Summary of Features
- Scale - 3rd magnitude (estimated)
- Scenery - fine
- How Pristine? - pristine
- Swimming - poor
- Protection - excellent
- Crowds - none
- Access - very good - only by boat
- Facilities - none at spring, good at park nearby
- Safety - very good
- Scuba - no
- Cost - free
From the intersection of State Road 20 and U.S. 231 north of Panama City,drive west on SR20 about 7 miles to bridge over Econfina Creek. Continue another 1/3 mile, then turn right onto Strickland Road. Drive 2.6 miles to stop sign at T-junction. Turn left at stop sign onto what becomes Porter Park Road. Continue 2.3 miles, then turn right onto Hampshire Road. Continue 1.2 miles, then turn right at sign for Walsingham Bridge. Continue another 1.55 miles to one-lane plank Walsingham Bridge over Econfina Creek. There is a primitive launch at the SE edge of the bridge, or carry on another ¼ mile to Walsingham Park, which has a better boat launch. The probable spring site is in the river toward the right (west) side, about ¼ mile below the bridge (about 100 yards below the park),on a sharp right turn, just after a creek enters Econfina Creek from the east side.
Two other written sources place Walsingham Spring ¼ and 0.4 mile below the Walsingham Bridge. The site the authors identify as the possible Walsingham Spring is about ⅓ mile below the bridge as noted in the directions above. There are prominent boils in the river on a nearly 90-degree turn to the right just past where Mitchell Mill Creek enters Econfina Creek. On date of visit (September 2001) Mitchell Mill Creek had virtually no flow. The boils are just to the right of center of Econfina Creek,not on the west bank as noted by Carter & Pierce (1985, p. 56). A small sandbank on the west side of the creek provides a platform for viewing the probable spring. The river is about 20 feet across at this point,and 5 feet deep. The bank along the river is 4 feet high.
The boils are strong and prominent (about 4 feet wide), although not appreciably raised above the common river surface. The water at the possible spring site is about 5 feet deep, with fair visibility but not all the way to the bottom of the yellow-brown water. JF put on a mask, leaned out of the canoe, and attempted to see the spring vent, without success. He could see the sandy bottom, but not the complete area underneath the boil. The current was strong, and on this cool morning he did not venture into the water.
Because (1) the authors did not see a vent, (2) swirling water on river bends often looks like a spring boil, and (3) the Carter & Pierce description of the spring as being on the “west bank,” the authors will only venture to say they saw and photographed the possible site of Walsingham Spring.
- Land around the river is protected by the Northwest Florida Water Management District.
- Access is only by boat.
- There is no utilization of the probable spring, which is in a natural state.
- Walsingham Park, upriver of the spring, has picnic tables, a kiosk, portable toilet, parking, and a canoe launch.
As is often the case, old and sketchy directions led to confusion for the authors. JF should have gotten all the way into the river and conducted a proper inspection of the site to verify whether or not it was a spring. There was nothing else in the area that looked anything like a spring.
- Unnamed Econfina Creek-bed Spring
- Glowing Spring
- Blue Springs Group(9)
- Below-Blue Spring Run
- Twin-Run Grotto Springs Group
- Gainer SpringsGroup
- Williford Spring
- Williford Run Springs
- McCormick Springs Group
- Pitt Spring
- Sylvian (or Sullivan) Spring
- Ponce de Leon Springs
- Cypress Spring
- Morrison Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Pitt Spring Recreation Area
- St. Andrews State Recreation Area
- Falling Waters State Recreation Area