Devil's Eye (or Boiling) Springs (on the Ichetucknee)
Summary of Features
- Scale -2nd magnitude
- Scenery -outstanding
- How Pristine? -very unspoiled
- Swimming -very good-fine
- Protection -excellent
- Crowds -small
- Access -very good
- Facilities -none at spring; fine in park nearby
- Safety -very good
- Scuba -yes
- Cost -varies by use--see Use/Access below
From Branford, drive SE on U.S. 27 for about 10 miles. Turn north (left) at park sign onto State Road 137. Take first paved road on the right (State Road 238) to the park entrance on the right. Put canoe in at launch. The springs are about 850 feet downstream (about three minutes' paddle) from Mission Springs, on the opposite bank.
Perhaps more accurately termed "Devil’s Eyes," this is a set of two springs/spring pools that form a single run to the Ichetucknee River. The main pool is circular and perhaps 120 feet wide. Water issues from a limestone opening in the middle of the pool and forms large boils on the surface. Plants surround the opening, which appeared to be about 15 feet deep. Water over the vent was blue and very clear on date of visit (December 2000). A large live oak tree arches from the bank at the back of the pool, with limbs reaching perhaps 40 feet directly over the vent. The spring run is about 50 feet wide and includes the flow from the second spring on the site (see below).
The secondary spring and its pool are immediately adjacent to the main spring and about 120 feet to the northwest (or upriver side). The pool is circular and about 25 feet in diameter. Water flows up along what appears to be a nearly vertical limestone wall beneath the surface. A mild boil was visible, and the water was clear and light blue over the vent. The flow from this spring joins that of the adjacent larger spring. Note: the authors have not found any published descriptions of this spring, even though it is both clearly separate from the larger spring and clearly visible.
The two springs create a run of about 160 feet to the Santa Fe River. The land around the springs is forested floodplain and karst terrain.
- Access by canoe or tube only. Tubers would have to paddle/flail up the run to the spring.
- The overhanging live oak tree provides a perfect overhead view of the spring as well as a platform for jumping into the main spring. The tree is easy to climb, but requires balance. However making landfall and climbing the tree are not allowed.
- The secondary spring is not suitable for swimming and is best viewed from either a canoe or from up in a tree.
- This spring is one of a series of springs that form the Ichetucknee River. Altogether, the springs discharge an average of over 230 million gallons of water per day.
- Park fees are as follows: $5 per vehicle (up to 8 people per vehicle, and no river use/tubing/canoeing); $3 for single car occupant; $3 for 1-2 persons on a motorcycle; $1 for pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with annual entrance permits; $5 per person for tubing.
- Tubing at the park can be done from three locations: North end (3 hours). Mid-point ( 1.5 hours), and Dampier's LAnding (1 hour). The peak tubing season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A shuttle service ferries tubers from the parking area to the river and back from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tubes must be obtained outside the park. The tubing is in the river and not in the springs.
- A citizen support organization, the Friends of Ichetucknee Springs, Inc., has been established to support Ichetucnkee Springs and its watershed. For more information, contact Craig Harper at 196 SW Mission Springs Court, Ft. White, FL 32038.The park includes bathrooms and picnic facilities, and a concession stand at the south entrance.
- There is a nature trail along part of the spring run just below Ichetucknee Spring at the canoe/tube put-in on the west side. A shuttle service ferries tubers from the parking area to the river and back from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tubes must be obtained outside the park.
- The park includes bathrooms and picnic facilities, and a concession stand at the south entrance.
The name of the main spring is derived from the eye-like appearance of the vent among the surrounding eel grass.
In its natural and undisturbed setting, with its powerful boil and dramatic blue against the green eel grass all around it, and the natural framing of the nearby banks and overarching oak tree, Devil's Eye Spring is one of the most attractive and appealing springs in Florida.
- Blue Hole Spring
- Cedar Head Spring
- Mission/Roaring/Fig/Singing Springs
- Ichetucknee Spring
- Grassy Hole Spring
- Mill Pond Spring
- Coffee Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park
- O’Leno State Park
- San Felasco Hammock State Preserve
- Devil’s Millhopper State Geologic Site
- River Rise State Preserve
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
12087 SW U.S. Highway 27
Ft. White, FL 32038
386-497-2511 (recorded information)
386-497-1216 (North Ranger Station)
386-497-2302 (South Ranger Station)