Rock Bluff Spring
Summary of Features
- Scale--2nd magnitude
- Scenery--fine to outstanding
- How Pristine?--partial retaining wall, land cleared around spring, very pristine along run, exotic plants in water
- Swimming--good, fine snorkeling
- Protection'--on warm days
- Access--no land access; good by boat
From Branford, drive 3-4 miles east/south on U.S. 27. Turn right (south) onto U.S. 129. Drive about 10 miles and turn right onto SR 340 and go about 4 miles to the boat ramp at the bridge over the Suwannee. Put in at boat launch and go about 200 yards upstream on the right (east). A small opening in the aquatic trees (cypress and mangrove-like vegetation) leads about 500 feet in from the river to the spring pool.
Google maps link: www.google.com/maps/place/Rock+Bluff+Springemail@example.com,-82.9362469,14z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x88e9281089aa5cd9:0xdf3b24bae2c2f22c!8m2!3d29.7991214!4d-82.9187373
The spring pool is perhaps 100 yards in diameter and of irregular shape. The main spring flows from a limestone vent 40 feet long, 2-6 feet wide, and 30 feet deep. The spring creates a visible slick on the surface. A smaller opening is a few feet away at the same depth. The authors saw another small spring at a depth of about 12 feet 100 feet downstream (to the south) of the main flow. There was algae on the limestone, and fish congregated in the vents. Hornsby and Ceryak note there is a cavern system at this spring (1998, p. 68).
The water in the pool was clear and blue, with the deepest blue being over the vents. The bottom was covered in hydrilla and other aquatic vegetation on the date of visit in summer 1997. Mullet were visible darting about amid the hydrilla. There are also several cypress trees in the spring pool, and immense cypresses in the spring run. Herons and egrets were plentiful in the spring and the run, which is approximately 500 feet and deep enough to admit motorboats of up to 25 feet in length. There is a concrete retaining wall on one side of the pool, a house is visible, and the land near the house and retaining wall has been partially cleared.
Additional description and directions can be found at www.flsprings.com/content/rock-bluff-springs
- Private property surrounds the spring and no landfall may be made. Access is by canoe or motorboat. The concrete retaining wall and nearby signs warn of the dire consequences of stepping out onto the wall or dry land.
- From a boat, one can swim, snorkel, fish, or otherwise explore the large and attractive pool. Without coming ashore, one may stand or sit in the shallows.
The authors heard from another visitor at the spring that the state had been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the land around the spring.
Rock Bluff is a very large and impressive spring--one of the more attractive in Florida. The spring and run would make an excellent state recreation area, but the owners also seemed to be taking good care of the site.
- GIL 917972, GIL917973, Sun Spring, Lumbercamp Spring, GIL84971, Trail Spring, GIL729971, GIL107971, GIL107972, Turtle Spring, Fletcher Spring, Guaranto Spring, Pleasant Grove Spring, Pothole (or Glisson) Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park
- Hart Springs County Park
- O'Leno State Park
- San Felasco Hammock State Preserve
- Fanning Springs State Recreation Area
- River Rise State Preserve
- Manatee Springs State Park