Summary of Features
- Scale - 2nd magnitude
- Scenery - excellent
- How Pristine? - very pristine
- Swimming - poor-fair
- Protection - unknown
- Crowds - boat traffic on warm weekends
- Access - good, boat only
- Facilities - none
- Safety - unknown
- Scuba - yes
- Cost - free
From U.S. 90 in Marianna, go west on Highway 276, pass under Interstate10, and continue on to Highway 167. Turn left and go until you pass CountyRoad 1656. Continue on 1.1 miles to Mystery Springs Road. A gray doublewidetrailer home is at the intersection. Turn left and proceed 1.4 miles ona dirt road until it and the forest on the left seem to end and there isa large "No Trespassing" sign. Turn left just before the sign onto a narrowdirt road and drive about 100 yards to the water, which is the east runof Black Spring. Proceed by boat 200-300 feet to the left (west) to thespring basin.
The other four springs in this section (Double, Mill Pond, Gadsen, andSpringboard), are accessible from this 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 atthe following address: http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida
The basin is round and about 150 feet across. The water is clear andvery dark with visibility of 2-3 feet only; the name of the spring is derivedfrom this dark, reflective water. According to Rosenau et al. (1977, p.173), the spring is 75 feet deep and has nearly vertical sides. There arewater lettuce and hyacinth in the basin. The spring is surrounded by densefloodplain forest.
The spring has two runs that radiate from its basin, each of which isabout 100 yards long: one to the east (and the boat launch before continuingeast in a swampy area) and one to the west (toward Spring Lake). The westernrun then splits around a small island, with one channel continuing westand upriver in Spring Lake and the other north and east toward the downstreamportion of Spring Lake and the Chipola River. The runs are about 50 feetwide and 1-6 feet deep.
- With good directions, the spring is easy to reach and explore by canoe.As noted, it is also the gateway to Spring Lake.
- There also appeared tobe a path by land at the spring that may lead back to the parking area/boatlaunch.
- The authors did not see any alligators in the spring, but its dark water would be a great place for these predators and the authors decided not to take the plunge.
- There was some trash in the brush and the perimeter path around the spring.
Cows were heard lowing a short distance south of the spring
The authors had wanted to visit this spring for several years, and its natural beauty met all their expectations. It is a wild place in a very rural area and feels remote and peaceful.
- Gadsen (or Gadsden) Spring
- Springboard Spring
- Double Spring
- Mill Pond Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Florida Caverns State Park
- Torreya State Park
- Falling Waters State Recreation Area
- Apalachicola National Forest
- Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve