Natural Bridge Spring
Summary of Features
- How Pristine?-very pristine
- Facilities-very good nearby
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.
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.
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.
- No access. The authors were very nervous about trespassing on what was private property at the time of visit and only saw the springhead from a distance of about 150 feet.
- The public area across the natural bridge (north of the run) is a popular fishing spot, and it is possible to put a canoe in and paddle upriver to Horn Springs.
- Such a canoe trip would be very arduous.
- The authors disturbed a large moccasin when they visited and walked along the run.
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.
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.
- Horn Springs
- Indian Springs
- Natural Bridge Spring
- Newport (or Sulfur) Spring
- St. Marks Spring
- Unnamed St. Marks River Springs
- Wakulla Springs
- Unnamed Wakulla River Springs
- Other unnamed springs near Natural Bridge
Other Nearby Natural Features
- St. Marks Wildlife Refuge
- Wacissa River/Slave Canal
- Apalachicola National Forest
- Econfina River State Park
- Leon County Sinks Park
- >Wakulla Spring State Park