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

Dykes Spring

Jackson County

Summary of Features

  • Scale--2nd magnitude (est)
  • Scenery--Excellent
  • How Pristine?--Heavy algae growth, otherwise very natural
  • Swimming--Fine, excellent snorkeling
  • Protection--unknown
  • Crowds--Small-none
  • Access--Very good, by boat only
  • Facilities--None
  • Safety--Very good
  • Scuba--Unknown
  • Cost--Free

Directions

Accessible via small boat.  From the center of Marianna on U.S. 90, go north on Jefferson Street (State Road 167--the same turn as for Florida Cavern State Park) and proceed about 1.5 miles to the bridge over the Chipola River. Put in and go downstream about 6 miles.  The mouth of the clear-waterspring run is easy to spot on the east side of the river.  Ascend run 75 yards to springhead.  GPS coordinates:  N30.44.764; W85.12.908.

Spring Description

Dykes Spring forms a roughly circular pool that was about 80 feet in diameter on date of visit in March 2004.  Water flows from a large limestone fissure that is about 8 feet wide and 40-50 feet long. There is a large (6-8 feet in diameter) boil on the surface at the back end of the fissure, which was also wider than the rest of the fissure and rounded.  The depth of the fissure was not measured but appeared to be at least 20 feet.  Several types of fish were observed in the pool, ranging in size from less than an inch to 15 inches long.  Water inthe pool was clear and pale/milky blue.  The bottom was mostly sandy, except at the edges of the limestone fissure, and there were algae on the bottom and on the submerged trees.  Movement in the spring pool raised clouds of silt.

There is a backwater swamp/wetland area behind the spring; it flows into the top of the spring basin in times of high water.  The spring creates a serpentine run that is 20-30 feet wide and 75 yards long. The depth in the run was 5-6 feet on date of visit in early March 2004, but only about 3 feet 3 weeks later (there had been no measureable rain in the interim).  There is heavy algae growth in the spring, in vivid green mats and strings/filaments.  The clear water of the spring and ts run present a contrast to the darker water in the river.  Banks rose up from the spring from 3-10 feet in an area of hardwood bottomland forest.  Dried algae on the banks extending 3-5 feet above the spring suggested that the water had recently been much higher.

Use/Access

A sign at the spring says camping is not allowed.  There is a rope swing at the pool.  A dirt road looped by the spring from the east.

Personal Impressions

Dykes is a very attractive spring, although the algae growth is likely much greater in the summer.  It was a great place to cool off and have a swim.

JF was so irked by the large tree that had fallen into the spring that he spent 15 minutes lugging/lurching it out of the spring fissure. The tree was about 35 feet long.  He knows he should not have done this (one should let nature take its course), but could not restrain himself.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features