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

Falmouth Spring
Suwannee County
  • Summary of Features
    • Scale - 1st magnitude to no flow, depending on conditions
    • Scenery - fine
    • How Pristine? - restored to relatively pristine; boardwalk along run andsteps to spring; parking area above spring
    • Swimming - good to very good
    • Protection - excellent
    • Wildlife - good
    • Crowds - can be crowded on warm weekends
    • Access - fine
    • Facilities - fair
    • Safety - good
    • Scuba - yes
    • Cost - free
    Directions

    From Interstate 10 exit #38, travel north four miles to town of Leeand turn right (east) on U.S. 90. Drive about 14 miles to and turn rightinto spring entrance 2.2 miles east of the entrance to Suwannee River StatePark. From I-10 exit #39, travel west on U.S. 90 about 5 miles to the springentrance on the left.

    Spring Description

    Falmouth is a spring-sink combination that is now characterized as a"karst window" (see also Riversink and Kini Springs). The circular poollies in a depression with banks of over 30 feet and is about 80 feet indiameter. When JF visited, the water was a milky blue with visibility ofa few feet. The water was greenish when RB visited. Hornsby & Ceryakobserved the water as being tannin-colored (1998, p. 107). According toRosenau et al., the spring has a vent at a depth of 45 feet leading toa cave and a tunnel that is 400 feet long (1977, p. 367).

    The spring run is averages about 40 feet wide and flows about 200 yardsto a sink that is about 60 feet wide and 40 feet deep. The run is shallowand rocky. Before the site was restored (see below), the surface of thesink was littered with fallen debris and garbage. Now a boardwalk offersaccess to the sink, which has a slight counterclockwise swirl. The waterseventually merge with the underground sources of the Suwannee, four milesaway. Just before it gets to the cliff and disappears, the run passes,sometimes noisily, over and through rocks. The spring and its run lie deepin a hollow spot, surrounded by tall trees that shade the water. Greenalgae grow on rocks and banks.

    Use/Access

  • The site is managed by the Suwannee River Water Management District, whichhas conducted extensive restoration to the site, which had been eroded,denuded, and trashed.
  • There is a boardwalk to prevent erosion. There are also picnic tables anda chemical toilet on the site.
  • Local Springiana
  • Falmouth is perhaps the largest spring that has been observed to reverse—atthe rate of 365 ft/sec/3 (over a quarter of a billion gallons/day) in 1933.It is also unique in that it can reverse even though the Suwannee River,to which it flows underground, is four miles away.
  • Personal Impressions

    When JF first visited the spring, he witnessed the spectacle of twolocal children discovering a snake—most likely non-venomous—and then joyouslybeating it to death with a piece of knotted length of rope while theirmother hollered cautionary advice from across the spring. At that timethere was also a spectacular rope swing that started at least 25 feet abovethe water and dropped the swinger from that height into the deep part ofthe spring. JF enjoyed trying it.

    < b>Nearby Springs

  • Alapaha Spring
  • Anderson Spring
  • Holton Spring
  • Little Gem Spring
  • Ellaville Spring
  • Lime Spri ng
  • Adams Spring
  • Morgan’s Spring
  • Suwannacoochie Spring
  • Other Nearby Natural Features
  • Suwannee River State Park
  • Withlacoochie River
  • Two Rivers State Forest
  • Contact Information
    Suwannee River Water Management District
    9225 CR49
    Live Oak, FL 32060
    800-226-1066