bridge.  Put in and go downriver about 1/5 mile to the spring run 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
The spring forms a semi-circular pool over 150 feet wide with a run of nearly equal width that flows about 500 feet to the Santa Fe River.  Water was flowing strongly from the spring on date of visit, forming a large boil area.  The water was not very clear and may include non-filtered water from the main river as well as "spring" water.  Limestone was visible on the bottom in the shallow areas, and some algae is evident.  The land around the spring is low, swampy, and heavily forested.  There is a house on land above the spring to the east.

According to Carter & Pearce (1985, p. 139) a large sink in the bed of the Santa Fe River just outside of the Columbia Spring run swallows part of the river.  The water rises again a few hundred yards downstream.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
The authors suspect that, as with Treehouse Spring upriver, the water flowing from Columbia Spring contains water from the Santa Fe River and is, in effect, another river rise.  Rosenau et al., 1977 reference testing of the water in this spring as showing it contained both river water and water directly from the Floridan aquifer (pp. 105-106).

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features B.  Santa Fe River, U.S. 27 to State Road 47
This stretch is perhaps the best ten-mile string of springs anywhere, with numerous large attractive and swim-able springs.

An Essay on the Santa Fe River Between U.S. 27 and S.R. 47
Arching over Gainesville and Alachua County like a bad toupee, the Santa Fe River flows from Santa Fe Lakes for 50 miles before joining the Suwannee River south of Branford. At one point, it dips underground for three miles before rising. Fed by the Ichetucknee River and 60 other springs, the Santa Fe widens, deepens, and becomes clearer as it goes. It passes through a variety of plant communities and is a rich and increasingly vital haven for wildlife.

There are three or four sections of the river that make excellent paddling, but one section stands heads above the rest. This liquid strip, 100 feet wide and 10 miles long, is one of the most amazing and entertaining places in Florida. Canoeing is the best means of travel due to shoals, shallow water, and aquatic vegetation, but a small boat with a tilt motor would also work.

The put-in is at the U.S. 27 bridge near High Springs. There are canoe liveries in town if you don'™t have a canoe or don'™t want to take two cars. The springs begin immediately; there is one just upriver and opposite the boat ramp. Water boils up at the rate of about 50M gallons/day, but you'™ll miss it if you don'™t look carefully in the tannin-colored water. Heading downstream, there are occasional houses, and the banks range from 10-15 feet. Soon, however, the land levels out and swamp and flood-plain forest bracket the river. Large cypress, oak, maple, and many lowland hardwoods provide a tranquil and wild setting.

Turtles are everywhere.  Cooters, stinkpots, chicken turtles, and sliders of all sizes bask in the sun and allow quiet approaches to within 10 feet. You could easily see 100 in a day.  And waterfowl!  On our last visit we spotted not only the usual suspects'”great and little blues; great, reddish, snow, and cattle egrets; greenback and tri-color herons; bit also ibis, limkin, yellow- and black-crowned night herons, as well as predatory hawks, owls, and osprey.  The increasingly rare limkin thrives on apple snails, which have disappeared from many sites in Florida.  The suspected culprit is rising nitrate levels from fertilizer runoff.  The snail eggs and limkin were still abundant on the Santa Fe in June 2002.  The sharp-eyed observer will also see snakes curled in the trees and roots along the river.

After 30 minutes, the springs really get popping, and it seems like there is a pull-off at almost every riverbend. As the Tramps say in their immortal classic, "Disco Inferno," "satisfaction came in a chain reaction."  The springs along here take two general forms'”fissures and shafts.  The more common fissures are cracks in the aquifer below the surface. The springs range in size from a few feet to monsters 60 feet deep and 100 feet long and issuing up to 400 million gallons a day.  Most of the springs are swimmable, and we dipped into 10 of them on our last trip.

Poe Springs is unmistakable on the left about an hour downriver.  It is a county park, and you cannot make landfall without paying a fee.  However, you may walk up the clear run to the springhead. It is a wide funnel-shaped basin, and water flows powerfully from several crevasses about 20 below the surface.  After Poe, the PG-rated springs are next. Lily and Pickard both have caretakers with somewhat indifferent attitudes about clothing.

Lily is in a little cove occupied by Ed the Hermit.  Ed lives in a wood-and-grass hut on stilts, and wears only a loincloth.  My daughter, who was 12 when she visited, noticed that it is a furry loincloth.  Ed is somewhat wooly himself, but is very friendly despite his hand-painted sign saying unaccompanied children will be fed to the alligators.  A half-dozen springs flow from beneath his dock'”not a bad set-up.  Pickard is 100 yards downriver, and its owners are fond of skinny-dipping.  You'™ve been warned.

There is a boatramp a little further downriver at Rum Island.  It has several large and small springs as well as a boat ramp and picnic areas (and lots of fire ants).  We startled a good-sized gator guarding one of the Rum Island springs, and it didn'™t have any clothing on, either.

My daughter'™s favorite spring was next.  The Blue Springs Campground is a full-facility campground with four springs and a 100-yard boardwalk along its spring run to the river.  Access is not permitted without paying, but we threaded our canoe under the boardwalk and up one of its runs to Naked Spring.  This secluded and canopied spot offers a lovely swimming hole and two springs.

The Ginnie Springs group is next with its ten springs including the picturesque Devil'™s Eye, a 30-foot shaft leading to an underwater tunnel.  Ginnie is a major dive spot featuring a camp store and full facilities.  One can camp along the river as well as alongside several springs.

After Ginnie, traffic on the river ceases.  In this last stretch, if you look carefully and are willing to paddle into side channels, you'™ll observe a rare phenomenon'”springs in reverse.  Called siphons, these are places where water flows out of the river and back into the aquifer.  One siphon along the riverbank was draining the river dramatically, with a powerful whirlpool 25 feet across and a spinning clump of eel grass and hydrillathree feet across looking like a green tornado.  The two best-known examples are "Big Awesome Suck" and "Little Awesome Suck," and the sihpons drain up to 150 million gallons a day each from the river.
 
 

ALA930972 (U.S. 27 Ramp) Spring
Alachua County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”very pristine, near boat ramp and cleared areas
Swimming'”fair, fine snorkeling
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”can be crowded at nearby boat ramp
Access'”fine, water only
Facilities'”fair
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
From downtown High Springs, drive northwest on U.S. 27/SR 20 about 2.5 miles to where the highway crosses the Santa Fe River.  A launch ramp and parking area are just past the river on the right (north) side of the road.  Launch upriver (to the left or north).  The spring lies in the river about 150 feet from the boat ramp, near the north bank, about 15 feet from shore and nearly underneath the limbs of an oak tree.

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 a crack in the limestone that was about 12 feet deep on dates of visit in 2000.  It creates a strong flow toward the middle of the river and forms a large slick. On dates of visit, the springflow was only slightly clearer than the surrounding river, and glare made it difficult to see the vent.  When visited June 1, 2002, the water was green and stagnant looking, and there was no boil.

Use/Access
Swimming in the spring is possible and safe, but somewhat awkward because of a lack of nearby footholds and because the water is not very clear.

Personal Impressions

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 
 

ALA930971 (Alcove and Log) Spring
Alachua County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”fair, good snorkeling
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
About a half-mile downriver from the put-in at the U.S. 27 bridge over the Santa Fe River in an alcove on the left.

Full Directions
From downtown High Springs, drive northwest on U.S. 27/SR 20 about 2.5 miles to where the highway crosses the Santa Fe River.  A launch ramp and parking area are just past the river on the right (north) side of the road.  The spring is about half a mile downriver from the boatramp on the left.  Look for a small island in the river on the right and a circular widening of the river 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
The spring is in the back left corner of the widening area a few feet from the main channel.  When visited in 2000, it was framed by fallen trees that lay between it and the river.  Water flows from a circular cavity 8-10 feet deep. A log lay across the vent, splitting its flow and causing slicks over an area perhaps 20 feet across.  The water was very clear.  Native and exotic vegetation surround the spring, including rotting mats of algae.  The spring silted easily when explored and was slow to clear.  On June 1, 2002, two flows were clearly visible, about 15 feet apart and each with a clear boil on the surface that was 2-5 feet in diameter.

Use/Access
The larger spring cavity can be skin-dived with relative ease, but is quick to cloud.

Personal Impressions
A lovely little spring that is a refreshing dip after canoeing for a while on a warm day.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

Allen Spring (or COL428982)
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown/private property
Crowds'”none
Access'”arduous to good
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
About 1.5 miles below the put-in at the U.S. 27 bridge on the right in the NE end of a widening of the river.

Full Directions
From downtown High Springs, drive northwest on U.S. 27/SR 20 about 2.5 miles to where the highway crosses the Santa Fe River.  A launch ramp and parking area are just past the river on the right (north) side of the road.  After about a mile and a half from the 27 bridge, there are houses perched on the left bank, some with rock "retaining walls."  In the middle of the river is an island, with trees and large rocks, long and narrow.  On the right side of the river is what looks like a slough or tributary.  Go into this opening, right across from the upriver edge of the island, and head upstream in the narrow channel on the right'”this is the short run from Allen 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
Allen is a narrow fissure paralleling the main river.  The crevice in the rock drops to a depth of about 20 feet, and the pool was 15 feet wide on dates of visit in 2000, a time of low water.  The water was clear, but the shallow rocky surface was covered with muck.  As you stand on the edge of the crack, your feet may sink into mud.  The spring and run are canopied, and the algae on the rocks appears almost fluorescent.  Land around the spring is thick floodplain hardwood forest.  On date of visit in June 2002, the entire area around Allen was choked with exotic water lettuce that effectively blocked access by canoe.

Use/Access
On private property, the spring is difficult to enter in times of low water and the canoe must be dragged in.  Access is easier in higher water.  The surrounding area is low and mucky.

Personal Impressions
A narrow fissure spring common along this stretch of the Santa Fe, Allen is very natural and unspoiled, although not as large or attractive as some others downriver.

Nearby Springs
Columbia Spring, COL428981, Poe Springs, Darby Spring, Hornsby Spring, ALA930971, COL930971

Other Nearby Natural Features


 
 

Poe Spring
Alachua County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”retaining wall, beach area, walkway along spring and run, developed swim/recreation area
Swimming'”outstanding
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”Fine, land or water
Facilities'”Excellent
Safety'”Fine
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”$4 per person to swim

Directions
By Land: From High Springs, drive south on US 41/27 about one mile. Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and proceed about 2.5 miles to entrance to Poe Springs County Park. Follow signs to the spring, which is a ¼ mile walk from the parking area.

By Water: From downtown High Springs, drive northwest on U.S. 27/SR 20 about 2.5 miles to where the highway crosses the Santa Fe River. A launch ramp and parking area are just past the river on the right (north) side of the road. Canoe about 1.75 miles downstream to Poe Springs County Park on the left. Look for picnic enclosures and a sign for the park. Alternatively, put in at the boat ramp in Poe Spring County Park and go upriver about 1/3 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
Flow from at least three vents creates a circular pool that is about 80 feet in diameter, and about 18 feet deep at the deepest (and most powerful) vent.  Water flows from limestone openings.  The main opening is several feet across and large enough to admit a diver.  The pool bottom is sandy, and water is very clear with a tint that varies from blue to green depending on conditions.  The flow creates a shallow run (2-4 feet deep) that flows about 200 feet and which is about 40 feet wide.  A
retaining wall has been constructed on the north end of the spring, with an artificial beach and concrete steps leading to the water.  The south end of the spring is swampy forest.

Rosenau et al., 1977 note there are several seeps and small springs in the vicinity of Poe (p. 63).  One such spring is located 250 feet downstream of where the Poe Spring run enters the Santa Fe River, also on the south bank of the Santa Fe.  The spring is adjacent to the bank and consists of three small flows from openings in small (1-2 feet in diameter) limestone boulders at a depth of about 18 inches.  Each vent creates a small slick, and the three vents are in an area perhaps 6 feet in diameter.  The water is clear, but the bottom and limestone are covered in dark algae and other plant growth, and the openings were not visible.  The springs were about 10 feet from the bank, which rises a few feet in an area of hardwood forest.  Wes Skiles told JF that there is another small spring just in from the riverbank below the mouth of the Poe run.  This spring flows back away from the river and empties into the run.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
According to Rosenau et al. (1977), Poe Springs was developed as a commercial swim and picnic area in the 1940s.  There is no evidence of the earlier retaining walls, bathhouses, or other structures on the site.

Personal Impressions
When JF first visited Poe in 1996, he was struck by the "deadness" of the site. Whereas most springs are teeming with flora and fauna, Poe had no fish and its bottom was choked with dead, black, rotting roots and other vegetative debris and detritus.  Most of this material was gone when the spring was visited again in April and July, 2000, but there was little evidence of flora or fauna in the water.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Poe Springs County Park
28800 NW 182nd Avenue
High Springs, Fla.
904-454-1992
 
 


COL930971 (Twisting ¼-mile Run) Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”Fine-excellent
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown'”private
Crowds'”none
Access'”none/private

Directions
Lying between Poe and Lily Springs on the Columbia (north) side of the Santa Fe River.  The spring is about 1/3 mile below the boat ramp at Poe Springs and about 300 yards upriver of Lily Springs.  It is also about half a mile upriver from the boat ramp at Rum Island.

Directions to ramp at Poe Springs: From High Springs, drive south on US 41/27 about one mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and proceed about 2.5 miles to entrance to Poe Springs County Park.

Directions to ramp at Rum Island: From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island.  Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river and ramp.

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 lies at the head of a ¼ mile run that empties into the Santa Fe River. At the mouth of the run, the spring flow is in the opposite direction of the river. The run is narrow (10-15 feet), shallow, contains many turns, and is obstructed by fallen tree trunks and cypress knees.  The land about the run and spring is private property, and the spring itself was not visited.  Boaters who passed by the authors at the mouth of the run in 2001 said they has seen the spring and that if was a small-to-medium-sized pool with blue water.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
It is always frustrating to be so close to a spring and not be able to reach it.  One is consoled, however, by the profusion of accessible springs nearby.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

Lily Springs
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”hut, small docks, small beach, camp area around spring and run
Swimming'”fair-good
Protection'”fine
Crowds'”small
Access'”very good, boat only
Facilities'”fair
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
¾ mile downstream from Poe Springs and ½ mile upstream of Rum Island Springs on the Gilchrist (south) side of the river.  A large sign on a tree at the mouth of the spring run says, "Lily Springs."

Directions to ramp at Poe Springs: From High Springs, drive south on US 41/27 about one mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and proceed about 2.5 miles to entrance to Poe Springs County Park.

Directions to ramp at Rum Island: From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island.  Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river and ramp.

SFor 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

pring Description
Lily is a compact spring complex of 5-7 springs, depending on how they are counted.  The springs lie at the head of a winding and canopied 175-foot run that is 20-30 feet wide and 3-8 feet deep.  The spring pool is oval and about 100 by 50 feet.  The springs lie throughout the pool.  One is under a cypress tree on the SE end of the pool, forming a fissure beneath the south bank with several vents.  Several of the vents are likely connected to a single flow source due to their proximity to each other.  Another limestone opening is just in front of the private wooden dock in the center of the pool.  Two more vents are beyond the dock in the basin, including one near a small shore area at the west end of the pool.  In times of normal water levels, depths in the pool range from 4'™-10'™.  Banks about the pool are a few feet above the water.  The water is clear, and boils are evident.  Fish, crawfish, and turtles are evident in the spring and spring pool.  The water over the vents can be blue or green depending on conditions.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
Lily is home to Ed the Hermit.  Since 1984, he has served as caretaker of the spring.  He built the wood and palmetto hut, which has 200 square feet of interior space, by hand.  He lives in the hut year round, covered only in a loincloth and heavy beard. The hut has no electricity or running water.

Ed responds to courteous visitors in kind, engaging in conversation and inviting them to dive from his dock and inspect his abode.  Signs tacked onto trees in the run, including "Man is the most dangerous animal," and "Unattended children will be fed to alligators," suggest an interest in conservation and add to the ambiance of the place.

Ed's hut sits on stilts about 6 feet or so above the ground, facing toward the spring.  The sides and roof are thatched with palm fronds.  In front is a porch from which Ed can survey his spring and the canoeists who paddle in. Ed relates that the spring area was trashed when he moved in, but he has transformed it into something out of Swiss Family Robinson.

In a 1999 visit, RB observed a pile of large animal bones by a tree near the porch.  A nearby skull looked too big to be human and was perhaps from a gorilla or other large ape.  The polite visitor does not ask too many questions.

Personal Impressions
RB felt somewhat envious of Ed and his little paradise. It also occurred to RB that in spite of Ed'™s being a "hermit," he might actually talk to more people than most of us.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

Pickard Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”dock around spring
Swimming'”private
Protection'”unknown, private
Access'”boat only
Facilities'”none

Quick Directions
Almost immediately after Lily Springs and on the same bank.

Full Directions
0.8 miles downstream from Poe Springs and 0.4 mile upstream of Rum Island Springs on the Gilchrist (south) side of the river.  A sign on a tree at the mouth of the spring says, "Pickard Spring."

Directions to ramp at Poe Springs: From High Springs, drive south on US 41/27 about one mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and proceed about 2.5 miles to entrance to Poe Springs County Park.

Directions to ramp at Rum Island: From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island.  Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river and ramp.

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 abuts the river, but is separated from it by a line of cypress trees and a boardwalk and dock extending from the north bank to the pool.  The pool is roughly circular and about 50 feet in diameter.  There are two flow areas.  The larger is a limestone opening several feet across at a depth of about 10 feet near the center of the pool and underneath a cypress tree outfitted with a rope swing and dive platform.  The other vent is similar but smaller and is in the back end of the pool.  It is also about 10 feet deep, and both springs create visible boils on the surface.  A deck and boardwalk leads from the spring back through the floodplain and to a house.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
Although the pool is clearly visible from the river in an area of regular recreational traffic, the owners were skinny-dipping during a visit by RB in 1999.  When RB approached the spring and asked if he could photograph it, the wife asked if RB would like her to pull herself up on the rope swing so he could get what she prosaically termed a "butt shot."  RB declined the offer.  JF would not have declined it.

Personal Impressions
Another very nice little spring that would be fun to explore and snorkel.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

COL101971 Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'”fairly pristine, house and walkway nearby
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown-private
Crowds'”none
Access'”none-private

Quick Directions
A few minutes'™ paddle between Pickard Spring and Jonathan Spring on the Columbia County (north) side of the river.

Full Directions
The spring is about 1 mile below Poe Springs and 0.4 mile upriver from Rum Island on the north bank.

Directions to ramp at Poe Springs:  From High Springs, drive south on US 41/27 about one mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and proceed about 2.5 miles to entrance to Poe Springs County Park.

Directions to ramp at Rum Island:  From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island. Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river and ramp.

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 appears to be about 75 feet from the river in a depression between the river and a large, modern house.  The spring forms a small creek that is 2-3 feet wide and a few inches deep.  The creek flows under a footbridge and into the river 8 feet downriver from a large, leaning cypress tree that is posted with a "No Trespassing" sign.  The water is clear.  The spring was not visited.  In 2002, the small creek/run from the spring appeared to have been blocked with cut timber.

Use/Access
No access. The spring is on private property.

Personal Impressions
Just a piddle really (average discharge is about 2.5 CFS according to Hornsby & Ceryak, 1998, p. 34), but the authors are always disappointed at getting so close to a spring without being able to see it.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

Jonathan Spring (or COL101972)
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”large 3rd magnitude/small second magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”pristine
Swimming'”good snorkeling and wading
Protection'”fine
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, boat and trail
Facilities'”very good nearby
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
At eastern end of Rum Island County Park. From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island.  Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river.  Either take path east along river to the spring (about 1/4 mile) or put in at boat ramp and paddle upriver about ¼ 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 a circular pool about 15 feet in diameter that flows about 25 feet into the river.  Land rises up on all sides of the spring, and the mouth of its short run is framed by large trees that lean over it from both sides.  Water is clear and flows from a limestone opening 3-4 feet deep in the northeast corner.  The pool is blue.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
Jonathan is very attractive in times of normal and low water and would make good snorkeling.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

COL101974 Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”near path, boat ramp, contains exotics, otherwise pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”fine
Crowds'”few
Access'”good
Facilities'”good
Safety'”fair to poor
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
South and east of the parking area at Rum Island County Park. From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island. Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river.  The spring is across from the east end of Rum Island.

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 with outlets on the west and south sides.  Land circles around the spring pool, which is about 75 feet wide.  The main pool could not be entered because it was filled with a fallen tree and exotic vegetation'”elodea or hydrilla or both.  At the southwest end of the pool is a small vent (2-3 feet in diameter) with a clear flow.  There is a mild boil over the vent. On dates of visit in 2000, there was a plank footbridge next to the vent that provided a view.  The opening appeared to be about 6 feet deep.  The area around the spring, which opens directly into the river at the east end of Rum Island can be swampy, full of poison ivy, and infested with fire ants.

On a visit in June 2002, the main pool was mostly clear and appeared to have another flow point in the center of the pool.  No boil was visible, however, and canoe access to the spring was still bolcked by the fallen tree.

Use/Access
The site may be reached by land or water.  Canoe access can be difficult due to exotic plants that choke the entrance.  Land access can be hindered by water when the river is high, and plagued by fire ants in times of low water.  There is no apparent human use of the site.  A pile of 10-15 apple snail shells suggested a limkin had eaten there.

Local Springiana
The authors startled a 5-foot gator at the south entrance of the spring pool near the vent on a visit in 2000.  They did not see the gator until they nearly canoed into it.  It lurched and hissed, and the authors backed off (after taking a photograph).  In June 2002, JF again startled a gator--probably the same one--about 200 feet away in the duckweed and hydrilla fringing Rum Island.

Personal Impressions
Hundreds of people go right by this little spring each day without knowing it is there.  It is worth seeing to say you have seen it, but watch out for dangerous flora and fauna.  There might be another vent in the main pool that could be visible in the winter when the plants die back.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

COL101975 Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”near boat ramp and parking area, contains exotics, otherwise fairly pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”fine
Crowds'”few
Access'”very good'”water only
Facilities'”good
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
Located along the bank (where exactly?) at Rum Island County Park. From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island.  Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to 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 forms a small (three feet in diameter) circular vent along the bank (which bank?  By the island?) of the river on the Columbia County side.  The water is clear and has a bluish tint.  The maximum depth is 6 feet and there is a noticeable boil on the surface (Hornsby & Ceryak, 1998, p. 36).

Use/Access
Accessible by boat only from the Rum Island boat ramp.  Because the spring is small and surrounded by thick vegetation, there is no apparent use.

Personal Impressions
The authors have not yet located this spring and rely on Hornsby & Ceryak for the description.  JF searched the entire perimeter of Rum Island in 2002 and again could not find it.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 

Rum Island Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”swim/recreation area, erosion, near parking area, exotics in water
Swimming'”very good
Protection'”good
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”good
Safety'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
Located along the bank (where exactly) at Rum Island County Park. From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island.  Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river.  The spring is in a large pool to the right (west) of the parking 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
The eponymous spring at Rum Island is a single fissure in the SW portion of the 200-foot-diameter pool that it forms NW of Rum Island.  The water is clear and greenish in tint, and in the deeper sections is heavily infested with hydrilla.  On dates of visit in 1999 and 2000, the entire area around the vent, which is about 7 feet deep, was covered with exotic vegetation.  In 2002, the area between the spring and the shore had been cleared, but the vent was still surrounded by hydrilla.

Water flows strongly from a curved flying saucer-shaped cavern entrance that is about 10 feet long and 3-4 feet high in the center.  There is a 3-foot bank around the pool that is heavily eroded by recreational use.  The water gets more shallow as it approaches the bank.  The large pool opens directly into the Santa Fe River.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
The island'™s name is supposedly derived from moonshine and bootlegging operations that was located on the island in the early 1900s. A current sign on the site ironically warns, "Rum Island'“No Alcohol Allowed." RB was told that undercover police stake out the grounds and cite people with open containers.

Personal Impressions
The spring is a major feature of this popular park, and is a local swimmin'™ hole of long standing.  The banks are badly eroded, however, and the site would greatly benefit from having a boardwalk around the edge and steps into the spring pool.  A sign on the dirt road leading to Rum Island advertising "Nubian Goats 4 Sale" is a nice feature.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 

GIL101971 Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd Magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”arduous
Facilities'”none
Safety'”fair to good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
Located at the head of a run of unknown distance that empties into the Santa Fe River across from Rum Island.  From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island.  Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river.  Put boat into the river and circle around Rum Island and look for two inlets at the eastern (upriver) end of the island.

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 paddled partway into the run for this spring, but after going approximately 100 yards were forced to turn back because of gathering darkness and obstructions in the run.  The run continued back SE out of sight.  Exiting the run, the authors saw another run entering the river and speculated that both runs emanated from the same spring.  The run was clear, about 25 feet wide, and a few feet deep.

Use/Access
Access only by small boat. Although the Rum Island area a few yards away was very crowded and congested, these two runs had no traffic on date of visit (Summer, 2000).  Hornsby & Ceryak identify the spring and measure its flow and parameters (1998, p. 51) but neither describe the vent nor have a photograph of the spring itself, suggesting they did not reach the spring.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

Naked Springs
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”dock at spring, exotics in water, otherwise fairly pristine
Swimming'”excellent
Protection'”very good/private
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”fine
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$5 per person by land

Directions
By land:  From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about five miles to entrance to Blue Springs Campground turnoff (look for sign).  Follow another two miles to Blue Springs.  From parking area, walk east along dirt path/road to Naked Spring.

By boat, putting in at Rum Island:  Blue Springs is just downriver of the boat ramp at Rum Island on the opposite bank.  From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles.  Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island.  Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river. Put boat into the river.  Just around the first bend downriver is the platform at the end of the Blue Springs run/Campground boardwalk.  Paddle into Blue Springs run at the boardwalk platform, then under the boardwalk to the left where the Naked Spring run joins the Blue Springs 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
The springs lie in a low, swampy area.  The main spring pool is oval and about 45 by 70 feet in diameter.  Water issues from a limestone fissure on the west side of the pool, near a dock/platform that has been constructed to provide access to the spring.  Water was very clear on dates of visit (summer 2000 and June 2002), and there was a slick on the surface from the upwelling water.  Water over the vent was a deep blue. The bottom of the spring was covered in exotic aquatic vegetation everywhere but at the vent, which appeared to be 12-15 feet deep and surrounded by limestone.

The second spring is about 40 feet from the main pool and forms a circular basin about 25 feet across.  The water is clear, but the bottom is covered in plants and algae and the vent is not as clear.  There was a mild bould on the surface when visited June 1, 2002, and the bottom appeared to be about 15 feet deep.  Fallen logs hampered access by canoe; the site can also be reached by land from the nearby dirt road.

The springs are canopied by hardwood, floodplain forest.  The spring run--about 3 feet deep--flows west from the springs approximately 300 feet to where it joins the run from Blue Springs under the Blue Springs Campground boardwalk.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
The spring supposedly derived its name from earlier days when it was a popular site for skinny-dipping.

Personal Impressions
Despite the exotic vegetation, Naked Spring is retains a lot of clear water for swimming and is an excellent swimming hole.  Of the many springs on the Santa Fe, Naked was the favorite of JF'™s daughter for its natural beauty, relative seclusion, clear blue water, and cold temperature.  It's temperature is almost certainly the same as that of the other springs on the river, but felt colder due to the shady canopy.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Blue Springs Park and Campground
High Springs, Fla.
386-454-1369
 
 

Johnson Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude (estimated)
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”exotics in water, otherwise fairly pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”very good/private
Crowds'”none
Access'”only to view
Facilities'”excellent nearby
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$5

Directions
From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about five miles to entrance to Blue Springs Campground turnoff (look for sign).  Follow another two miles to Blue Springs.  From parking area, walk east along dirt path/road to Johnson Spring, a short distance beyond Naked 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 pool is a low, swampy area of floodplain forest.  Viewed from the edge of the spring, a blue area could be seen indicating the vent.  The spring pool was somewhat indeterminate and difficult to distinguish from the surrounding swamp.  It appeared to be egg-shaped and approximately 20 feet wide and about 60 feet long.  The spring creates a run that, according to Rosenau et al. (1977, p. 120) flows directly into the Santa Fe River above the run from Blue Springs.  The authors have not seen this run from the river and have only viewed the spring from the land.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
The spring photo is somewhat blurry because JF was given only five minutes by the campground owner to view and photograph Little Blue, Johnson, and Naked Springs without having to pay.  Johnson was the last spring he saw, and he was out of breath from running and could not hold the camera steady.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Blue Springs Park and Campground
High Springs, Fla.
386-454-1369
 
 

Gilchrist Blue Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”developed swim/recreation/camp/beach area with platform, walkway, exotics in water, low retaining wall to prevent beach erosion
Swimming'”fine to excellent
Protection'”very good/private
Crowds'”very heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$5 per person

Directions
From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile. Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about five miles to entrance to Blue Springs Campground turnoff (look for sign).  Follow another two miles to Blue 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 forms a circular pool that is about 125 feet in diameter.  Water issues from limestone boulders at a depth of about 23 feet in the western end of the pool.  Water is very clear and blue, and fish congregate under the dive town in the deeper water.  A diving platform on the west side juts out over the springhead.  The cave entrance is visible from the platform.  Another smaller cave is just to the left as one stands on the platform looking out over the water.  Elodea or hydrilla are present in the basin, but appeared to be clear out periodically.  Exotic vegetation also lines the quarter-mile spring run to the river. The middle of the run is clear, revealing a sandy bottom at a depth of about 5 feet.  A wooden walkway/boardwalk parallels the run on the east side all the way to the mouth of the run at the Santa Fe River.  From the end of the boardwalk, Rum Island may be seen a short distance upriver on the opposite bank.  A low retaining wall has been constructed along most of the beach to prevent erosion along the shoreline.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
Blue Springs is a lovely site and full-service campground with swimming both at Blue Spring and at nearby Naked Spring.  However, it can be overrun on warm weekends, and visiting at other times is recommended.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Blue Springs Park and Campground
High Springs, Fla.
386-454-1369
 
 

Little Blue Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude (estimated)
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”near cleared area, small observation platform at edge of spring
Swimming'”no
Protection'”very good/private
Crowds'”none
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$5 per person

Directions
From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile. Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about five miles to entrance to Blue Springs Campground turnoff (look for sign).  Follow another two miles to Blue Springs.  Little Blue Spring is to the left of Blue Spring, in the trees below the parking 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
The spring lies just below a cleared area a few yards from the larger Blue Spring.  The pool is about 15 feet in diameter and is deep blue over the vent, which is visible from a log at the edge of the pool.  The depth of the spring appears to be about 8 feet, and the water is very clear.  The spring creates a run that flows northeasterly about 200 feet to join the Blue Spring run just below where it is blocked by a fence.  Except for the cleared grassy area to the south of the spring, Little Blue is surrounded by dense forest floodplain.  This description is based on a brief view of the spring, and no systematic measurements were made.

Use/Access
When visited by the authors (1997), there was no apparent use of the spring.

Personal Impressions
A very attractive little spring that is overlooked by most of the visitors to Blue Springs, only yards away.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Blue Springs Park and Campground
High Springs, Fla.
386-454-1369
 
 

Little Devil Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”steps to water, land cleared around spring, developed camp/swim/dive/recreation area, some exotics, otherwise fairly pristine
Swimming'”excellent, outstanding snorkeling
Protection'”fine
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”$8 to swim

Directions
Part of the Ginnie Springs complex.  From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about 6.5 miles and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs. Follow another mile to the entrance.

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
Little Devil is a 45-foot deep fissure in the limestone that is parallel to its 150-foot fun to the Santa Fe River.  The pool is finger-shaped and approximately 18 feet wide.  The fissure if about 40 feet long and narrows as it drops.  The limestone is mostly bare, with some algae and plants on the rocks.  Hydrilla is present in the run, which widens as it nears the Santa Fe River and passes over Devil'™s Eye Spring.  The run is about 300 feet in length.  A thin line of hardwood trees lines the run.  Water in the spring is clear and can be blue or green depending on lighting and other conditions.  The inteconnected cavern systems associated with this and other springs at Ginnie Springs have been mapped for 33,000 feet.  Over 30,000 divers visit the Ginnie Springs complex each year.  Water in the spring is around 72 degrees.  Studies show that the springs are fed by two watersheds that encompass 300 square miles (Rauch, 2003).

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
A wonderful and very attractive spring that begs to be explored. With its long v-shape and exposed limestone near the surface, Little Devil may be explored even by the novice snorkeler.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Ginnie Springs Outdoors, LLC
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road
High Springs, FL 32643
386-454-7188
 
 

Devil's Eye Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'” steps to water, land cleared around spring, developed camp/swim/dive/recreation area, otherwise fairly pristine
Swimming'”excellent, outstanding snorkeling
Protection'”very good
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”$10 to swim

Directions
Part of the Ginnie Springs complex. From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road), drive about 6.5 miles, and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs.  Follow another mile to the entrance.

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
Devil'™s Eye Spring is a dramatic cylindrical limestone shaft that lies in a large clear pool in the lower end of the Little Devil Spring run about 50 feet from the Santa Fe River.  It is marked by a tethered red ball.  The shaft is about 18 feet across and about 20 feet deep.  At the bottom of the shaft on the west side is a cavern entrance that, according to DeLoach (1997, p. 86) leads to a depth of 65 feet and exits out of nearby Devil'™s Ear Spring.  About 10 feet down on the east side is a natural limestone seat.  Water in the spring is very clear and can be a deep, even glowing, blue.  Under other conditions, the water can be greenish, and the spring is subject to flooding by the Santa Fe River when the river is high.  The full run is about 300 feet in length.  The inteconnected cavern systems associated with this and other springs at Ginnie Springs have been mapped for 33,000 feet.  Over 30,000 divers visit the Ginnie Springs complex each year.  Water in the spring is around 72 degrees.  Studies show that the springs are fed by two watersheds that encompass 300 square miles (Rauch, 2003).

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
One of the authors'™ all-time favorite springs. Devil'™s Eye is the most dramatic of several cylindrical springs along the Santa Fe River. Most of the other springs in this area fissures, and none of the cylindrical vents compares to Devil'™s Eye.  On clear and quiet days, the clarity of the water in this spring can be absolute.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Ginnie Springs Outdoors, LLC
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road
High Springs, FL 32643
386-454-7188
 
 


Devil's Ear Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude
Scenery'”good to excellent
How Pristine?'”adjacent to developed camp/swim/dive/recreation area, some exotics, otherwise fairly pristine
Swimming'”fair to very good, excellent snorkeling
Protection'”very good
Crowds'”moderate on warm weekends
Access'”good
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”$10 to swim

Directions
Part of the Ginnie Springs complex. From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about 6.5 miles and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs. Follow another mile to the entrance.

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 lies in the bed of the Santa Fe River just beyond the mouth of the Little Devil/Devil'™s Eye Springs run and is marked by a tethered red ball.  As with Devil'™s Eye Spring nearby, Devil'™s Ear is a large and dramatic limestone shaft.  The spring creates a pronounced boil.  There is not really a spring pool, as the spring is in the river itself where the Devil's run meets the river.  The spring opening is perhaps ten feet deep and wide enough for divers to descend into a chimney-like cave system that is connected back to Devil'™s Eye Spring 100 feet away.  The bottom is about 30 feet deep.

Water flowing from the spring is clear and creates a prominent boil on the surface.  The tea-colored water of the Santa Fe River sometimes obscures the clear spring water.  When the river is clear, however, visibility is very good.  The inteconnected cavern systems associated with this and other springs at Ginnie Springs have been mapped for 33,000 feet.  Over 30,000 divers visit the Ginnie Springs complex each year.  Water in the spring is around 72 degrees.  Studies show that the springs are fed by two watersheds that encompass 300 square miles (Rauch, 2003).

Use/Access

Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Ginnie Springs Outdoors, LLC
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road
High Springs, FL 32643
386-454-7188
 
 


July Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'” adjacent to developed camp/swim/dive/recreation area, exotic plants in water, float marking site, otherwise fairly pristine
Swimming'”good
Protection'”unknown/private, no landfall allowed
Crowds'”can be heavy on warm weekends
Access'”very good, boat or swimming only
Facilities'”excellent at Ginnie Springs nearby
Safety'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”$10 to enter water at Ginnie Springs

Directions
Accessible from the Ginnie Springs complex.  From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about 6.5 miles and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs.  Follow another mile to the entrance.  July Spring is directly across the river from the three Devils springs at the upstream end of the Ginnie Springs complex.

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 creates a semicircular cove at the edge of the Santa Fe River.  The alcove is approximately 85 feet across and opens directly into the river. A small sign on a tree on the bank identifies the spring.  The area around the spring is infested with elodea.  The spring is a 40-foot long fissure that parallels the river and forms several vents and boils on the surface.  The water is clear and varies from blue to greenish depending on conditions.  The vents appear to be 6-10 feet deep and are narrow openings in the limestone.  The land around the spring is dense floodplain forest with a bank of about three feet.  The inteconnected cavern systems associated with this and other springs at Ginnie Springs have been mapped for 33,000 feet.  Over 30,000 divers visit the Ginnie Springs complex each year.  Water in the spring is around 72 degrees.  Studies show that the springs are fed by two watersheds that encompass 300 square miles (Rauch, 2003).

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
Almost anywhere else, July Spring would be considered a beautiful spring and a great place to swim and snorkel. However, with so many spectacular spring neighbors, July winds up being an ugly stepchild by comparison.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

Ginnie Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”land cleared around spring, steps to water, some erosion, developed swim/dive/recreation/camp area, some exotics in water
Swimming'”excellent, outstanding snorkeling
Protection'”very good
Crowds'”overrun on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”$10 to swim

Directions
Part of the Ginnie Springs complex.  From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about 6.5 miles and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs.  Follow another mile to the entrance.

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 lies in a circular pool that is 125 feet in diameter and slopes down from the bank to a depth of about 18 feet.  The bottom is sandy with numerous limestone outcrops/boulders.  Beneath a limestone shelf is a large cavern entrance perhaps 30 feet wide and from three to six feet high.  The entrance opens to a large chamber and leads to underwater passages that have been measured to 1,100 feet.

Water in the spring is very clear and visibility is excellent most of the time.  The water varies in color from blue to green (see photos).  The spring forms a run that tapers from the wide pool to perhaps 50 feet in width and flows about 200 feet to the Santa Fe River at the upper end of the Ginnie Springs complex.  In the run, bubbles from scuba divers may be observed rising through small holes in the limestone.  Land around the spring is mostly cleared hardwood forest, and steps have been constructing from the bank into the spring to prevent erosion.  The inteconnected cavern systems associated with this and other springs at Ginnie Springs have been mapped for 33,000 feet.  Over 30,000 divers visit the Ginnie Springs complex each year.  Water in the spring is around 72 degrees.  Studies show that the springs are fed by two watersheds that encompass 300 square miles (Rauch, 2003).

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions Nearby Springs Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Ginnie Springs Outdoors, LLC
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road
High Springs, FL 32643
386-454-7188
 
 

Dogwood Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”land partly cleared around spring, steps to water, developed camping/swimming/recreation area
Swimming'”good
Protection'”very good
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$10 to swim

Directions
Part of the Ginnie Springs complex. From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about 6.5 miles and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs.  Follow another mile to the entrance.

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 circular and approximately 30 feet in diameter.  Water flows the center of the pool from limestone openings.  There is a visible boil or slick on the surface.  Water in the spring is very clear except when the Santa Fe River is high, and the depth at the vent is about 10 feet. Water flows from an opening in the limestone that is perhaps 6 feet wide.  Under sunny conditions, the spring is a very bright blue.  Water from the spring forms a run that is about 12 feet wide, 3-5 feet deep, and 250 feet to the Santa Fe River in the middle of the Ginnie Springs complex.  There is some hydrilla in the run.  While the vent at this spring is too small to admit divers, the inteconnected cavern systems associated with this and other springs at Ginnie Springs have been mapped for 33,000 feet.  Over 30,000 divers visit the Ginnie Springs complex each year.  Water in the spring is around 72 degrees.  Studies show that the springs are fed by two watersheds that encompass 300 square miles (Rauch, 2003).

Use/Access

Local Springiana
Water from Dogwood Spring and nearby Ginnie Spring is tapped and bottled for sale.  The pipe is not readily visible from the surface.  JF was told that 1 mgd is drawn from this spring and nearby Ginnie.  The owners of Ginnie Springs supposedly receive $0.01 per gallon taken from the spring, which would total $3.65 million per year if water were drawn every day.

Personal Impressions
Although small in comparison to the other springs at Ginnie, Dogwood is very beautiful.  Unlike the Devils'™ Springs and Ginnie, one can stand very close to the vent and have a clear view of Dogwood.  The temptation to jump in is powerful.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Ginnie Springs Outdoors, LLC
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road
High Springs, FL 32643
386-454-7188
 
 

Twin Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”good
How Pristine?'” land cleared around spring, steps to water, erosion, developed camping/swimming/recreation area, high-traffic tubing exit spot
Swimming'”fair-good
Protection'”good
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$10 to swim

Directions
Part of the Ginnie Springs complex. From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about 6.5 miles and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs.  Follow another mile to the entrance.

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
Twin Spring lies at the head of a 200-foot run that flows into the Santa Fe River at the lower end of the Ginnie Springs complex.  The pool is rectangular and about 30 feet across.  Depths in the pool and run are from 3-10 feet, and water issues from a large limestone fissure.  There is hydrilla in the spring run.  Water in the spring is clear and blue except in times of high water and when tubers and swimmers stir the bottom.  There is erosion on the bank due to heavy human traffic, and a platform has been constructed for tubers to exit from the spring.  The inteconnected cavern systems associated with this and other springs at Ginnie Springs have been mapped for 33,000 feet.  Over 30,000 divers visit the Ginnie Springs complex each year.  Water in the spring is around 72 degrees.  Studies show that the springs are fed by two watersheds that encompass 300 square miles (Rauch, 2003).

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
An attractive and good-sized spring, but little appreciated amidst its glittering neighbors.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Ginnie Springs Outdoors, LLC
7300 NE Ginnie Springs Road
High Springs, FL 32643
386-454-7188
 
 

Sawdust Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”very pristine
Swimming'”poor to fair
Protection'”unknown/private
Crowds'”very small
Access'”private land/boat access only
Facilities'”none; excellent across river at Ginnie Springs
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
At the downstream end and across the river from the Ginnie Springs complex. From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile. Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about 6.5 miles and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs. Follow another mile to the entrance. The spring is across the river from and between Twin Spring and Deer 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 a low area about 100 feet from the Santa Fe River. The spring and its run are 40-50 feet wide, a few feet deep, and the run is partially blocked by logs and aquatic vegetation. The spring pool is circular, and a strong boil is present above an opening in the limestone. Water in the spring is clear and blue.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions

The authors have always visited Sawdust after having their fill of the more accessible spring at Ginnie and further upriver, and so were never particularly interested in snorkeling or swimming in Sawdust. Under other conditions, however, it would be a very appealing little spring to explore. Although a 3rd-magnitude spring, Sawdust has a strong flow and is nearly a second-magnitude site.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 
 

Deer Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fair-good
How Pristine?'”land cleared around spring, road near spring, exotics in water, posts around spring
Swimming'”no
Protection'”good
Crowds'”small
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”excellent
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”$10 to enter springs area

Directions
Part of the Ginnie Springs complex. From High Springs, drive south on U.S. 27/41 about 1 mile.  Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road) and drive about 6.5 miles and then turn right onto graded road at sign for Ginnie Springs.  Follow another mile to the entrance. Deer Spring is the most downstream (westerly) spring in the complex.

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 pool, perhaps 60 by 30 feet, and is 2-5 feet deep.  The fringes of the pool are choked with vegetation, but the water is clear over the center area and the vent, where a mild slick and limestones are visible.  The vent is in the back end of the pool and appears to be 5-6 feet deep. The spring forms a shallow and narrow run about 200 feet to the Santa Fe River.  While the flow point(s) at this spring do not admit divers, the inteconnected cavern systems associated with this and other springs at Ginnie Springs have been mapped for 33,000 feet.  Over 30,000 divers visit the Ginnie Springs complex each year.  Water in the spring is around 72 degrees.  Studies show that the springs are fed by two watersheds that encompass 300 square miles (Rauch, 2003).

Use/Access

Personal Impressions

Worth a look and that'™s about it; Deer does not have the visual or recreational appeal of the other springs in the Ginnie Springs complex.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
 

COL1012971 Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”unknown
Protection'”unknown/private
Crowds'”none
Access'”good/canoe only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  The spring is approximately 2/3 mile upriver from the boat ramp, on the northeast side.  The spring is about 0.3 miles upstream of Myrtle'™s Fissure.  Look for a small opening in the bank on the right, and a larger opening about 60 feet further downstream.  Both entrances lead 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 is oval and flows from a limestone opening'”probably a fissure'”at the bottom of a limestone bank that is perpendicular to the river.  The area over the fissure is about 20 feet long and 6 feet wide.  The spring forms a pool that, on dates of visit in 2000, had exposed limestone at the surface on the downstream side and  narrow (4-5 feet) channel/run of about 45 feet.  This channel/run emptied into a circular pool about 40 feet in diameter on the bank of the Santa Fe River.  The spring and pool form a small peninsula.

Cypress and other trees surround the spring, which is only a few feet from the river on the other side of the bank.  Limestone banks rise inland from the spring, and there is a boat ramp leading into the large circular pool just downriver of the spring and connected to the spring run.  In times of normal or high water, there appears to be a small channel running north or inland from the spring; this channel dries up in times of drought and low water.

Use/Access
Land around the spring is private and posted, so access is by boat only.

Nearby Springs

 Other Nearby Natural Features
 
 

COL1012972 Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”poor
Protection'”unknown/private
Crowds'”none
Access'”water only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  Approximately ½ mile upriver from the boat ramp, on the northeast side.  The spring is a few minutes downstream of COL1012971 and about 2 minutes'™ paddle upstream of Myrtle'™s Fissure.  The spring is also directly across from the head of a small island and GIL1012973, a large first-magnitude spring in the riverbed at the head of the island.

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 a narrow fissure, akin to several other such springs along the Santa Fe River (e.g., Myrtle'™s Fissure, Little Devil, Allen).  The spring is perhaps 60 feet long and 6 feet across at the top of the limestone opening, which is against the limestone bank.  Water in the spring was clear and dark blue at dusk on date of visit (summer 2000), and a boil was visible.  Hornsby & Ceryak describe the fissure as 70 feet long and 47 feet deep (1998, p. 31).  The spring pool is triangular, with the fissure perpendicular to the river and forming a 200-foot run that is parallel to the river and flowing in the same direction.  The run is 10-20 feet wide and several feet deep.  The land around the spring is thick, mature, floodplain forest.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
The spring is very attractive and in an undisturbed setting.  The run can be missed easily by boats traveling downriver but is easier to spot when going upriver.

Nearby Springs
Ginnie Springs group, Sawdust Spring, COL1012971, GIL1012973, Myrtle's Fissure, GIL1012971, GIL1012972, 47 Boatramp Spring (or GIL1012974)

Other Nearby Natural Features


 
 
 

GIL1012971 Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”poor
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”none
Access'”water only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  Approximately ½ mile upriver from the boat ramp, on the SW side.  The spring is almost immediately upstream of GIL1012972 and GIL 1012973 and about 2 minutes'™ paddle upstream of Myrtle'™s Fissure.

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 that was about 100 feet in diameter on dates of visit in fall 2000.  The water was clear and dark, but the general depth appeared to be about 6 feet.  The bottom was dark, but the pool sloped off to deeper water in the SW end.  No boil was visible on dates of visit, but the run was clearly flowing into the Santa Fe River, indicating a spring.  At the mouth of the run to the Santa Fe River is a limestone ledge at a depth of about 6 feet that is visible when the water is clear.

Hornsby & Ceryak state the depth of the vent as 26 feet (1998, p. 46).  The east end of the spring had a dry creek bed that apparently flows into the spring.  The spring has a run that is about 35 feet wide and 50 feet long.  The land around the spring is thick, floodplain forest, and a barred owl was heard and observed on both dates of visit in 2000.

Use/Access

 Personal Impressions
 The spring is attractive and in an undisturbed setting.

 Nearby Springs

 Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information
Suwannee River Water Management District
9225 CR49
Live Oak, FL  32060
800-226-1066
 
 

GIL1012972 Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown/private
Crowds'”none
Access'”water only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  Approximately ½ mile upriver from the boat ramp, on the SW side.  The spring is just a few feet upstream of GIL1012973 and directly across the river from COL1012972.

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 tiny alcove on the riverbank.  The spring pool is C-shaped, open to the river, and about 12 feet in diameter.  Water flows from a limestone opening against the riverbank, and a clear flow is visible.  The spring was about 3 feet deep at the vent, the deepest point on dates of visit in 2000 and 2001.

Use/Access
Land around the spring is owned by the Suwannee River Water Management District; access is only by canoe.

 Personal Impressions
 A very cute little spring that is easy to miss because it is so small.  It lies between GIL1012973 and GIL1012972.

 Nearby Springs
Ginnie Springs group, Sawdust Spring, COL1012971, GIL1012973, Myrtle's Fissure, GIL1012971, 47 Boatramp Spring (or GIL1012974)

Other Nearby Natural Features

Contact Information
Suwannee River Water Management District
9225 CR49
Live Oak, FL  32060
800-226-1066
 
 

GIL1012973 Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st  magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”fair-good
Protection'”excellent
Crowds'”none
Access'”good/boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  From the boat ramp, paddle upstream ½ mile.  A channel on the right (south) side just before Myrtle'™s Fissure is one end of an island about 100 yards long.  The spring is at the other, upriver end (mouth) of the island where the channel around the island meets the river.  The spring is a few feet from the limestone bank where the river and channel meet.

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 a powerful flow and two large boils on the surface.  A limestone shelf and ledge is visible, and water is flowing out from beneath it.   The water was fairly clear, but the authors viewed the spring on the evenings of visit (Sept. and Dec. 2000) and the low light did not allow them to see the bottom or the vent.  Land around the river is dense forest.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
This nondescript and easy-to-miss spring is, along with the Santa Fe River Rise, the largest spring on the Santa Fe River, its flow is 370 cfs or 240 mgd.

 Nearby Springs
Ginnie Springs group, Sawdust Spring, COL1012972, COL1012971, Myrtle's Fissure, GIL1012971, GIL1012972, 47 Boatramp Spring (or GIL1012974)

Other Nearby Natural Features

Contact Information
Suwannee River Water Management District
9225 CR49
Live Oak, FL  32060
800-226-1066
 
 

Big Awesome Siphon/Suck
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”1st magnitude in reverse
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”no!
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”good/canoe only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”potentially dangerous vortex
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  The spring is approximately 1 mile upriver from the boat ramp, on the northeast side.  The spring is about 0.5 miles upstream of Myrtle'™s Fissure.  Look for swirling vegetation adjacent to the bank.

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

Siphon Description
The siphon is circular and 5-6 feet in diameter adjacent to the bank.  Water swirls swiftly and powerfully from the Santa Fe River and down into the aquifer.  A large clump of eel grass was spinning continuously in the center of the siphon.  The eel grass was formed by centrifugal force into the shape of a cone or tornado, with a diameter of over two feet at the top/surface, and tapering as it extended underwater. This large clump was spinning at the rate of 1-2 revolutions per second.  The surface of the siphon and edge of the Santa Fe River were about 18 inches below the adjacent floodplain hardwood forest on date of visit in 2002.

Another, much smaller siphon (Little Awesome), is a few yards downstream on the same bank.

Use/Access

Nearby Springs
Ginnie Springs group, Sawdust Spring, COL1012972, COL1012971, GIL1012973, Myrtle's Fissure, GIL1012971, GIL1012972, 47 Boatramp Spring (or GIL1012974), Little Awesome Siphon/Suck

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
San Felasco Hammock State Preserve
Devil'™s Millhopper State Geologic Site
River Rise State Preserve
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
 
 

Little Awesome Siphon/Suck
Columbia County



Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd or 4th magnitude in reverse, estimated
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”good/canoe only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”fine
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  The spring is approximately 1 mile upriver from the boat ramp, on the northeast side.  The spring is about 0.5 miles upstream of Myrtle'™s Fissure.  Look and listen for a small siphon at the edge of the bank.

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

Siphon Description
The siphon is a small opening along the bank of the Santa Fe, less than a foot in diameter.  Water siphons in the hole from the Santa Fe River and down into the aquifer,looking and sounding like a drain in action.  The surface of the siphon and edge of the Santa Fe River were about 6 inches below the adjacent floodplain hardwood forest on date of visit in 2002.

Another, much large siphon (Big Awesome), is a few yards upstream on the same bank.

Use/Access

Nearby Springs
Ginnie Springs group, Sawdust Spring, COL1012972, COL1012971, GIL1012973, Myrtle's Fissure, GIL1012971, GIL1012972, 47 Boatramp Spring (or GIL1012974), Big Awesome Siphon/Suck

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
San Felasco Hammock State Preserve
Devil'™s Millhopper State Geologic Site
River Rise State Preserve
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
 
 


Myrtle's Fissure Spring (AKA the Black Crack)
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”very pristine
Swimming'”poor-good
Protection'”unknown/private
Crowds'”can be heavy on warm weekends
Access'”adjacent land is private/boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  The spring is about 1/3 mile upriver from the boat ramp on the north side.

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
Visible from the river, Myrtle'™s Fissure is about 120 feet from the Santa Fe and creates a shallow run that flows across rough and somewhat jagged limestone.  Boulders lie in the run and along its edges.  The spring is a long (about 75 feet) fissure that is only about 4 feet wide at its widest point and tapered at the ends.  The fissure is against the bank, parallel to the river, and is widest and deepest near the downstream end.  According to DeLoach (1997, p. 93) the fissure is at least 60 feet deep.  Water flowing from the fissure is clear, but appears dark in the crack itself.  Land around the spring is dense floodplain forest.  When visited in June 2002, the water was clearer and a limstone wall was visible descending from the surface more than 20 feet.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions   Nearby Springs
Ginnie Springs group, Sawdust Spring, COL1012972, COL1012971, GIL1012973, GIL1012971, GIL1012972, 47 Boatramp Spring (or GIL1012974)

Other Nearby Natural Features


 
 

C.  Santa Fe River, State Road 47 to the Suwannee River

This final 16-mile portion of the Santa Fe River has more development than the upper sections, and more motorboat traffic, especially in the last half after the river is joined by the clear-flowing Ichetucknee River.  Nonetheless, it offers several long stretches of undeveloped forest and swamp bordering the river.  Banks along this portion are generally low, but there are occasional areas of higher banks and exposed limestone.

River water clarity is variable, but tends to get less clear as one goes downriver.  The water was very clear when visited in time of historic drought (January 2001)'”visibility up to 30 feet.  Floodplain hardwoods, shrubs, and cypress trees flank the river, interspersed with houses ranging from rotting trailers and one-story cinderblocks to million-dollar mansions on concrete stilts.  The greater development results in less wildlife along the river, but the authors saw one fallen tree with at least 30 turtles sunning themselves.

The river gradually widens as it is fed by more springs, Cow Creek, and the Ichetucknee.  By the point of its juncture with the Suwannee, it is several hundred feet across.  This stretch includes 2-3 areas of shoals in dramatic turns in the river.  In times of low water, the shoals create rapids of Class 1-2 magnitude.  Approximately 25 springs can be found along this final segment of the Santa Fe River.  The springs range from 2nd to 4th magnitude, and some do not flow in times of drought.

For the most part, these springs are undeveloped and not dramatic.  Several are surrounded by private property and are, in effect, backyard swimming pools for landowners with no unauthorized access.  Several are in swampy areas and hard to see or reach, and others are along the banks of the river and easy to spot.  Of this group, Sunbeam, Betty, GIL99972, and Campground Springs are perhaps the most attractive.  Another, uncataloged spring just below Wilson Spring was very appealing.
 
 

47 Boatramp Spring (GIL1012974)
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fair
How Pristine?'”adjacent to boat ramp and highway bridge
Swimming'”fair-good
Protection'”fair
Crowds'”heavy on warm weekends
Access'”excellent
Facilities'”good
Safety'”good to fair
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
From Ft. White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  The spring is just a few feet downstream of the apron of the boat ramp on the SE side of the bridge.

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 lies in the river and flows from one or more limestone openings that are 10-15 feet deep at times of low-normal river heights.  The flow creates visible, overlapping boils on the surface.  Water flowing from the spring is clear, but the apparent clarity at the surface is affected by the clarity of the Santa Fe River.

Use/Access
Used for wading, some swimming, and rinsing off.  Most users of the boat ramp a few feet away do not notice the spring is there.

 Personal Impressions
The convenience of this spring cannot be surpassed.  One may literally stand on the edge of the boat ramp and jump into the spring boil.  It is an excellent place and way to clean off at the end of a long paddle, or to cool off at the beginning of one.

 Nearby Springs
Ginnie Springs group, Sawdust Spring, COL1012972, COL1012971, GIL1012973, GIL1012971, GIL1012972, Myrtle'™s Fissure Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features


 

GIL928971
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”good-very good
How Pristine?'”houses nearby
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown-private
Crowds'”none
Access'”none, may be viewed from a distance by boat
Facilities'”none
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”no

Quick Directions
About 15 minutes downriver from the put-in at the Highway 47 bridge on the south side of the Santa Fe River.

Full Directions
From Fort White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to bridge over the Santa Fe River and put in at boat ramp (going downstream).  After about 15 minutes, look for a creek mouth on left and then another just before the river narrows, deepens, and makes a left turn around some houses and exposed limestone.  There is another creek mouth on the left after the turn.  These mouths appear to lead to the spring.

Note:  these tiny runs are not to be confused with the mouth of Cow Creek, which empties into the Santa Fe River above these runs and nearer the boat ramp at the State Road 47 bridge.  Traveling downriver from the bridge, one would encounter Cow Creek first, on the left, as a much fuller run that flows south for several miles.

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 on private property, and its runs were virtually dry and not navigable the date of the authors'™ visit (Jan. 2001), a time of historic drought.  Viewed from a distance, the spring appears to form a circular pool and three runs.  The runs create a sort of semicircular island of several acres.  The land around the spring is rolling and covered in thick floodplain forest including cypress trees and cypress knees.  There is 2-3 story house on the island overlooking the spring pool.  A small bridge connects the house to the mainland, crossing the upstream run from the spring.

The upstream (most eastern) run had some water for about 75 feet, but no flow.  The mouth of the middle run is rocky and had some mucky pools but no flow on date of visit.  The third run downstream is about 100 yards long.  The downstream run was flowing, with water tinkling over rocks and tree roots into the Santa Fe River.  The water was clear and only a few inches deep.  The runs create channels that are several feet below the surrounding land.

Use/Access
The spring is on private property and not accessible.

 Personal Impressions
 The authors were confused trying to figure out whether the runs were from different springs or same one, where they led, and if they were indeed all from GIL928971.  The western, downstream run was the only one flowing.  It is not clear whether one could canoe up the lower run to the spring pool (in times of normal or high water), and/or if doing so would constitute trespassing.

 Nearby Springs
47 Boatramp Spring, Cedar Spring, GIL928972, COL928971, Wilson Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

Cedar Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude (est.)
Scenery'”fair-good
How Pristine?'”in housing development, semi-cleared, but fairly pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”private
Facilities'”none
Scuba'”no

Quick Directions
Shortly past GIL928971 on north side of Santa Fe River on lot past house with pontoon boat.

Full Directions
From Fort White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to bridge over the Santa Fe River and put in at boat ramp (going downstream).  After about 20 minutes, or shortly after passing the downstream run of GIL928971, look on north (right) side of the river for a house with a pontoon boat.  The spring is about 150 feet inland from the river between two houses and below several other houses set further inland.

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 a low floodplain area between houses in a riverside development.  It is about 150 feet north of the river and forms a circular pool.  This pool was only 9 feet in diameter on date of visit in January 2001 and was murky and not flowing.  The owner of the adjacent property told the authors that the spring did flow under normal conditions and that the water was clear under those conditions.  The depth of the pool could not determined.

The area around the spring was partially cleared, but there were cypress trees and other hardwoods on the site.  The spring run is about 100 yards long, parallel to the river, and passes under a footbridge behind 1-2 houses before joining the Santa Fe River.  It appeared that the run would normally be a few inches to one foot deep.

Use/Access
The spring and run are on private property.  The authors were invited by a landowner to see the spring.  He said the development above the spring was named after the spring.  The landowner said there was no general use of the spring, as it was too small for swimming and did not attract large enough fish for fishing.

Local Springiana
The authors cannot find reference to this spring in any published document.  In their book, A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to the Streams of Florida.  Volume 1, North Central Peninsula and Panhandle, Carter & Pearce identify a spring they call Northbank as being 'œabout one-half mile downstream from State Road 47 on the right bank' (p. 141).  Hugging the right bank and looking very carefully, the authors did not see this spring.  Cedar Spring is well more than ½ mile from the put-in at the 47 bridge.  Cedar Spring is also not on the bank but rather well inland.  In Springs of Florida, Rosenau et al. also identify a Northbank Spring and declare it is 'œabout 1 mile downstream from State Hwy 47' (p. 106)'”about the site of Cedar Spring.  Rosenau et al. also note that Northbank has 'œnumerous small vents' which JF and RB did not see.  Northbank and Cedar Springs may be the same spring.

 Personal Impressions
 In a severe drought, there was not much to see of this spring.  However, it was interesting to find a spring that does not appear to have been identified officially.  In periods of normal water levels, the spring would likely be very attractive if perhaps mucky.

 Nearby Springs
47 Boatramp Spring, GIL928971, GIL928972, COL928971, Wilson Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

GIL928972
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown, private
Crowds'”none
Access'”good, boat and then overland
Facilities'”none
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
Shortly past Cedar Spring on the south side of Santa Fe River.

Full Directions
From Fort White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to bridge over the Santa Fe River and put in at boat ramp (going downstream).  After 25 minutes, or shortly after passing the downstream run of GIL928971 and Cedar Spring, look on the south (left) side of the river for a narrow spring run that curls into the river from the west.  Look for a 4-5 foot bank on the upriver side of the mouth of the run, and a lower bank on the downriver side.

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 presumed site of the springhead is inland from the river about 50 yards in an area of deep floodplain forest.  On date of visit in January 2001, a time of historic drought, the spring and run were dry.  The most likely site of the springhead is in the photograph below.  However, there was evidence of water flow behind this site, and the springhead might be further inland.  The likely spring area is a depression set about 10 feet below the surrounding land and covered with tree branches, cypress knees, and roots.  The run winds about 75 yards to the river.  The run was completely covered in leaves, identical to the surrounding high ground, suggesting the spring had been dry for several months at least.

Use/Access
None.  The run is narrow and would likely not be navigable even in times of normal water levels.  The area was not posted.

 Personal Impressions
 The spring is in a completely natural and undisturbed setting, something that can be said for only a small percentage of Florida springs.

 Nearby Springs
47 Boatramp Spring, GIL928971, Cedar Spring, COL928971, Wilson Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

COL928971
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”very unspoiled
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
A little more than 2 miles below State Road 47 bridge on north bank of Santa Fe River.

Full Directions
From Fort White, drive south on State Road 47 about five miles to bridge over the Santa Fe River and put in at boat ramp (going downstream).  After 2+ miles, look for semicircular spring pool on the bank on the right side, immediately after a swampy area on the right with thick shrubs.

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 semicircular pool or alcove at the edge of the river.  On date of visit (January 2001), a time of historic drought, the pool was about 15 feet wide and 2 feet deep.  There was a mild but clearly visible boil near the center of the pool, and water flowed from small openings in the bottom.  Water in the pool is fairly clear and greenish.  The land around the pool is thick floodplain forest, with a swampy area to the immediate east upriver of the spring.

Use/Access

 Personal Impressions
 A cute little spring.

 Nearby Springs
GIL928971, Cedar Spring, GIL928972, Wilson Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

Wilson Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”poor-fair
How Pristine?'”in developed area, choked with exotics
Swimming'”fair
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”can be heavy on warm weekends
Access'”very good, boat or car; must canoe into spring
Facilities'”fair
Safety'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Directions
From U.S. 27 in Ft. White, take Wilson Springs Road west about 4 miles to the spring and boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  The spring is also about 3 miles downriver from the boat ramp where State Road 47 crosses the Santa Fe 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 in a residential area and is at the head of a run of about 100 yards.  The spring forms a circular pool about 75 feet in diameter and 10-12 feet deep.  Water in the pool is clear but fairly dark.  There is a strong boil in the NW corner of the pool.  The pool and run are filled with exotic vegetation as well as duckweed.  Algae is present in the pool and run.  The run is about 40 feet wide and 1-3 feet deep and has a strong current.  There are low banks and some trees along the run and around the spring pool.

Use/Access

 Personal Impressions
 The spring is marred and altered by the very heavy exotic vegetation in it and its run.  The land and development around the spring are unattractive.

 Nearby Springs
GIL928971, Cedar Spring, GIL928972, COL928971, GIL99974, Unnamed Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 


GIL99974
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”very pristine
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
Almost immediately past boat ramp at Wilson Springs on the south side of the Santa Fe River.

Full Directions
From U.S. 27 in Ft. White, take Wilson Springs Road west about 4 miles to the spring and boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  Put in, cross to near the south side, and the look for the spring 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
Water flows from beneath and adjacent to a limestone ledge at the edge of the river.  There was a slight boil on date of visit (January 2001).  The water is clear and shallow.  Land around the spring is floodplain forest and is not developed.

Use/Access

 Personal Impressions
 The spring is easy to miss, so look carefully to the left just after passing Wilson Spring.

 Nearby Springs
GIL928971, Cedar Spring, GIL928972, COL928971, Wilson Spring, Unnamed Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

Unnamed Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude (est.)
Scenery'”good-very good
How Pristine?'”dock just downstream of and above spring
Swimming'”fair-good
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
5-10 minutes'™ paddle below Wilson Spring on south side of the Santa Fe River under high bank just before a high dock.

Full Directions
From U.S. 27 in Ft. White, take Wilson Springs Road west about 4 miles to the spring and boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  Put in, cross to near the south side, and the look for the spring on the left after 5-10 minutes in an area of high banks.

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 lies in the riverbed on the south side of the river and creates a semicircular alcove.  There are high (15 feet) and steep limestone/sand banks above the river at this spot, and the spring forms a small alcove.  There is a pronounced boil.  The water was fairly clear, but the depth could not be determined except that it was greater than 12 feet.  A few feet downstream of the spring at the top of the bank is an overhanging wooden dock/platform.  There is a cleared area across from the spring, where small boys were playing on date of visit (January 2001).

Use/Access

Local Springiana
The two boys playing across from the spring knew there was a spring at this site, but did not know a name for it.

 Personal Impressions
 This spring is not described in any literature the authors have found.  It is a powerfully flowing spring'”surely second magnitude.  Weather conditions were too cold for diving on the date of visit, but the authors are determined to return.

Nearby Springs
GIL928971, Cedar Spring, GIL928972, COL928971, Wilson Spring, GIL 99974

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 


Unnamed Possible Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude (est.)
Scenery'”poor
How Pristine?'”in back yard of house on river
Swimming'”unknown
Protection'”unknown
Access'”none, private

Directions
From U.S. 27 in Ft. White, take Wilson Springs Road west about 4 miles to the spring and boat ramp on the Santa Fe River on Santa Fe River.  Go downriver on the Santa Fe 2-3 miles, past 2 sets of small shoals and a hairpin turn.  The spring is on the north (right) side of the river in a neighborhood after the dramatic river turn.  Also located about 20 minutes'™ paddle upriver from the Oasis Spring boat ramp.  To get to the Oasis boat ramp: From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 to junction with Highway 129/49.  Turn south.  Drive about 5 miles to Highway 138 and turn east.  Drive 3.4 miles to NE 2nd Way.  Follow 2nd Way for 2.6 miles to dirt road on right and the boat ramp.

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 possible spring is about 100 feet from the river and forms an oval-shaped depression in the back yard of a red house on squared concrete pilings in a developed section of the Santa Fe River.  On date of visit (January 2001), a time of historic drought, the pool was not flowing.  However, there is a dry run of about 65 feet from the pool to the river, suggesting the site does flow and might therefore be a spring.  The run cuts through natural bank along the river, which was about 8 feet above the river on date of visit.  The run did not appear to be manmade and was not wide enough except for canoes.  There was only a small puddle in the pool.  The possible spring is in a cleared area behind a house along the river.

Use/Access
The possible spring is on private property and the land is posted.  In times of normal water levels, the site is likely used for swimming'”as a natural pool'”by the landowners.

 Personal Impressions
 This spring is not described in any literature the authors have found.  In their comprehensive spring compilation, Springs of the Suwannee River Basin in Florida (1998), Hornsby & Ceryak identify and catalogue another spring just 1-2 houses downriver from this site (COL917971, p. 33), but did not include this site.  JF and RB did locate COL917971, and it was a different spring.  The authors will take another look at this site in a time of normal river flow to see if it is flowing and therefore a spring.

 Nearby Springs
COL928971, Wilson Spring, GIL 99974, COL917971, Sunbeam Spring, Oasis Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 


COL917971
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fair
How Pristine?'”in back yard of house on river, run altered and dammed
Swimming'”yes
Protection'”unknown
Access'”no, private

Quick Directions
1-2 houses past the unnamed possible spring above, 20 minutes'™ paddle upriver on the Santa Fe from private boat ramp at Oasis Spring or 2-3 miles below boat ramp at Wilson Spring.

Full Directions
From U.S. 27 in Ft. White, take Wilson Springs Road west about 4 miles to the spring and boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  Go downriver on the Santa Fe 2-3 miles, past 2 sets of small shoals and a hairpin turn.  The spring is on the north (right) side of the river in a neighborhood after the dramatic river turn and 1-2 houses after the unnamed possible spring described above.  To get to the Oasis boat ramp: From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 to junction with Highway 129/49.  Turn south.  Drive about 5 miles to Highway 138 and turn east.  Drive 3.4 miles to NE 2nd Way.  Follow 2nd Way for 2.6 miles to dirt road on right and the boat ramp.

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 just off the river (the center of the pool perhaps 75 feet from the river) and forms an oval pool that is about 35 by 45 feet in diameter.  Water in the pool was clear and shallow, and a mild boil was visible.  The water had a green tint on date of visit (January 2001).  No vent was visible, however, due to vegetation in the pool.  The spring is set in a depression with banks rising around it on all sides and land sloping upward to a house on the north side.  Much of the land around the spring has been cleared and is grassy.

The banks of the pool are shored with sandbags, and the mouth of the run is narrowed and partly dammed with sandbags and rocks.  Water tumbles from the mouth of the pool into the river 25 feet away.  On date of visit, the run was only a few inches deep.

Use/Access

 Nearby Springs
COL928971, Wilson Spring, GIL 99974, unnamed possible spring, Sunbeam Spring, Oasis Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 


Sunbeam Spring
Columbia County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”excellent
How Pristine?'”development nearby; spring very pristine
Swimming'”good wading and snorkeling
Protection'”good
Crowds'”boat traffic going by
Access'”good; boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
Five minutes past the unnamed possible spring and COL917971 Spring on the Santa Fe River.  15-20 minute paddle upriver from private boat ramp at Oasis Spring near the middle of the river.

Full Directions
From U.S. 27 in Ft. White, take Wilson Springs Road west about 4 miles to the spring and boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  Go downriver on the Santa Fe 2-3 miles, past 2 sets of small shoals and a hairpin turn.  The spring five minutes'™ paddle past COL917971 and lies in the riverbed a little toward the north (Columbia County) side.  To get to the Oasis boat ramp:  From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 to junction with Highway 129/49.  Turn south.  Drive about 5 miles to Highway 138 and turn east.  Drive 3.4 miles to NE 2nd Way.  Follow 2nd Way for 2.6 miles to dirt road on right and the boat ramp.

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 the riverbed and flows from two points in an up-jutting fissure/fracture that was exposed when the authors visited (January 2001) during a time of record drought.  Water flows powerfully out of a crack in the limestone.  On date of visit, more than 10 feet of the crack was exposed, and water flowed up and out against the current of the surrounding river.  The crack angles downward to the riverbed, and water flowing from a second opening on the river bottom (about 18 feet upriver) creates another strong boil.  Water in the spring is clear, and there was colorful algae growing on the limestone.  The rocks were also covered with tiny (about 1 cm) periwinkle-like snails.  Sunlight shafted into the exposed flowing vent, which is up to two feet wide and narrows as it goes down.  The riverbed was about 6 feet deep on date of visit, and the bottom was visible.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
Sunbeam is a spectacular sight in times of low river water, and appealing and attractive under all but flood conditions.  The upfolded fracture creates a dramatic and rare flow spectacle under dry conditions.  The authors cannot think of another spring that offers such a prospect in the middle of a river.  The closest approximation is Little River Spring in time of extreme drought, when the visitor can also stand on the limestone directly over the site of the flow and look down into the mouth of the cavern.

Other Nearby Springs
COL928971, Wilson Spring, GIL 99974, unnamed possible spring, COL917971, Oasis Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

Oasis Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fair-good
How Pristine?'”dredging behind spring, boat ramp next to spring, land cleared, erosion
Swimming'”good
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”some on warm weekends
Access'”good, boat and by land with authorization
Facilities'”private dock adjacent to spring
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
At Oasis boat ramp, or 3 miles below Wilson Springs boat ramp on the south side of the Santa Fe River.

Full Directions
From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 to junction with Highway 129/49.  Turn south.  Drive about 5 miles to Highway 138 and turn east.  Drive 3.4 miles to NE 2nd Way.  Follow 2nd Way for 2.6 miles to dirt road on right and the boat ramp.  Oasis Spring is just upriver of the ramp.

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 on the riverbank and is a semicircle about 40 feet in diameter.  Water in the spring was clear and greenish, and there was some algae in the spring.  Water flows from a limestone opening and a mild boil was present.  On date of visit (January 2001), a time of historic drought, the water was very low and exposed limestone extended out of the water at the back end of the pool.  Water in the spring was 3-6 feet deep.

A channel, which may be manmade, loops behind the spring, forms a small island, and reenters the river upstream.  On date of visit, there was no flow of spring water back into this channel due to low river levels.

Use/Access
The site appears to be used for swimming and hanging out.  Under normal rain conditions, it would be deeper and more conducive to swimming and snorkeling.

 Personal Impressions
Not a bad little spring, despite the unattractive manmade 'œimprovements' around it.  The authors would like to return when the water is higher and snorkel at the site.

Nearby Springs
COL928971, Wilson Spring, GIL 99974, unnamed possible spring, COL917971, Sunbeam Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 


SUW917971
Suwannee County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine-excellent
How Pristine?'”house above spring, otherwise very natural
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
On the north side of the Santa Fe River 150 feet below where it is joined by the Ichetucknee River.

Full Directions
From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 to junction with Highway 129/49.  Turn south.  Drive about 5 miles to Highway 138 and turn east.  Drive 3.4 miles to NE 2nd Way.  Follow 2nd Way for 2.6 miles to dirt road on right and the boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  Paddle four miles to where Ichetucknee River joins the Santa Fe.  The spring is 150 past the confluence on the right (north) side.

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 pool on the riverbank in an area of floodplain forest.  On date of visit (January 2001), a time of historic drought, the spring was not flowing but did contain water.  The water was dark and the pool was about 10 feet in diameter and mostly covered in water lettuce.  The spring'™s dry run was just a few feet to the river.

Use/Access

 Personal Impressions
 The spring was very nondescript on the date of visit, and the authors would likely have overlooked it had they not known its exact location.

 Nearby Springs
GIL99972

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

GIL99972
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”house above spring, undergrowth cleared above spring
Swimming'”good, fine snorkeling
Protection'”unknown
Access'”adjacent land is private; make no landfall
Facilities'”none
Safety'”unknown
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Quick Directions
On the Santa Fe River about ¼ mile below where it is joined by the Ichetucknee River on the south side.

Full Directions
From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 to junction with Highway 129/49.  Turn south.  Drive about 5 miles to Highway 138 and turn east.  Drive 3.4 miles to NE 2nd Way.  Follow 2nd Way for 2.6 miles to dirt road on right and the boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  Paddle four miles to where Ichetucknee River joins the Santa Fe.  The spring is about ¼ mile below the confluence on the left (south) side at the back yard of a house.

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 adjacent to the riverbank and forms a small pool of irregular shape and two sections amid exposed limestone.  On date of visit, a time of historic drought (January 2001), the pool was much reduced and only about 12 by 20 feet in diameter.  Water flows from an eight-foot-deep limestone opening in the back (SW) end of the pool.  The water was very clear and blue on the date of visit.

Land around the pool has been partially cleared and serves as the yard for the owners of a house on the property.  There is a mature cypress tree in the center of the spring on the east side; its diameter is 3-4 feet.

Use/Access

 Personal Impressions
 The spring is very lovely and appealing.  The authors wanted to take a dip but feared being yelled at (or worse) for trespassing.  Presumably, however, one can go into the spring without trespassing as long as no landfall is made.

Nearby Springs
SUW917971

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 


Betty Spring
Suwannee County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”land cleared above/around spring, near site of old bridge, some erosion
Swimming'”good wading and snorkeling
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”small
Access'”good, boat only and no landfall allowed
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 about 4 miles to junction with U.S. 129.  Drive south on U.S. 129 and go 3 miles to bridge over the Santa Fe River.  Put in at boat ramp at county park at the bridge and go upriver about 2 miles to the spring on the left (north) side, just past site of old bridge across the 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
Betty Spring forms an oval pool on the north bank of the Santa Fe River.  The pool was about 15 feet long, 10 feet wide, and three feet deep on date of visit (January 2001).  Water in the spring was clear and blue and flowed from a small limestone opening near the mouth of the pool.  There was a slight boil visible.  On date of visit, water in the spring pool was appreciably warmer than the immediately adjacent water in the Santa Fe River.  Limestone rose up about two feet around the edge of the pool; this limestone would be submerged under normal river heights.  There is a dead cypress tree on the upriver side of the spring at the edge of the bank.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
Based on materials along the banks just below the spring, there appeared to be a bridge that cross the river at this site many years ago.

 Personal Impressions
 Betty is a cute little spring and very inviting for swimming after paddling a while on the river.  Under the weaker sunlight of winter, and toward the end of the day, springs tend to be less refractive and not as blue.  Betty, however, was quite blue even given such conditions and would likely glow under a summer sun.

 Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 



GIL729972? (or possibly) GIL 729973
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”4th magnitude
Scenery'”fair
How Pristine?'”land cleared above spring
Swimming'”no
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”free

Directions
Several miles below boat ramp at Oasis Spring on south side.  From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 to junction with Highway 129/49.  Turn south.  Drive about 5 miles to Highway 138 and turn east.  Drive 3.4 miles to NE 2nd Way.  Follow 2nd Way for 2.6 miles to dirt road on right and the boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  Paddle downstream 5-6 miles (?) miles and look for small mouth of run on the south (left) side.

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 presumed spring was dry on date of visit in January 2001, a period of historic drought.  A depression was located at the back of a 250-foot dry run that might be the spring pool.  The dry pool was oval and about 50 by 100 feet in diameter.  Land above the site is cleared, but below the spring is floodplain forest.

Use/Access
Unknown.

 Personal Impressions
 The authors had difficulty locating several springs in this stretch of the Santa Fe that are described and photographed in the 1998 publication, Springs of the Suwannee River Basin in Florida (Hornsby & Ceryak, pp. 49-53).  They wondered if all the springs in this section'”all of which are small'”were dry.  Based on the description in Hornsby & Ceryak, the most likely match for this site is GIL729972 (p. 52).

Nearby Springs

 Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

Campground Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”very good
How Pristine?'”land partially cleared above pool for campground
Swimming'”fair-good
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”unknown
Access'”excellent, from water or land
Facilities'”excellent at adjacent campground
Safety'”good
Scuba'”yes
Cost'”fee to launch boat or camp at site, free if approached by boat from different boat ramp

Directions
From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 about 4 miles to junction with U.S. 129.  Drive south on U.S. 129 for about 4 miles, and turn right (west) at sign for Elly Ray'™s Campground on graded road about one mile below the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  Follow to campground and river, and the spring is about 150 feet upriver 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
The spring is adjacent to the river and forms a semicircular pool that is 75 feet across and framed/canopied on three sides by 8 or so large cypress trees.  On date of visit, which was also late in the day and with low sunlight (January 2001), the water in the spring was dark and the depth could not be determined.  According to Hornsby & Ceryak (1998, p. 45), the spring has a maximum depth of 23 feet.  No boil was visible.

Use/Access

 Personal Impressions
 The evenly spaced cypress trees along the edge of the spring create an attractive sight.  The authors plan to return to the spring in the summer and visit under conditions that are more conducive to swimming and snorkeling.

 Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

Trail (or Pleasant Grove) Spring
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”3rd magnitude
Scenery'”poor
How Pristine?'”platform around spring, exotic plants in water, buildings above spring
Swimming'”poor-good, depending on amount of plants in spring
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”can be busy on warm days
Access'”very good, land or water
Facilities'”excellent in adjacent campground
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”no
Cost'”fee to launch boat or camp at site, free if approached by boat from different boat ramp

Directions
From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 about 4 miles to junction with U.S. 129.  Drive south on U.S. 129 for about 4 miles, and turn right (west) at sign for Elly Ray'™s Campground on graded road about one mile below the bridge over the Santa Fe River.  Follow to campground and river, and the spring is a few feet downriver from the boat ramp next to a dock.

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 at the edge of the river and forms a semicircular pool 35 feet across.  Water flows from a limestone opening in the back, downriver end of the pool from a depth of about 10 feet.  The water was clear, and the limestone opening was visible from the surface; the rest of the pool was full of aquatic vegetation.  The spring is framed by a wooden deck on three sides.  Land slopes upward from the pool to several buildings that are part of a campground.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
The spring was not attractive on date of visit, as it was full of exotic plants.  The setting is no longer natural.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 


SUW107971
Suwannee County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”some trash near spring, otherwise very pristine
Swimming'”poor-fair
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”good
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 about 4 miles to junction with U.S. 129.  Drive south on U.S. 129 for about 5 miles, and turn right (west), immediately after passing the turn for State Road 138 (which is on the left/east).  Drive on graded dirt road and then turn right/west on NW 39 Avenue to the Wanamake boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  (Note:  the Santa Fe River is only about ¼ mile from the Suwannee River at this boat ramp.)  Put in and go upriver about 2/3 to ¾ mile and look for spring on the left/west side.  The spring is a short distance upriver from a swampy area on the north side characterized by very large cypress trees with wide trunks that taper dramatically and are reminiscent of Indian teepees.

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 semicircular pool at the edge of the river.  The pool was about 50 feet wide on date of visit, and visibility in the water under winter and evening conditions (January 2001) was only about one foot.  The pool is canopied by cypress and hardwoods, and the low area around the spring is thick floodplain forest.  No flow was visible.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions
The spring is not dramatic in appearance and can be easy to miss, especially when there is no visible flow.  Look for the telltale circular pool.  The site would likely be clearer on a sunny summer day.

Nearby Springs

 Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 


GIL107971
Gilchrist County

Summary of Features
Scale'”2nd magnitude
Scenery'”fine
How Pristine?'”completely pristine
Swimming'”poor-fair
Protection'”unknown
Crowds'”none
Access'”very good, boat only
Facilities'”none
Safety'”very good
Scuba'”unknown
Cost'”free

Directions
From Branford, drive east/south on U.S. 27 about 4 miles to junction with U.S. 129.  Drive south on U.S. 129 for about 5 miles, and turn right (west), immediately after passing the turn for State Road 138 (which is on the left/east).  Drive on graded dirt road and then turn right/west on NW 39 Avenue to the Wanamake boat ramp on the Santa Fe River.  (Note:  the Santa Fe River is only about ¼ mile from the Suwannee River at this boat ramp.)  Put in and go upriver about ½ mile and look for spring on the right/east side.

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 large pool at the edge of the river and is about 75 feet across and semicircular.  A small creek flows either from or into the back of the pool.  On date and time of visit (January 2001, just before sunset), the water was not clear and no flow was visible.  The land around the spring is low and is floodplain forest.  Hardwood trees line the edge of the spring, including a large and spreading tree on the downriver (south) side.  A great blue heron was fishing in the creek/backwater behind the spring.

Use/Access
There is no apparent use at this very pristine site.

Personal Impressions
In trying to photograph this spring from a point of altitude, JF slipped and fell out of a tree, the idiot, and limped for the next three weeks.  So I hope you like the photo!

Nearby Springs


Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve
 
 

GIL729971
Gilchrist County

Directions
Near to GIL107971 above.

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 somehow managed to miss this spring, which is described by Hornsby & Ceryak (1998) as being in the bed of the Santa Fe River and 250 feet across.  It has a 100-foot run and a maximum depth of 22 feet.  Its precise location is Lat.-29.53'™21' and Long.-82.52'™29' (p. 44).

Personal Impressions
How did we miss this huge spring?

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
O'™Leno State Park
River Rise State Preserve