Summary of Features
- Scale -2nd magnitude
- Scenery - fair to excellent
- How Pristine? - adjacent to mall and near highway, but spring pretty
- Swimming - no
- Protection - excellent
- Crowds - none
- Cost: $2 for bicycle or pedestrian; $3 for vehicle with up to 8 people
- Access - Excellent--state par
- Access - Excellent--state park
Address 8737 US 19, Port Richey, 34668, 727-816-1908
The spring is directly behind the south end of Gulfview Square Mall in Port Richey. From U.S. 19, turn west onto Salt Springs Road at the south end of the mall. Drive to the back of the mall and continued on the road which becomes sandy and passes alongside the mall’s holding pond to the right (north). The spring pond will become visible through shrubs and grass to the left (south). Across from the west corner of the mall holding pond, look for and proceed down a path 200 yards to the spring run and spring.
The spring forms an oval-shaped pond behind it with dimensions of about 200 by 300 feet. Water flows from an indeterminate spot at the western end of the pond, either at the head of the pond or just before a constriction that flows an S-shaped run about 100 feet wide and 10-25 feet across. Water flows strongly in the short run, which is surrounded by shrubs and trees. While water in the lake is dark, the run is lighter and has some green color although it is not very clear. The run narrows and flows over a dirt/limestone road into an estuary/bayou system and thence into the Gulf of Mexico. Just below the spot where the run crosses the road is another vent in very shallow water.
Wetterhall and Rosenau (citing Wetterhall) describe two limestone bridges under which water flows. One of the bridges is likely the road over (and under as well?) which the spring flowed on date of visit in May 2001. JF did not see any spot where the run went underground, but there was also a second spot in which the water became very shallow and he was able to wade across. The locations of these two shallow spots correspond roughly to the Wetterhall descriptionsThe water flows 100 feet westward to a natural bridge where it enters a hole in a vertical bank, flows about 3 feet underground, and then emerges from a hole in the opposite vertical bank . . . the water flows about 75 feet westward to another natural bridge about 10 feet wide and emerges from three holes in the bottom of the sloping western side of the natural bridge (1965, pp. 19, 22).
- Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park was opened in 2001. The park link is www.floridastateparks.org/park/Werner-Boyce. The spring area was not yet open to the public in May 2001 when JF visited. Currently, the park offers a boat ramp, fishing, birdwatching, 4 miles of coastline, picnic facilities, aand a short hiking trail.
- Donations of land by the Werner, Boyce, and Pines families as well as purchases by the State of Florida made state acquisition of the spring and surrounding land possible.
- Before becoming a park, the site was a longtime local hangout and was criss-crossed with old paths and dirt roads.
Salt Springs State Park is a happy testament to the efforts of citizens and local and state officials and their recognition of the value and fragility of this unique Florida feature.
- Eureka Springs
- Sulfur Spring
- Tarpon Spring
- Lithia Spring
- Espiritu Santo Springs
- Indian Spring
- Phillipe Spring
- Wall Spring
- Crystal Springs
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Hillsborough River State Park
- Little Manatee State Recreation Area
- Fort DeSoto Park
- Egmont Key State Park
- Caladesi Island State Park
- Honeymoon Island State Par
- Honeymoon Island State Park