Summary of Features
- Scale -1st magnitude
- Scenery - excellent
- How Pristine? - houses and cleared land near spring
- Swimming - outstanding
- Protection - fine
- Crowds - small
- Access - fine, by land or boat
- Facilities - none
- Safety - fine
- Scuba - yes, $10 fee
- Cost - $3 for carload
Troy Springs is located 6 miles NW of Branford and 13 miles southeastof Mayo off US Hwy 27 and County Road 425. Look for and follow signs tothe park.
For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery,and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring,go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site atthe following address: http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida
Troy Spring forms a large oval pool about 100 feet wide and 200 feetlong. Water flows from the bottom of a dramatic limestone wall near theback of the pool at a depth of 75 feet. The spring flows from a cave system.The wall is nearly vertical and parallel to the river. The spring run beyondthe limestone shelf is 5-10 feet deep in times of normal river heights.Besides the main spring, there is another small vent in the run on thedownstream side near a dock. Limestone boulders are visible when the wateris clear.
At the lower end of the run lie the keel timbers/ribs of the 19thcentury steamship, Madison, which was purposely sunk in the run duringthe Civil War to prevent it from falling into Union hands. The ribs resemblerailroad ties. There is a dock and a house on the south side of the spring.A limestone tunnel of about 20 feet in length is located near the dock.
At the back end of the spring is a large limestone boulder that risesseveral feet above the water except at times when the river is high. Thearea directly behind the spring is swampy flood plain, and the other sidesof the spring have high natural banks and are thinly forested. The smallstagnant stream/slough that flows into the back of the spring seems tobe a natural drainage for the surrounding land.
The clarity of the spring varies with the height of the adjacent SuwanneeRiver. In times of low water and dry weather, the water can be very clearand blue. At other times, the spring is just as dark as the river. Gar,other fish, turtles, and alligators may be seen in the spring and its run.
- Troy Springs State Park covers 83.59 acres and includes significant archeologicaland historical sites.
- From the park web site: "A newly paved park drive is availableto motorists and a riverfront dock offers canoeists and boaters a mooringplatform for access to facilities within the Park. Diving, swimming,and picnicking are currently available to visitors, while an equestrianfacility and hiking trails are under construction." Also from theweb site: "All diving is open water only. All divers must showproof of certification before diving. No solo diving is permitted."
- The spring is excellent for scuba, snorkeling, swimming, and wading andis popular with boaters.
- Over time, swimmers and divers have chipped away at the remains of theMadison, leaving little left of the 19th century steamer.
- The spring can be crowded with boats on warm weekends.
The information below is derived from "The History of Troy Springs,Lafayette County, Florida," by Wheeler & Newman, 1996 (www.roots.web.com/~flafaye/troysprings.htm).
Although there is little sign of human habitation at the spring today,people have used Troy Spring for at least 2,500 years, according to archeologicaland historical records. Three aboriginal cultures—Weeden Island, SwiftCreek, and Wakulla—left behind evidence of their habitation and/or useof the spring through pottery shards, burial offerings, and hunting implements.Later, Alachua, Suwannee Valley, Indian Pond, Creek, and finally SeminoleIndians utilized the spring and adjoining river before being wiped outby diseases, removed, killed, or forced out by European and American cultures.
When Lafayette County was incorporated in 1856, the already existingtown of Old Troy was named as its county seat. The town burned to the groundin the 1850s or 1860s. The location of the original town has not been determinedwith precision, but it was certainly near the spring. By 1860, the townof New Troy was established and remained the county seat until its courthouseburned in 1892 and Mayo was made the county seat shortly thereafter. Between1860 and the demise of New Troy after the courthouse fire, New Troy wasa thriving community with a mill, churches, shops, jail, newspapers, cottongin, and a steamboat and ferry landing. Today, a few homes surround thespring.
The steamboat, Madison, which had served the region for years as a floatinggeneral store, was scuttled in 1863 in the spring upon the order of itsowner, James Tucker. The Madison had been used since 1861 as a privateerand jerry-rigged gunboat for the Confederate forces, and had commandeeredfour Union supply vessels. Tucker and his crew went north to fight in Virginia.
Information from the park web site:
"Troy Springs was purchased by the State of Florida in 1995. The Florida Park Service started managing the property in 1997. TroySprings was not accessible by vehicle during that time only by boat. Now, development of an entrance road, restroom facility, and accessiblewalkway has been completed. Troy Springs State Park was acquiredby the Florida Park Service to preserve and protect the resources and stillbe accessible to the public."
Troy is a truly superlative spring, rich in scale, flow, beauty, recreationalopportunities, and history.
Suwannee Blue, Royal, Bathtub, Convict, Owens, Mearson, Ruth, LittleRiver, Sulfur, Shingle, Branford, Cow, Running
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Suwannee River State Park
- Itchetucknee River State Park
Troy Spring State Park
P.O. Box 29
Branford, FL 32008