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 Interstate 10, and continue on to Highway 167. Turn left and go until you pass County Road 1656. Continue on 1.1 miles to Mystery Springs Road. A gray doublewide trailer home is at the intersection. Turn left and proceed 1.4 miles ona dirt road until it and the forest on the left seems to end and there is a large "No Trespassing" sign. Turn left just before the sign onto a narrow dirt road and drive about 100 yards to the water, which is the east run of Black Spring. Proceed by boat 200-300 feet to the left (west) to the spring basin.
The other four springs in this section (Double, Mill Pond, Gadsen, and Springboard), are also accessible from this boat ramp.
The basin is round and about 150 feet across. The water is clear and very dark with visibility of 2-3 feet only; the name of the spring is derived from this dark, reflective water. According to Rosenau et al. (1977, p. 173), the spring is 75 feet deep and has nearly vertical sides. There are water lettuce and hyacinth in the basin. The spring is surrounded by dense floodplain forest.
The spring has two runs that radiate from its basin, each of which is about 100 yards long: one to the east (and the boat launch before continuing east in a swampy area) and one to the west (toward Spring Lake). The western run then splits around a small island, with one channel continuing westand upriver in Spring Lake and the other north and east toward the downstream portion of Spring Lake and the Chipola River. The runs are about 50 feet wide 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 to be a path by land at the spring that may lead back to the parking area/boat launch.
- 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