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

Iron Spring

Dixie County

Summary of Features

  • Scale--3rd magnitude
  • Scenery--good
  • How Pristine? --completely natural
  • Swimming--no
  • Protection--unknown
  • Crowds--none
  • Access--no current access, surrounded by private land and run blocked by beaver dam
  • Facilities--none

Directions

From the intersection of U.S. 19/98 and State Road 26 in Fanning Springs, go east on SR 26 about one mile to intersection with Highway 232. Turn left (north) on 232 and go 4+ miles. Turn left (east) onto Highway 344 at sign for Hart Springs State Park and for the public boat ramp. Follow signs to public boat ramp, which is past Hart Springs and on the right. Put in at ramp and go downriver ¼ mile to spring on the other (west) side of the Suwannee River. Look for water entering the river (from a trickle to a creek depending on conditions) and signs of orange staining from iron content in the spring.

Spring Description

The spring forms a circular pool that was 35 feet in diameter on date of visit in February 2002. The water was a thick yellow-brown color, and the depth could not be determined. No boil was visible, and there was virtually no flow into the Suwannee River. The spring run is 250 feet long and is blocked at about the halfway point by a beaver dam. The land and fallen limbs along the run are stained orange from the high iron content of the water.

Land around the spring is deep floodplain forest, and there was dry run that connected to the back of the spring pool from the west. According to Hornsby & Ceryak (1998, p. 64), the spring is up to four feet deep,and the land around the spring is privately owned.

Use/Access

Under different conditions, when the water table is higher and there is no beaver dam at the spring, it is conceivable that one could paddle into the spring pool. The combination of the dam and drought reduced flow to a trickle on date of visit in 2002. The beaver appears to be the only large creature making any use of the spring or its run. The area was not posted, and the authors did not learn that the land was private until after they visited.

Local Springiana

As with a couple of other springs in the area (Copper, Little Copper, and McCrabb), Iron Spring has a high iron content in its flow and creates distinctive orange or copper-colored stains along its runs.

Personal Impressions

The site is very pristine. The only exotic species the authors saw were fire ants. It would be interesting to return in the future to see if the dam remained and if higher water table levels created a navigable run to the spring.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features