McCormick Springs Group
Summary of Features
- Scale - 2nd magnitude (estimated)
- Scenery - fine
- How Pristine? - unspoiled
- Swimming - fair
- Protection - excellent
- Wildlife - very good
- Crowds - can be crowded nearby on warm weekends
- Access - very good, canoe only, moderately strenuous in low water
- Facilities - none
- Safety - good
- Scuba - yes
- Cost - free
Off State Road 20 about five miles west of where it intersects with U.S. 231 north of Panama City. Put canoe in on where road crosses Econfina Creek and paddle 0.6 mile downstream just past the run to Gainer Springs and Emerald Spring. The McCormick Springs run is almost directly across the river from Emerald Spring.
From Econfina Creek, the shallow (1-3 feet) McCormick run is about 300 yards in length and includes a fork with springs at the back of each prong. The run ranges in width from 20 to 75 feet and is 1-3 feet deep. Near the mouth of the run on the right (NE) side as you enter,a small spring flows from the limestone bank. The spring at the right fork is about 175 yards from the river and is a clear and attractive cavern entrance with a vent about 8 feet wide and narrowing like a funnel as it descends. The main spring pool area is 20-30 feet in diameter and roughly circular. Small fish congregate over the vent, which has a sand plume. The bottom is sandy with fallen logs in the water. Water over the vent was blue on the dates the authors visited in 1997-2000.
Another, larger spring is 125 yards further back (NE) of the run. It creates a pool about 30 feet in diameter and appeared to be over 12 feet deep. A large-diameter submerged log is across the spring, the water of which is dark blue and with only fair visibility. Yet another small spring flows into the back of this pool. The run for this spring is about 30 feet in diameter, about a foot deep, is somewhat obstructed by limbs, has clear water, and terminates in a small circular spring pool (20 feet in diameter). The pool is shallow except for the vent in the back corner which is about 5 feet deep and flow from a limestone cavity.
Note: Scott et al. (2002, p. 26-28), bundle these springs with the nearby Emerald and Gainer Springs and classify them all part of the Gainer Springs Group. This is in keeping with earlier classification by Roseneau et al., 1977, which did the same thing. Locals have given different names to the three areas, as does this web site.
- Signs along the back of the spring run note that the land is private property, and no trespass is allowed.
- No utilization of the springs is evident, and they are in a very natural state.
- The spring in the right fork is by far the most attractive of the group and invites dipping and snorkeling.
- Walsingham Spring
- Unnamed Econfina Creek-bed Spring
- Glowing Spring
- Blue Spring Group
- Williford Spring
- Sylvian Springs Group
- Gainer SpringsGroup
- Pitt Spring
- Williford Run Spring
- Ponce de Leon Springs
- Vortex Spring
- Cypress Spring
- Morrison Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Pitt Spring Recreation Area
- St. Andrews State Recreation Area
- Falling Waters State Recreation Area