Springhead in winter
Springhead in summer
Springhead in winter
From Mayo, travel northwest on U.S. 27/SR 20 for 3-4 miles. Turn rightonto Highway 251B and proceed about three miles to tract entrance. Turningright at the sign (also at the house of the tract caretaker) will leaddown a dirt road to the lower end of the spring run. The spring is furthernorth on 251B. Look for roped-off entrance on the right just after thepaved road ends. Walk into the entrance, turn left, walk about 75 yards.Then at crossroad at small building, turn right onto trail. Then take thefirst left (after a sinkhole on the left) and walk down 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 atthe following address: http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida
The spring lies in a low swampy karst area that is pockmarked withsinkholes and surface limestone. The area around the spring is wooded floodplain,with cypress and hardwood trees in abundance and dense vegetation in thesummer. The first and main vent is at the head of the elongated pool andis a canoe-shaped opening in the limestone with a gentle boil. It is 4-6feet deep, about 3 feet wide, and 9 feet long.
The spring pool or first part of the run—which ends in a 90-degree turnwhere there is a small dam that is the remnant of a 19th centurycorn mill—is S-shaped and approximately 175 feet long. It is shallow andthe water is clear. The run continues after the dam for about 1,000 yardsto the Suwannee and is from 1-3 feet deep. The authors found a second ventnear the head vent, but not three vents as described in Rosenau et al.(1977, p. 198).
- The site is managed by the Suwan nee River Water Management District andoffers hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, and fishing as well as1.6 miles of river frontage.
- The protected area also includes upland pine forest, hardwood forest, bottomlandforest, and swamp that serve as habitat for bobcat, beaver, turkey, fox,quail, and wild hogs ("Allen Mill Pond," SRWMD flyer, n.d.).
- It might be possible to canoe up the run to the spring when the river isabove normal, but the run is shallow and obstructed at other times.
- As the winter and summer photographs of the spring suggest, the area surroundingAllen Mill Pond is heavily overgrown in summer, making access and viewingdifficult and less safe.
- The spring has a rich history. It was the site of a corn mill built in1855, a settlement, a ferry concession, a trading post, a sand mining operation,and a campground. Evidence of these activities is almost completely gone,and the area has a very wild character.
- In an historical footnote, Louis Moseley, a 19th century landowner,sheltered Confederate Secretary of War John Breckenridge at the site ofthe spring in 1865 after Lee’s surrender to Grant. Breckenridge was fleeingFederal troops and trying to divert their attention from the simultaneousflight of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Breckenridge would ultimatelymake good his escape all the way to Cuba and exile, while Davis was capturedin south Georgia and imprisoned for two years (Johnson & Faircloth,1996, p. 50, and Foote, p. 1010).
The site is lovely, wild, picturesque, and remote, making it a favoriteof the authors in terms of its natural beauty. It is best to visit in winter,for the lush terrain is wildly overgrown in summer.
- Flynn Spring
- Charles Spring
- Thomas Spring
- Lafayette Blue Spring
Suwannee River Water Management District
Live Oak, FL 32060