Summary of Features
- Scale -3rd magnitude
- Scenery - fine
- How Pristine? - developed recreation area with retaining wall and manmade barriers preventing water access
- Swimming - very good
- Protection - very good
- Crowds - overrun on warm weekends
- Access - excellent
- Facilities - very good
- Safety - good to very poor, depending on the crowds
- Scuba - no
- Cost - free
- Cost - $2 per car
Pitt Spring 2015
Pitt Spring, Late 1990s
Just off State Road 20 about seven miles west of where 20 intersects with U.S. 231 north of Panama City. Turn into Pitt Spring Recreation Area immediately past the bridge and park in lot 75 feet from the spring. From Panama City, drive north on U.S. 231, then turn left onto County Road 2301 which goes through Bayou George, becomes Blue Spring Road, and intersects State Road20 ¼ 1 mile east of the bridge over Econfina Creek. Follow above directions from there.
The spring is circular, about 40-50 feet in diameter, and on sunny days when the river is not high, can be a bright blue. Under other conditions, the water can have a greenish tint but is usually blue over the vent. The bottom of the spring is funnel-shaped. The vent is about 10 feet deep, has a small fissure, and tosses sand and little purple snail shells underwater. The spring run exits from the east end of the pool about 50 feet to the river. The shallow run can be waded and is about 60 feet long. The bottom of the pool and run is white sand and limestone. A wall has been constructed around the perimeter of the spring pool to control erosion, and there is wooden decking around the edge of the pool. Large limestone boulders have been placed in the run. The water is very clear except in times of high water or heavy usage by waders and swimmers.
- The area around the spring is protected by the NW Florida Water Management District and has systematically been developed into a nice recreation area with portable toilets, picnic tables, trails, and water fountains.
- The NW Florida Water Management District manages much of the land in this area.
- Boulders in the run appear to have been placed to prevent boats from entering the spring. In addition, cement poles have been placed at the mouth of the run to further block access by watercraft.
- Until a few years ago, the site had unregulated and uncontrolled use and was badly eroded and often trashed.
- Pitt Spring is still primarily a local hangout, and the crowds can be heavy and rough.
- A scenic trail loops from the back of the parking area to Sylvian Spring, another unnamed spring, high bluffs on the river, and back.
- Clearly a long-time local hangout, the spring has been greatly "improved" by the Water Management District. But while the rock retaining wall was a necessity to prevent damage and erosion to the spring, a measure of the spring's natural character was lost.
When first visited before 2000, this spring compared with Madison Blue Spring as the "bluest" spring the authors had ever observed. It is not as blue today.
On his first visit to the spring, before it was improved for access and protection, JF encountered the most foul-mouthed young women he has ever seen. Wearing shorts and bras to bathe in, the women lounged in the pool, chain smoking and occasionally cursing a filthy baby playing on the bank and which seemed to be the child of one of the women. On this date, JF dived to the vent and removed a sandbag and a golf ball that had been thrown into the spring.
- Gainer Springs
- Emerald Spring
- McCormick Springs
- Sylvian (or Sullivan ) Spring
- Williford Spring
- Ponce de Leon Springs
- Vortex Spring
- Cypress Spring
- Morrison Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- St. Andrews State Recreation Area
- Falling Waters State Recreation Area
NW Florida Water Management District
81 Water Mgt. Drive, Havana, FL 32333, 800-913-1518