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.
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.
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.Personal Impressions 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.
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.
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Live Oak, FL 32060