Ponce de Leon Springs
Summary of Features
- Scale - 2nd magnitude
- Scenery - Very good to fine
- How Pristine? - retaining wall, modifications to pool and run, developed recreation area
- Swimming - fine
- Protection - excellent
- Crowds - very crowded on warm weekends
- Access - excellent
- Facilities - very good
- Safety - very good
- Scuba - no
- Cost - $4 per car
The spring is in a state park of the same name located onthe edge of the town of Ponce de Leon. Exit Interstate 10 at Highway 81 and head north a minute or two until you reach U.S. 90. (Signs lead from I-10 to the spring.) Turn right, go over the bridge and then right again on to 181A, just before the small store/gas station. Go south,cross the railroad tracks, and you will soon see the entrance.
The springs pool is enclosed by a rock and cement retaining wall, has a small weir at the downstream end, and creates a kidney-shaped swimming area of about 100 by 75 feet (Rosenau et al., 1977, p. 169). A short foot bridge arches over the weir, which forms a small waterfall at the head of the run. The spring run flows for about 100 yards before joining Sandy Creek. A concrete slab jutting out over the water serves as a jumping platform. Water flows from two boils in the lower part of the pool, each about 12 feet deep and consisting of small vents. The spring has been observed to siphon--to flow backward into the aquifer--under flood conditions.
- Ponce de Leon Springs State Park has full picnic and bathroom facilities.
- Nature trails follow beside the run and through the woods.
- White sand dunes line the banks of the spring run and the river, evidence of an earlier era when the Florida coast was much further inland.
- Noise from nearby Interstate 10 is very evident at the spring.
The spring and its recreation area are a fine spot to spend an afternoon, bring children, and have a picnic. Note that crowds can be heavy on summer weekends.
- Becton Spring
- Cypress Spring
- Other Holmes Creek Springs
- Jackson Spring
- Vortex Spring
- Cypress Spring
- Morrison Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- St. Andrews State Recreation Area
- Falling Waters State Recreation Area
Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
1130 State Park Road
Chipley, FL 32428