Econfina Canoe Livery Springs
Summary of Features
- Scale-3rd magnitude (estimated)
- How Pristine?-near cleared areas, concrete structure in 1 spring, otherwise pristine
- Access-easy from canoe livery; somewhat difficult from river, by water& wading
- Facilities-good at canoe livery nearby, none at springs
From the intersection of State Road 20 and U.S. 231 north of Panama City, drive west on SR20 about 7 miles to bridge over Econfina Creek. Put in at bridge and go about 1.25 miles upriver, past Pitt, Sylvian, and Williford Springs and look for mouth of spring run on the left (west) bank. Alternately, the run may be reached directly by land from the property of the Econfina Creek Canoe Livery on Strickland Road, a turn-off from SR 20 to the north about 1/3 mile west of the river—phone number 850-722-9032.
Two clusters of small springs lie at the head of connected spring runs that join to flow into the west bank of Econfina Creek about ¼ mile north of Williford Spring. The more westerly spring is in an area of thick forest and karst terrain and consists of three flows. Each flow is from the base of a limestone bank and from a small limestone cavity. Two springs flow from small cavities/grottoes at the head of the run. This area is roughly oval, about 10 feet in diameter, and opens directly into the run. The water is clear and only 2-3 inches deep, and the bottom is rocky and sandy. The third and smallest flow is about 40 feet from the head pool on the west side of the run. The first 200 feet of the run is very clear, from 10-15 feet wide, and the bottom is sandy. The lower part 250 feet of the run is often obstructed, is a few inches deeper, and is more muddy. After about 450 feet, the run is joined by the run from the more southern spring. This run is not navigable and must be waded except in times of high water.
The southern spring is similar in appearance, also with three flows from small limestone openings/cavities/grottos. The bottom is rocky and sandy, and the clear water is only about 3 inches deep. The run from this fork is about 250 feet long, from 2-12 inches deep, and is much obstructed and barely navigable by canoe except in times of high water. Near the main spring is a cylindrical concrete structure roughly three feet in diameter and 5 feet high.
The two runs join at the mouth of the southern spring and flow together about 100 feet to Econfina Creek. A canoe livery company has its launch along this lower stretch (along the south bank), with a building nearby. The runs are completely canopied and together form a roughly Y-shaped spring group. Along the runs of the spring, the banks are very low. At the head of each spring, however, is a limestone bank of 3-6 feet.
- Good access from SR 20, and very easy access directly into the spring run from the canoe livery, albeit for a fee.
- Except for the concrete structure in the southerly spring (possibly a drain system?) there is no apparent use of the springs which are somewhat difficult to get to by canoe and wading.
The authors were pleased to find the springs. Although they are clearly known to the adjacent canoe livery and local inhabitants, they are not recorded in any publication the authors have found or on the State of Florida list of springs.
- Walsingham Spring
- Unnamed Econfina Creek-bed Spring
- Glowing Spring
- Washington Blue Spring Group
- Twin-Run Grotto Springs Group
- Williford Run Spring
- Gainer Springs Group
- McCormick Springs Group
- Pitt Spring
- Sylvian (or Sullivan) Spring
- Ponce de Leon Springs
- Vortex Spring
- Cypress Spring
- Morrison Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Pitt Spring Recreation Area
- St. Andrews State Recreation Area
- Falling Waters State Recreation Area