|Summary of Features
From the junction of U.S. 27/19 and U.S. 98 in Perry, drive west on U.S. 98 for 4.3 miles. Turn left (south) onto Highway 356 and continue 0.7 miles onto a short paved road just before Highway 356 makes a sweeping left turn. At the end of the short paved road (before the trailers), turn right onto a dirt road then make an immediate left onto another dirt road and go 0.1 miles to the end at the spring site.
The spring is located on the site of the old Hampton Springs Hotel and flows from the foundation of the building that was constructed around it. Water flows from a small circular concrete enclosure and passes immediately into a rectangular (3'x6') concrete enclosure, then spills (when flowing) into a rectangular concrete pool with the dimensions of approximately 24 by 15 feet. The pool is 10 feet deep and is on the bank of Spring Creek. There is a drain hole in the bottom of the pool, through which the spring empties into Spring Creek.
On date of visit (February 2001), a time of historic drought, there was virtually no flow from the spring, and the bottom of the pool contained only stagnant water and garbage. On a subsequent visit in October 2001, water was flowing from the spring at a rate of about 2 gallons per second, and the pool was mostly cleared and had about 1 foot of water in it. There is a sulfurous odor at the spring, and there are deposits and algae in the pool and spill area into Spring Creek. Spring Creek flows directly behind the old hotel structure and spring. There are remnants of other structures and an old boat ramp on the site. The land is partially cleared, but includes mature live oaks, palmettos, and sabal palms.
The site is currently used only as a hangout, and is badly trashed. A basketball hoop placed into the foundation is broken.
The Hampton Springs Hotel was built in 1911, and served for many years as a resort site to which people came to seek the 'cure' in the spring's sulphurous waters. After a 1954 fire, the hotel was closed. In the 1970s, the site was a county recreation area. The small pool was filled in the summers and used for swimming, and visitors could hike several miles of trails and canoe in adjacent Spring Creek.
Hampton Springs has great potential as an historical site and as a restoration project. The land immediately around the old hotel is beautiful, as is Spring Creek. However, the site is sorely abused and neglected at present. In addition, the nearby landscape is an ugly jumble of use and misuse. Any efforts at restoration will need strong community support and buy-in.
- Waldo Spring
- Big Spring
- Folsom Spring
- Econfina River State Park
- Wacissa River/Slave Canal
- Wakulla Springs State Park
- St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge