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 and platform and steps 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

See web link for map and information: www.srwmd.state.fl.us/index.aspx?nid=170. From Interstate 10 exit #262, travel north four miles on County Road 255 to town of Lee and turn right (east) on U.S. 90. Drive about 14 miles to and turn right into spring entrance 2.2 miles east of the entrance to Suwannee River State Park. From I-10 exit #275, travel west on U.S. 90 about 5 miles and turn left approximately 100 yards past 185th Road and the driveway leads to a parking area.

Spring Description

Falmouth is a spring-sink combination that is characterized as a "karst window" (see also Riversink and Kini Springs). The circular pool lies in a depression with banks of over 30 feet and is about 80 feet in diameter. When JF visited, the water was a milky blue with visibility of a few feet. The water was greenish when RB visited. Hornsby & Ceryak observed the water as being tannin-colored (1998, p. 107). According to Rosenau 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 yards to a sink that is about 60 feet wide and 40 feet deep. The run is shallow and rocky. Before the site was restored (see below), the surface of the sink was littered with fallen debris and garbage. Now a boardwalk offers access to the sink, which has a slight counterclockwise swirl. The waters eventually merge with the underground sources of the Suwannee, four miles away. Just before it gets to the cliff and disappears, the run passes, sometimes noisily, over and through rocks. The spring and its run lie deep in a hollow spot, surrounded by tall trees that shade the water. Green algae grow on rocks and banks.

Use/Access

Local Springiana

Falmouth is perhaps the largest spring that has been observed to reverse--at the 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 two local children discovering a snake--most likely non-venomous--and then joyously beating it to death with a piece of knotted length of rope while their mother hollered cautionary advice from across the spring. At that time there was also a spectacular rope swing that started at least 25 feet above the water and dropped the swinger from that height into the deep part of the spring. JF enjoyed using it.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features