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

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Sandbag Spring

Jackson County

Summary of Features

  • Scale -2nd magnitude (estimate)
  • Scenery -very good
  • How Pristine? -framed into a swimming pool in a back yard
  • Swimming -private
  • Protection -surrounded by private property
  • Crowds -none
  • Access -private
  • Scuba -private

Directions

Accessible via canoe put-in at boat ramp along the Chipola River off Jefferson Street about 1.5 miles north of Marianna. From the center of town on U.S. 90, turn right onto Jefferson Street and proceed to the bridge over the river. Put in and paddle downstream 0.4 miles to first house on the right. The house is a wooden one on stilts over the river; look carefully for the spring run on the downstream side. Canoe around the house through the narrow opening—just downstream of the overhanging porch—to the spring.

Spring Description

Hardened sandbags surround the spring on three sides. Water flows from a limestone opening/fissure that is about 4 feet wide, 10 feet long, and tapering as it goes down to a depth of 8 feet or more.  When first visited in the mid-1990s, the spring had a slide on the adjacent land that dumped directly into the area over the fissure/vent.  This slide was gone on a subsequent visit in March 2004. The spring is about the size of a small backyard pool—about 8 feet wide and 15 feet long. Except when the Chipola River is high, the pring is clear. Small fish congregate over the vent. The run is about 75 feet long, 8 feet wide, and shallow at normal river levels.  The river was 3-4 feet above normal height when visited in 2004, and the whole spring/pooldeck area and some surrounding land were flooded.  The water was yellow-brownon this date, and the limestone fissure was not visible.

Use/Access

The residents appeared to have built their house to discourage access to this spring, and constructed a sort of pool around it. Presumably, the run is a navigable waterway and therefore accessible, but at the same time one feels very much like a trespasser paddling into the middle of someone's "pool." No one was at home when the authors visited the spring, much to the authors;relief.

Personal Impressions

As resentful as JF was that the surrounding landowners had made a personal pool out of the spring, in his secret heart of hearts he wished he had one,too!

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features