Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
2nd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

Rum Island Spring
Columbia County
Summary of Features
  • Scale - 2nd magnitude
  • Scenery - fine
  • How Pristine? - unregulated swim/recreation area, erosion, near parkingarea, exotics in water
  • Swimming - very good
  • Protection - good
  • Crowds - heavy on warm weekends
  • Access - excellent
  • Facilities - good
  • Safety - good
  • Scuba - yes
  • Cost - free

Directions
Located along the bank (where exactly) at Rum Island County Park. FromHigh Springs, drive NW on US 27/SR20 about four miles. Turn left (west)onto State Road 138 and drive about two miles to turnoff to the left (south)at sign for Rum Island. Follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to river. Thespring is in a large pool to the right (west) of the parking area.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satelliteimagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditionsat this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database"web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description
The eponymous spring at Rum Island is a single fissure in the SW portionof the 200-foot-diameter pool that it forms NW of
Rum Island.  The water is clear and greenish in tint, and in thedeeper sections is heavily infested with hydrilla.  On dates of visit
in 1999 and 2000, the entire area around the vent, which is about 7feet deep, was covered with exotic vegetation.  In 2002,
the area between the spring and the shore had been cleared, but thevent was still surrounded by hydrilla.

Water flows strongly from a curved flying saucer-shaped cavern entrancethat is about 10 feet long and 3-4 feet high in the
center.  There is a 3-foot bank around the pool that is heavilyeroded by recreational use.  The water gets more shallow as it
approaches the bank.  The large pool opens directly into the SantaFe River.

Use/Access

Local Springiana
The island’s name is supposedly derived from moonshine and bootleggingoperations that was located on the island in the early 1900s. A cur rentsi gn on the site ironically warns, "Rum Island–No Alcohol Allowed." RBwas told that undercover police stake out the grounds, looking to bustpeople with open containers.

Per so nal I mpressions
The spring is a major feature of this popular park, and is a localswimmin’ hole of long standing.  The banks are badly eroded, however,and the site would greatly benefit from having a boardwalk around the edgeand steps into the spring pool. A sign on the dirt road leading to RumIsland advertising "Nubian Goats 4 Sale" is a nice feature.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features