Summary of Features
- Scale-2nd magnitude
- How Pristine?-remnant of manmade pool around spring; land cleared near spring, dam
- Swimming-more like wading
- Crowds-occupied on warm weekends
From downtown Tallahassee, go south on Monroe Street which becomes State Road 363 or Woodville Highway. Turn left on State Road 267. After four miles, turn left on U.S. 98. Turn left on dirt road just at Outz's Oyster Bar (7968 Coastal Highway, Crawfordville, FL 32327), just before the bridge over the St. Marks River. The spring is at small bridge 0.9 miles north.
Newport Spring emanates from beneath the bridge and flows 0.3 miles to the St. Marks River. The spring pool is formed by the remains of an old wooden dam and flume and is approximately 40 by 100 feet. Water depth is up to 5 feet. The water is clear and has a pronounced sulfurous smell. A ramshackle house sits adjacent to the spring.
Used by local residents for swimming, wading, picnicking, and hanging out. A live oak hangs a huge limb out over the boil, with a rope for swinging out over the water. There is some trash in the water and on the banks.
- Also known as Sulfur, or Brewer Sulfur Spring.
- The spring was once the site of a resort and spa. In its heyday, from the mid-1800s to the beginning of the Great Depression, the site attracted people in search of cure. The St. Marks-Tallahassee train ran from Tallahassee to the Oil Station Depot, and from there passengers took a stagecoach or wagon four miles to Newport. In addition to a hotel, the site had cabins and a dance hall. Like White Springs, it and many other such spas were a casualty of the Depression. The area along Old Plank Road was best by highwaymen. After being cleared out by a vigilante group, the robbers returned later and burned down warehouses on the site (Laufenberg, 1998). The railroad itself is now a popular paved bike trail stretching 16 miles from south Tallahassee to St. Marks. It was this railroad spur to Tallahassee that northern troops were trying to capture when they were repelled in a Civil War skirmish at nearby Natural Bridge. Remnants of the old pool are still visible on the site.
While a pretty little spot, the spring has only a small area that might be used for swimming and the land around it is has been clear-cut. The odor of the sulfur in the water takes some getting used to. JF’s children held their noses, complained loudly, and refused to get into the water when they visited. The site is popular with locals, who give strangers unfriendly looks. It is very difficult to conceive that this site was once a toney spa.
- Indian Springs
- McBride Slough Spring
- Natural Bridge Spring
- Rhodes Springs
- St. Marks Spring
- Unnamed St. Marks Sulfur Springs #1-3
- Wakulla Springs
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Wakulla Springs State Park
- St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
- Apalachicola National Forest
- Wacissa River/Slave Canal
- Econfina River State Park
- Leon County Sinks Park