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

Sun (or Aiken) Spring

Gilchrist County

Summary of Features

  • Scale--2nd magnitude 
  • Scenery--poor
  • How Pristine?--houses on spring and run, land cleared around spring; spring basin totally filled with hydrilla and water lettuce 
  • Swimming--not possible
  • Protection--unknown/private 
  • Access--none/private

View of Spring Pool, circa 1997


Directions

By Land:  From Fanning Springs, drive north on SR 26 1-2 miles. At fork in Wilcox, go north on SR 232. Drive 6-7 miles.  The road becomes dirt. About 0.5 miles after SW 25th Street, turn left (west) onto Sun Springs Road (row of trees is along  road). Go 1-1.5 miles, turn south (left) into neighborhood. Go about 0.3 mile around bend and spring will be on the right behind a fence.

By Water:  From the intersection of U.S. 19/98 and State Road 26 in Fanning Springs, go east on SR 26 about one mile to intersection with Highway 232.  Turn left (north) on 232 and go 5-6 miles. Road becomes dirt during this stretch.  Turn left (west) onto SW 25th Street and follow signs to public boat ramp.  At ramp, put boat in and go upriver ¼ mile to mouth of combined spring runs for Sun and Lumbercamp Springs.  After about 200 feet, paddle into right fork (the main channel) and continue another 700 feet.  At next fork, stay to right and continue another 300 feet to spring.

Spring Description

The spring is set in what is now the back yard of a house on private property.  The spring pool is oval and perhaps 60 by 100 feet in diameter, and shallow except for over the vent.  The depth at the vent appeared to exceed 10 feet.  The water was very clear and light blue on date of visit in 1997.  When revisited in February 2002, the appearance of the spring and run were drastically altered.  The entire spring pool area and first 100 feet of the run were covered in water lettuce (floating atop hydrilla).  The exotics made passage virtually impossible.

The spring run makes a right turn out of the pool and flows 1,500 feet to the Suwannee River.  Nearly the entire run is choked by hydrilla and water lettuce.  The water lettuce thickens as the run nears the spring.  The  run links with that of Lumbercamp Spring about 200 feet from the Suwannee River.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions

The transformation of Sun Spring from a clear, blue spring and run to an exotic-choked hole and canal is a  tragedy.  The spring run was greatly altered in the early 1970s to create canals and access to the Suwannee River.  Recreation boats must have introduced hydrilla and water lettuce to the spring and run, and now the pool and run are unnavigable.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features