lest misunderstandings arise
¾ mile downstream from Poe Springs and ½ mile upstreamof Rum Island Springs on the Gilchrist (south) side of the river. A largesign on a tree at the mouth of the spring run says, "Lily Springs." Directionsto ramp at Poe Springs: From High Springs, drive south on US 41/27about one mile. Turn west (right) onto State Road 340 (Poe Springs Road)and proceed about 2.5 miles to entrance to Poe Springs County Park. Directionsto ramp at Rum Island: From High Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 aboutfour miles. Turn left (west) onto State Road 138 and drive about two milesto turnoff to the left (south) at sign for Rum Island. Follow dirt roadabout 1.5 miles to river and ramp.
For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satelliteimagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditionsat 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
Lily is a compact spring complex of 5-7 springs, depending on how theyare counted. The springs lie at the head of a winding and canopied175-foot run that is 20-30 feet wide and 3-8 feet deep. The springpool is oval and about 100 by 50 feet. The springs lie throughoutthe pool. One is under a cypress tree on the SE end of the pool,forming a fissure beneath the south bank with several vents. Severalof the vents are likely connected to a single flow source due to theirproximity to each other. Another limestone opening is just in frontof the private wooden dock in the center of the pool. Two more v entsar e beyond the dock in the basin, including one near a small shore areaat the west end of the pool. In times of normal water levels, depthsin the pool range from 4í-10í.&nb sp ; Ban ks about the pool are a few feetabove the water. The water is clear, and boils are evident. Fish, crawfish, and turtles are evident in the spring and spring pool. The water over the vents can be blue or green depending on conditions.
The spring may be accessed freely from the river, and the area forms anattractive swimming hole. The land around the pool is privately owned and is used as a primitivecamping area. The run forms a peninsula between the spring and the riveron the north side, and on this peninsula is a hut on stilts occupied thecaretaker of the property. With permission, visitors may beach canoes,camp, and have a look at the hut. It is possible to swim through a short tunnel along the vent by the southbank of the spring pool.
Lily is home to Ed the Hermit. Since 1984, he has served as caretakerof the spring. He built the wood and palmetto hut, which has 200 squarefeet of interior space, by hand. He lives in the hut year round, coveredonly in a loincloth and heavy beard. The hut has no electricity or runningwater.
Ed responds to courteous visitors in kind, engaging in conversationand inviting them to dive from his dock and inspect his abode. Signs tackedonto trees in the run, including "Man is the most dangerous animal," and"Unattended children will be fed to alligators," suggest an interest inconservation and add to the ambiance of the place.
Ed's hut sits on stilts about 6 feet or so above the ground, facingtoward the spring. The sides and roof are thatched with palm fronds. Infront is a porch from which Ed can survey his spring and the canoeistswho paddle in. Ed relates that the spring area was trashed when he movedin, but he has transformed it into something out of Swiss Family Robinson.
In a 1999 visit, RB observed a pile of large animal bones by a treenear the porch. A nearby skull looked too big to be human and was perhapsfrom a gorilla or other large ape. The polite visitor does not ask toomany questions.
RB felt somewhat envious of Ed and his little paradise. It also occurredto RB that in spite of Edís being a "hermit," he might actually talk tomore people than most of us.
Nearby SpringsOther Nearby Natural Features
Columbia Spring, COL428981, Allen Spring, Poe Springs, Darby Spring, HornsbySpring, Santa Fe Spring, ALA930971, COL930971, Pickard Spring, COL101971,Jonathan Spring, Rum Island Springs, GIL101971, Blue Springs, Little BlueSprings, Naked Spring, Johnson Spring, Ginnie Springs Group Ichetucknee Springs State Park OíLeno State Park San Felasco Hammock State Preserve Devilís Millhopper State Geologic Site River Rise State Preserve Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park