|Summary of Features
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
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.
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.
- The site is a public park area, with a promenade, small park, and a veterans' monument near the head of the run.
- The Greek Orthodox Church uses the spring for an annual religious ceremony (see Springiana below).
- The estuary system below the spring and the surrounding Gulf of Mexico near Tarpon Springs were once rich in sponges, and the town is famous for its Greek culture and sponge-diving. The sponges are now long-gone.
- Every year on Epiphany (January 6), the local prelate of the Greek Orthodox Church holds a famous ceremony at the edge of Tarpon Spring. With the boys (and now girls as well) of the local church standing at the ready, the priest throws a cross into the water. There is a mad splash as the boys and girls dive into the spring to try and retrieve the cross. The winner receives a special blessing and is supposed to have good luck over the next year.
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.
- Philippe Spring
- Salt Spring
- Espiritu Santo Springs
- Indian Spring
- Wall Spring
Honeymoon Island State Park
Anclote Key State Preserve
Chassahowitzka River National Wildlife Refuge