|Summary of Features
From intersection of Highways 309 and 308B in Welaka (Putnam County), go south on Highway 309 for 1.5 miles to entrance to Mud Spring trailhead on the west (right) side of the road. Walk about 2/3 mile to spring.
Link to coordinates and map: www.anyplaceamerica.com/directory/fl/putnam-county-12107/springs/mud-spring-306088/
The spring is in area of deep hardwood and palm/palmetto forest near the St. Johns River. The spring forms a circular pool about 40 feet in diameter. There is a small footbridge at the western edge of the pool where the run begins. A boil is evident near the center of the pool, and the water appeared to be 3-4 feet deep. The pool was clear and blue. Flow from the pool creates a ½-mile run to Mud Creek Cove, which is part of the St. Johns River. The spring and run contain eelgrass, water lilies, and duckweed. The path to the spring and the spring run pass through areas of wetlands, bayheads, hammocks, and sandhills.
The spring was formerly dammed to form a large swimming pool, and there were houses near the spring (Rosenau et al., 1977, pp. 312-313). There is little evidence of the development today, and the site is in a very natural condition.
JF first found the spring trail on a business trip in June 2001. It was 8:20 p.m., and JF was dressed in business clothing, but he decided to see the spring. Running/stumbling down the path to the spring in the gathering darkness, he was rewarded by the lovely site of the pool--which is not the least bit muddy--and its babbling run. He photographed it and panted his way back to the car. When the film was developed, the Mud Spring shots were too dark to see anything! It took a subsequent trip to secure the photographs included herein.
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Welaka State Forest
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Washington Oaks State Gardens
Faver-Dykes State Park