|Summary of Features |
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- Spring #1 is an excellent wading and swimming pool, but is best usedat midday in the summer. At other times, the area is shaded and the water quickly chills the body.
- Spring #2 is an excellent wading spot, but footgear is required todue sharp rocks and broken glass.
- JF has observed snakes along the river trail.
- Cow Spring is only about 250 yards to the NE as the crow flies.
- Suwannee Blue
From Mayo, drive north on State Road 51. After about 4 miles, you will crossthe Suwannee River. The flashing light at Luraville is another 1-1.5 milesnorth, just past the agriculture weigh station. There is a country storeon the left at the flashing light. Turn right at the light onto Luraville Road and drive about 3.5 miles. At intersection with church on the left, turnright (south) and go to the end of the road near the river about 1.3 miles.Instead of turning left or right, look for sand drive straight ahead andproceed 150 feet to bluff over springs.
For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at thefollowing address: http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida
Spring #1 is the larger spring and is downriver or east of spring #2. Spring#1 is a roughly circular pool with a limestone wall and large fallen treebetween the spring and the immediately adjacent Suwannee River. The springis set in a steep depression below the natural river berm about 50 feet fromthe river and about 18 feet below the crest of the berm. The pool is approximately50 by 30 feet and has a multitude of vents, sand boils, and other flow pointsalong the northern bank and on the bottom. Green algae grows in the pool,but the bottom is mostly sandy or exposed limestone. The wat er is v ery clear.Some of the water flows under a limestone bridge to the river, but most ofthe flow appears to exit the pool under the fallen tree to tumble into theSuwannee in a small an d attractive cascade. In times of high water, the riverinundates the spring. In times of low water, the cascade is larger.
Spring #2 is 150 feet upriver or west of spring #1. In contrast to Spring #1, it is set back approximately 150 from the river and its run forms scenic glen. The main vent is at the back end of the run and is calm upwelling ofclear water from the base of a steep, 20-foot limestone and sand bluff. Thesmall entrance extends down several feet and is perhaps large enough fora person to fit into. The run is 10-20 feet wide, shallow and creek-like, with stones along its course. There is another vent on the west side about 2/3 of the way to the river. Rosenau et al. (1977, p. 375) mention three vents.Flow is very clear, and the back vent is blue in the sunlight. At the endof the run, the spring flows under a natural bridge into the Suwannee River.
For several years, the undeveloped land adjacent to the springs has beenowned by a private owner and the University of Florida Foundation. Therehad been relatively free access to the site, and there was some damage fromerosion and some litter on the site. The private owner empowered the Foundationto negotiate the sale of the land. The land immediately on the springs wasplatted, divided into lots, and appraised for development. The Foundationapproached both the Suwannee River Water Management District and the CARLprogram and suggested they purchase the entire mile of riverfront that wasavailable. In 1995 or 1996, the Suwannee River Water Management made an offerof approximately $35,000 for the seven lots on the springs. The offer wasbased on the conservation of the land and not on its developed value. Becausethe land had been divided into lots and appraised for development, however,UF said it could not accept such a low figure. Both UF and the private ownerexpressed a desire to conserve the site and accept a rate lower than theappraised rate (up to $45,000 per lot). The latest information (9/22/00)is that the land is sold. When JF contacted Bruce DeLaney at the UF Foundationand asked about the disposition of the parcel, this was Mr. Delaney’s response:
Dear Mr. Follman:
We contracted to sell the property to a private individual for something like 400% more than the state offer. This individual has spent the last sixmonths fencing the property and trying to eliminate harmful trespassing thatwas degrading the site. He will most likely build a single house. While notin public hands, we think this will help preserve the site.
Snorkeling in spring #1 is an almost rapturous experience, as water seemsto be flowing from everywhere and the pool is "alive" with movement and theplay of light on the water. These two sheltered spring pools are exceptionallybeautiful in a region with many attractive springs.