Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
2nd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

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Natural Bridge Spring

Leon County

Summary of Features

    Scale-1st magnitude 

  • Scenery-Outstanding 
  • How Pristine?-very pristine 
  • Swimming-none 
  • Protection-good 
  • Crowds-none 
  • Access-none/private 
  • Facilities-very good nearby 

Directions

Quick Directions

From Tallahassee, take U.S. 319 south to State Road 363 (Woodville Highway) south to Natural Bridge Road east to Natural Bridge. The spring is nearby, just south of the natural bridge.

Full Directions

The area is a swampy confusion of riversinks and upwellings. What appears to be a spring boil just past the monument and closed off by fence (in front of the house) may be a river upwelling. Once you pass the Natural Bridge monument and the fenced-off house on the right, stop just before the small bridge. On your right is a tall chain-link fence. Go to about 30 feet before the fence stops and look through the fence at the clear water to the south. You will see fast-moving, clear water that forms the end of the run of Natural Bridge Spring. The spring likely feeds St. Marks Spring and the St. Marks River.

Spring Description

The spring and its run are clear, lush, and primeval in appearance. The run and the springhead are about 40 feet wide. The vent is at the back of the 800-foot run, forming a pool approximately 40 feet deep in clear water.  The run is 4-15 feet deep, clear, flows swiftly, and is surrounded by heavily vegetated, swampy floodplain.

Use/Access

Local Springiana

Natural Bridge is the site of a Civil War skirmish. Northern troops heading toward Tallahassee were beaten off by a smaller force, which was a smattering of local militia and community members. Tallahassee was the only southern capital east of the Mississippi that was not captured during the Civil War (more info on the battle at www.nwfwater.com/Water-Resources/Springs/Featured-Springs/St-Marks-Rise). There is a monument to the skirmish on the site as well as bathrooms. A reenactment of the "battle" is held each spring. The "natural bridge" is still at the site and still used as the roadway. It is very near the spring.

Personal Impressions

The powerful flow of the spring’s clear water is evident even through a fence 100 feet away and is a stark contrast to the murky, stagnant water of the upper St. Marks River just a few feet away.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features