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

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COL101974 Spring

Columbia Count

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 to edge of spring
  • Facilities - good
  • Safety - fair to poor
  • Scuba - no
  • Cost - free

Directions

South and east of the parking area at Rum Island County Park (address: 1447 SW Rum Island Terrace, Fort White, FL 32038). 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.

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 bolcked by a fallen tree.

Use/Access

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 and himself--probably the same gator--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 mainpool that could be visible in the winter when the plants die back.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features