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

Fern Hammock Springs

Marion County

  • Scale -2nd magnitude
  • Scenery -excellent
  • How Pristine? -bridge over main pool, undergrowth cleared around spring, campground and trails near spring, mostly natural
  • Swimming -no
  • Protection -excellent
  • Crowds -small
  • Access -excellent
  • Facilities -fine nearby
  • Safety -excellent
  • Scuba -no
  • Cost -$3 per person


Quick Directions

In campground at Juniper Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest.

Full Directions

Located in the middle of the campground at the Juniper Springs Recreation Area. To reach the recreation area (which is clearly signposted), drive 5 miles east of the junction of State Roads 19 and 40 on SR 40. The recreation area is on the north side. Ask for directions to the spring at the Juniper pay station. Fern Hammock is about ¼ mile east of Juniper Springs.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description

The spring pool is roughly oblong and 60 by 150 feet in diameter. A wooden footbridge arches over the center of the pool. On either side of the bridge, at depths of 3-8 feet, are several large (up to 10 feet in diameter) white sand boils. Two-three dozen smaller sand boils are also visible. Individual sand boils are circular, while overlapping boils and boil clusters form non-uniform shapes with rounded edges. The water is clear in the spring and can be greenish or blue. In contrast to the water and the aquatic vegetation, the boils take on a glowing appearance in the sunlight and present a striking visual effect.

The spring forms a shallow run that flows about 200 yards into Juniper Creek. There are trails along the run, and more sand boils can be observed in the run. Water in the run is also clear, and Rosenau et al., (1977) report that the water flowing from Fern Hammock Springs is very low in dissolved solids (p. 261).

Use/Access

Personal Impressions

The authors had each been to Juniper twice before realizing Fern Hammock was just a few minutesí walk away. The spring is unique and appealing for its huge sand boils that seem to have an otherworldly gleam.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features Contact Information