|Summary of Features
Scenery - good
Swimming - fair
Protection - fine
Crowds - none at spring, can be crowded at adjacent park
Access - fair, water only - wading or boat from nearby launch
Facilities - fine in adjacent park
Safety - fine
Scuba - yes
Cost - free
Directions (address: 2525 Philippe Parkway, Safety Harbor, 34695
From intersection of U.S. 19 and State Road 60 in Pinellas County, drive west on SR 60 1.5-2 miles to State Road 590 just before the Causeway. Drive north on SR 590 about 5 miles, through the community Safety Harbor, to Philippe Park on the right at sign for the park. Take entrance road into park and turn right at T-junction in front of the water (Safety Harbor). Drive a short distance and park on the left just before the beginning of a low rock wall on the left side. Between picnic pavilions is a small point of land with a weather monitoring station. The spring is located a short distance offshore just to the left (north) of the small point of land. Wetterhall (1965, p. 13) said the vent is "about 200 feet east of the west shore of Safety Harbor." A ranger at the park told JF in May 2001 that the spring was about 30 feet offshore. Based on recollections of a visit to the site as a youth, JF remembers the vent as closer to shore than 200 feet. With no sign of the spring or its manmade housing visible from shore, and without wading into the water, JF could not determine the spring's exact location. See map. Google Maps link: www.google.com/maps/place/Philippe+Parkemail@example.com,-82.6796507,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x78227a5f32f2cebb?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiz19nKlefVAhVB1oMKHaydAeAQ_BIIjAEwDg
The submarine spring site is not visible from shore, and all that can be seen is the relatively dark and murky water of Safety Harbor. JF recollects, from a visit in approximately 1975, that there was once concrete pipe in the vent that was perhaps 6 inches in diameter and extending 1-2 feet above the surface. This pipe was jammed with rocks and trash, and the spring was not flowing. A ranger at the county park told JF in 2001 that no flow had been seen from the spring in years.
The ranger also noted that, over the past couple of years, two hillsides in the park had seeped water for several months each. A small creek that enters the park a few feet from the west near the main entrance may also be a run from a small spring, and a pond in a housing development adjacent to the county park on the south also appears to be spring-fed but had no outflow on date of visit in May 2001, a time of historic drought.
- There is no use of the spring, which apparently is not flowing. Vandalism to the pipe in the spring may have plugged its flow many years ago.
- Philippe Park is a popular county park with a boat ramp, picnic areas, restrooms, a softball field, pavilions, the site of an historic house, and an ancient mound at the edge of the water that was used for Indian ceremonies.
- The park is named for Odet Philippe, whose house once stood on the site and who is buried on the grounds.
- From the park web site: "The Temple Mound was built by Native Americans known as the Tocobaga. It is the largest remaining mound in the Tampa Bay region and is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The mound was made of alternating layers of shell and sand. Remains of posts indicate there was at least one structure on top, possibly used for ceremonial purposes or the chief's dwelling. Archaeologists believe the ramp led to a 'town plaza' at the base of the mound."
Visiting the park for the first time in over 25 years was a nice experience for JF, who coincidentally ran into his old 7th grade physical education teacher while looking for the spring. JF remembers pulling rocks out of the spring pipe circa 1975 to see if the spring would flow again as a result. When nothing happened, he jammed the rocks in again.
Other Nearby Springs
- Eureka Springs
- Lithia Spring
- Wall Spring
- Tarpon Spring
- Espiritu Santo Springs
- Indian Spring
- Salt Spring
- Crystal Springs
Hillsborough River State Park
Little Manatee State Recreation Area
Fort DeSoto Park
Egmont Key State Park
Caladesi Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park