Mill Pond Spring
Summary of Features
- Scale - 2nd magnitude
- Scenery - fine
- How Pristine? - run is beautiful, houses and docks near spring, water extracted nearby
- Swimming - private
- Protection - unknown, private
- Access - private, no access
From U.S. 90 in Marianna, go west on Highway 276, pass under Interstate 10, and continue on to Highway 167. Turn left and go until you pass CountyRoad 1656. Continue on 1.1 miles to Mystery Springs Road. A gray doublewide trailer home is at the intersection. Turn left and proceed 1.4 miles on a dirt road until it and the forest on the left seem to end and there is a large "No Trespassing" sign. Turn left just before the sign onto a narrow dirt road and drive about 100 yards to the water, which is the east run of Black Spring. Proceed by boat 200-300 feet to the left (west) to thespring basin.
From Black Spring, take the west run 100 yards and go upriver about 1.25 miles. Bear left (south) as the "Lake" narrows, staying with the mainflow and going against it. The "Lake" narrows from 500 feet across to 40 feet and turns southerly. This narrow portion goes about 150 feet but then widens to form a large oval pool about 400 feet by 125 feet, culminating at the spring.
The spring forms the headwaters of Spring Lake, the run that is subsequently fed by Springboard, Double, Black, and Gadsen (or Gadsden) Springs and flows on to the Chipola River. On their initial visit, the authors were able to view the spring from a distance of 300 feet. In the late 2000s they were able to visit the spring from the land of the property owner during a visit of the Florida Springs Task Force, but this was in a time of very high water. The following description, therefore, relies on Rosenau et al. (1977) for a precise description of the spring itself:
- Signs in the narrow portion of the run just below the spring pool state that both the land and the stream are private property and that trespassers will be prosecuted.
- Water is extracted from a well near the spring--700,000 gallons per day--and hauled out in trucks. The authors were told the well taps the cave from which water also flows out of the spring.
- The spring forms a beautiful and large pool area that provides many opportunities for recreation. However, no unauthorized access is allowed.
- When the authors started to paddle up the narrow run toward the main pool, a landowner came out of one of the houses to challenge them so the authors departed. The authors were not aware that a navigable waterway could not be declared private property, but did not choose to argue the point. On a subsewuent visit in the late 200s, the amount of reeds in the upper end of Spring Lake was so dense that it was not possible to paddle into the Mill Pond Run. Thus, the spring is practically impossible to visit.
The springs and run at this site are nearly—not quite but nearly—comparable to the incomparable spring-created and -fed Ichetucknee River. Both are spring runs of great natural beauty and include several significant and large-scale springs. The difference is that the land at Spring Lake is in private hands, and the owners want to keep all this beauty (and money-making potentil from water sales) to themselves, and have to a large degree succeeded in doing so. Perhaps the State of Florida or conservation organizations might have identified or worked to acquire this outstanding area years ago before it was developed and closed off, but that is now all spring water under the bridge. Alas
- Gadsen (or Gadsden) Spring
- Black Spring
- Double Spring
- Springboard Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Florida Caverns State Park
- Torreya State Park
- Falling Waters State Recreation Area
- Apalachicola National Forest
- Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve