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

I-75 Turnpike Spring
Sumter County

Summary of Features
  • Scale--3rd magnitude (est.)
  • Scenery--very poor
  • How Pristine?--used to water cattle, adjacent to turnpike, exotics in water, land partly cleared, ground churned and covered with manure
  • Swimming--no
  • Protection--very poor
  • Crowds--none
  • Access--none, private land
  • Facilities--none

Large slick, west side
Small slick, center
Connected spring pools
View of run from Turnpike

Directions
This spring is about 300 feet NNE of the Florida Turnpike, about 350 feet before the Turnpike merges with Interstate 75, about 3/4 south of where I-75 intersects with State Road 44. Google Maps link: www.google.com/maps/place/I-75+%26+Florida's+Turnpike,+Wildwood,+FL+34785/@28.8623474,-82.0927732,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x88e7dc536864ca7f:0x8cf8ea73c7ba7504!8m2!3d28.8623474!4d-82.0905845

Spring Description
Flow from two visible vents creates a peanut-shell-shaped pool (could also be described as two connected pools) in a mostly forested and low area adjacent to the Florida Turnpike.  The upper portion/pool is circular and about 80 feet across.  The vents are in the upper part/pool and create visible slicks on the surface, pushing aside the vegetation/scum that otherwise covers the entire surface.  The larger slick is circular and about 8 feet from the western edge of the pool.  It is about 12 by 15 feet in diameter.  Some sand and rock is visible on the bottom at a depth of about 8 feet.  The second, smaller slick is near the center of the upper portion/pool and creates an elliptical opening in the vegetation on the surface of approximately 4 by 8 feet.  The depth of this vent could be determined visually; it is possible that the flow from this vent is as large as or greater than that of the other vent, but does not create as large a slick because it is in deeper water.

The main pool bends to the southwest around a small point of land that has several small-medium trees (one with a rope swing) and a bench to form the lower pool.  The lower pool is about the same size as the upper pool and is completely covered in aquatic vegetation.  The lower portion/pool narrows at a neck of land after about 100 feet, and then widens again to flow west another 150 feet to where it narrows and goes under the Turnpike.  This portion is also covered in aquatic vegetation.  The spring run continues west, under Interstate 75, into Little Jones Creek, which flows about 4 miles into the northern end of Lake Panasoffkee.

Land to the east of the spring is lowland hardwood forest.  Land to the west of the spring is partially cleared.  Ground on the west side of the spring was muddy and tramped by cattle, and there was ample evidence of recent and not-so-recent bovine scatatological activity on the ground.

Access/Utilization

Personal Impressions
The spring is in terrible condition.  Cattle manure has spawned heavy growth of aquatic vegetation in the spring pool and run, and the churning of the ground around the spring creates erosion and runoff into the spring and its run.  It is one of the sorriest and most damaged springs the author has seen.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Withlacoochie State Forest
Fort Cooper State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Griffin State Recreation Area