Belton's Millpond Springs
Summary of Features
- Scale--2nd magnitude total
- How Pristine?--incorporated within golf course and RV park
- Access--seek permission for access
Address: 178 US-301, Sumterville 33585, phone 352-568-2244
In complex of Shady Brook Golf and RV Resort just east of the intersection of U.S 301 and CR 470 in Sumter County. The spring vent areas are near the main entrance to the property. After turning off the highway, the road immediately turns left and winds back around the golf course and the RV and mobile homes. The spring vent areas on on the right just after this initial left turn where the elevation drops away into trees. Look for signs of karst terrain--exposed limestone at the surface.
There are 3-4 springs where water flows up through limestone openings in small alcoves. These vents each create small pools (5-12 feet in diameter) and runs within an area of a few hundred feet of each other. The pools all have clear but dark water and depths that appeared tp be 6-10 feet on date of visit in April 2003. The vents are framed by trees and other vegetation, and their surfaces have duckweed and other aquatic vegetation, although not above the vents. The runs converge after about 200 feet to form a main run that widens from 10-30 feet over the next few hundred feet before widening into a large pond that has been created by a weir about 500 feet downstream.
There is an island in the pond, the latter of which covers several acres. In the run shortly before it widens into the pond, there is another vent that creates a clear and large (10 feet in diameter) click on the surface. The depth of this vent could not be determined visually. Water flows powerfully over the weir in a waterfall and what appears to be the original spring run. This run is about 25 feet wide and several feet deep, and large fish were observed in the water. The banks of the run are heavily vegetated and sub-tropical. The run flows into Shady Brook, which flows into the southern tip of Lake Panasoffkee.
- Visiting the spring at dusk on an April weekday, JF drove right in and asked some residents about the location of the spring. They directed him to the general area. The springs are just a few feet from the entrance road and their run has been modified to serve as a water hazard for the golf course.
- The name of the spring suggests it once powered a mill.
The springs are attractive, and the spring run below the manmade pond is beautiful. JF wonders if the owners of the golf course utilize best management practices to reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides that are used on the adjacent land and springshed.
- Rainbow Springs Group
- Maintenance Spring
- Canal Springs
- King's Bay Springs Group
- Chassahowitzka Springs Group
- Homosassa Springs Group
- Lake Panasoffkee Springs Group
- Gum Slough Springs Group
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Withlacoochie State Forest
- Fort Cooper State Park
- Rainbow Springs State Park
- Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
- Lake Griffin State Recreation Area