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

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Cypress Spring

Washington County

  • Scale -2nd magnitude (estimated)
  • Scale - 2nd magnitude
  • Scenery - excellent
  • How Pristine? - structures near spring, water diverted from spring, boulders removed from spring
  • Swimming - outstanding
  • Protection - poor
  • Crowds - small
  • Access - good, by water only
  • Safety - good
  • Scuba - yes, from boats
  • Cost - free

2016


Photos from 1990s and Early 2000s

Directions

From Vernon, drive NE on Highway 277 2-3 miles to the public park at Big Pine Landing on Holmes Creek.  Paddle upriver (perhaps a mile) to mouth of Cypress Springs run on the left and up run 1/4 mile to the spring.

Spring Description

Set in a natural depression among deep woods and floodplain, Cypress Spring is circular—approximately 120 feet in diameter, up to 35 feet deep, with a cave and two pronounced (one very pronounced) boils and at least one other vent.  When the authors visited the spring in the late 1990s,the depth of the pool was about 18 feet.  The main flow is from a cave entrance in the middle of the spring pool.  The cave extends more than 70 feet in a tunnel that is 40 feet wide and 15 feet high (DeLoach,1997, p. 130).  At all the times the authors visited, except once when the river was very high (December 1997), Cypress was exceptionally clear and blue over the spring pool.  Underwater visibility can exceed 100 feet.   The spring creates a clear run equal in width to the basin that flows about ¼ mile into Holmes Creek.

The second vent is located at the downstream edge of the spring pool, is about 10 feet deep, and issues from a smaller fissure about 15 feet long.  Fallen cypress trees lie in the spring near the main vent. The bottom is strewn with large boulders and tree limbs and is rocky. When the authors visited the spring in the mid- and late 1990s, there were large sandy and underwater grassy areas in the spring pool. 

In the shallower area, attractive water grasses formerly grew from the white sand, bending downstream with the current.

A third vent is now visible in the pool that the authors had not seen before the excavation--it may have been exposed when boulders were removed from the bottom or they may have previously missed seeing it.  A berm surrounded much of the spring to divert the flow from nearby Piney Woods Springs and run-off from flowing into the spring pool and into a man-made side channel.  This diverted flow entered the Cypress run just below the spring through the mouth of a "60 by 80" concrete pipe.

Use/Access

  • There is currently no access from the land.
  • The then-landowner surrounding Cypress Spring discussed contractual arrangements in 2002 with a water bottling company.  The owner had previously proposed to work with a bottling company to pump up to 1.44 MGD of water from the spring.  A bottling plant was not approved for the site, and concerns over tapping into the spring itself had resulted in an alternative plan that called for sinking a well near the spring with 8” pipes, and trucking water from the spring in tankers. 
  • While there is no land access to the spring, one may paddle to it, and a nearby company, Cypress Springs Adventures, offers boat access to the spring (www.cypressspringsadventures.com/).
  • In the early 2000s, the owner of land around the spring was found guilty of illegally excavating the vent around the spring for the purposes of making the site more accessible to divers who would then pay the landowner fees to access the spring from his property.

Personal Impressions

  • One of the most clear and picturesque springs in Florida, Cypress was featured in the March 1999 issue of National Geographic (p. 55) and on the cover of The Springs of Florida (Stamm, 1998).
  • As recorded by Dr. Fred Thompson from the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, two of the three endemic species of snails found in the Holmes Creek drainage system are in the Cypress Springs run.

Nearby Springs

  • Jackson Spring
  • Ponce de Leon Springs
  • Vortex Spring
  • Hightower Spring
  • Beckton Spring
  • Brunson Landing Springs
  • Piney Woods Spring
  • Shellcracker Springs
  • Clemmons Spring
  • Jack Paul Spring
  • Other Holmes Creek Springs
  • Morrison Spring

Other Nearby Natural Features

  • St. Andrews State Recreation Area
  • Falling Waters State Recreation Area