Mill Pond Spring (on the Ichetucknee)
Summary of Features
- Scale -2nd magnitude
- Scenery -excellent
- How Pristine? -original spring run modified, remnants of old mill sluice and dam
- Swimming -poor
- Protection -excellent
- Crowds -small
- Access -restricted, no access
- Facilities -none at spring; excellent in nearby state park
- Cost -varies by use--see Use/Access below
Directions (address: 12087 SW U.S. Highway 27 Fort White, FL 32038 (386) 497-4690)
From Branford, drive SE on U.S. 27 for about 10 miles. Turn north (left) at park sign onto State Road 137. Take first paved road on the right (State Road 238) to the park entrance on the right. The spring is immediately (about 150 feet) after Grassy Hole Spring on the opposite (left or east) side of the river.
The spring flows from a limestone bank/grotto at the head of the run, which is about 150 yards in length. The spring forms an oval pool about 45 feet in width. The run is the same width as the spring. There are a couple of other vents in the spring pool. Water from the spring is clear, and the pool and run are 2-5 feet deep. There are fallen trees in the pool, which has a rocky bottom with some vegetation. Forested banks rise up from the spring pool around the spring, then the elevation descends toward the river into floodplain forest.
The spring is the site of an old mill. The run was dammed, and flow diverted a few feet away through a sluice/mill carved from the limestone bank. The carved limestone remains, looking like a very ancient structure. Evidence of the dam is evident in the run, which retains a small cascade at the point of the old log dam. Water no longer flows through the sluice.
- A sign at the mouth of the run notes that the spring and run are restricted, but the level of restriction is not specified. As with Mission Springs upriver, the authors convinced themselves that the restriction was intended for tubers and not canoers, and paddled into the run and walked the site. They later learned that they had trespassed.
- This spring is one of a series of springs that form the Ichetucknee River. Altogether, the springs discharge an average of over 230 million gallons of water per day.
- Park fees are as follows: $6 per vehicle (up to 8 people per vehicle, and no river use/tubing/canoeing); $4 for single car occupant; $4 for 1 – 2 persons on a motorcycle; $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with annual entrance permits; The cost for tram service is $5.00 plus tax per person. The cost for shuttle service is $7.00 plus tax per person which also includes tram service. Tram and shuttle tickets and wrist bands are purchased at the concession facility adjacent to the parking lot at the South Entrance of the park.
- There is a nature trail along part of the spring run just below Ichetucknee Spring at the canoe/tube put-in on the west side.
- Tubing at the park can be done from three locations: North end (3 hours). Mid-point ( 1.5 hours), and Dampier's Landing (1 hour). The peak tubing season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A shuttle service ferries tubers from the parking area to the river and back from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tubes must be obtained outside the park. Tubing is in the river and not in the springs.
- A citizen support organization, the Friends of Ichetucknee Springs, Inc., has been established to support Ichetucnkee Springs and its watershed. For more information, see www.floridastateparks.org/content/friends-ichetucknee-springs-state-park.
- The park includes bathrooms and picnic facilities, and a concession stand at the south entrance.
The site is very interesting historically and archeologically. The simple dam and mill design are still clearly evident after more than a century. The spring is also very attractive and has long ago recovered from the modifying hand of man.
- Blue Hole Spring
- Cedar Head Spring
- Mission/Roaring/Fig/Singing Springs
- Devil's Eye Springs
- Grassy Hole Spring
- Ichetucknee Spring
- Coffee Spring
- Other Nearby Natural Features
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park
- O’Leno State Park
- San Felasco Hammock State Preserve
- Devil’s Millhopper State Geologic Site
- River Rise State Preserve