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

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Tarpon Spring
Pinellas County

Summary of Features
  • Scale -no current flow

  • Scenery - very good
    How Pristine? - near downtown, concrete retaining wall, near park and neighborhood
    Swimming - no
    Protection - unknown
    Crowds - usually small
    Access - excellent
    Facilities - none at site
    Safety - fine
    Scuba - no
    Cost - free 

Opposite view of spring from tree

Directions
The spring is at the head of Tarpon Street in downtown Tarpon Springs. From the intersection of U.S. 19 and State Road 582 (Tarpon Springs Road) on the east end of Tarpon Springs, drive west (through downtown) about one mile to where road dead-ends at the spring.

Spring Description
The spring is set in a circular pool about 200 feet in diameter. Water once flowed from a large cavity near the south side, but does not flow today. The water is salty, and the spring was a submarine spring connected via a subterranean passage to Tarpon Lake 2-3 miles to the east. Fresh and salt water flowed back and forth from the spring to the lake, depending on tidal and other factors that are not fully understood. Periodic draining and filling of Lake Tarpon and the filling (with debris) of the hole in Lake Tarpon connecting the lake and the spring cut off the spring flow altogether.

Today, the water includes no fresh flow, and visibility is about 3 feet. According to Wetterhall, the spring was once up to 125 feet deep (1965, p. 17), but is now silted. A seawall and walkway surround the spring, and there is a park on the south side. Land rises above the spring on the north side toward downtown Tarpon Springs. The north side has decorative steps and lampposts as well as a small platform that extends a few feet over the basin. The former spring is connected to an estuary system that flows about three miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

Use/Access

Local Springiana Personal Impressions
As is sometimes the case with springs, Tarpon Spring's flow was reduced and ultimately shut off due to lack of knowledge or consideration for its special and complex plumbing. The site is now an attractive little park, but minus its flow might be any small cove or harbor.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features
Honeymoon Island State Park
Anclote Key State Preserve
Chassahowitzka River National Wildlife Refuge