Summary of Features
- Scale -1st magnitude
- Scenery -excellent
- How Pristine? -platform and walkway around spring, house on one side,land cleared behind spring
- Swimming -excellent; outstanding snorkeling
- Protection -excellent
- Crowds -heavy on warm days
- Access -outstanding
- Facilities -fine
- Safety -excellent
- Scuba -yes
- Cost -$6 per carload of 2-8; $4 for one-person in car
Directions: Address: 18020 US-19, Fanning Springs, FL 32693. 352-463-3420. Web link: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Fanning-Springs
In the town of Fanning Springs. Entrance to Fanning Springs State Park is directly off U.S. 19/98, ¼ mile from bridge over the Suwannee River.
Fanning Springs—The main portion of the spring basin is a semi-circular pool framed by sheer limestone walls 20 feet high on two sides. This pool is about 30 feet wide and 18 feet deep and has several flow points through limestone openings on the bottom and sides. The flows create a continuously active surface over much of the main pool. The bottom is rocky and there are small- to medium-sized fish in the water. Water in the spring pool is very clear and a deep blue. Flow from this basin forms a large shallow secondary pool to the north that is about 150 feet wide and 3-6 feet deep. The land to the north is swampy, and the south bank reduces from the 20 feet high of the main basin to just a few feet above the water as the run approachesthe river. There is another spring flowing from a small grotto at the bottom of the steps leading to the water, and there may be other small flows inthe pool or on its edges.
A floating boat dock/platform is set halfway down the spring’s 300-foot run. There is a boardwalk along the north side of the pool leading to the river. The run is more natural, with cypress and eel grass in the water. Manatees may be observed in the spring run and sometimes the main spring area during the winter.
Little Fanning Springs—Water flows from the base of a limestone bank, creating a shallow and bubbling creek that winds about 800 feet through karst terrain and heavy forest to the Suwannee River. Water from the spring is clear and was bluish on date of visit in 1997. The spring may be reached by footpath from the back of the main spring area near the observation platform.
- Fanning Springs is a State Park with swimming, diving, a dock for boats, restrooms, picnic areas, a volleyball court and net, observation platform, and a boardwalk to the river.
- The dock in the spring run not only serves as a boat tie-up, but also prevents boats from entering the main spring and swimming area.
- The dive and observation platform is set over the primary spring basin.
- The Nature Coast Trail is adjacent to the State Park and offers a six-mile paved trail on an old rail line. Eventually, the trail will be 31 miles in length and connect Chiefland, Trenton, and Cross City.
- Little Fanning Spring was badly eroded in the fall of 1997; in 1999 visitors were not permitted to walk there because the spot was designated as environmentally sensitive. The park is considering putting a boardwalk around Little Fanning.
- Local residents pronounce both the spring and the town as Fannin’, dropping the "g."
- The park became a state recreation area in 1997. Several truckloads of garbage, cinder blocks, and other trash were removed from the spring as part of the state’s clean-up and restoration.
- In the 1800s, There was a steamboat landing at Fanning Springs. The site is named for a Colonel Fanning, and the name was given to a fort built near the spring during the Seminole War in 1838 (Strutin, 2000, p. 67).
- Years ago, a skating rink provided entertainment at the spring.
Fanning is one of the prettiest and best swimming holes in Florida. It is also one of the most convenient, being only 10 seconds off the main highway along the Gulf Coast.
- Lumbercamp Spring, Guaranto Spring, Rock Bluff Spring, Hart Springs, McCrabb Spring, Copper Spring, Little Copper Spring, Sun Spring, Manatee Springs, Iron Springs, DIX95971, Rock Sink Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park
- O'Leno State Park
- San Felasco Hammock State Preserve
- River Rise State Preserve
- Manatee Springs State Park
- Hart Springs County Park