Warm Mineral Spring
Summary of Features
- Scale - 2nd magnitude
- Scenery - good
- How Pristine? - developed spa, adjacent buildings, land cleared near
- Swimming - yes
- Protection - unknown
- Crowds - can be heavy
- Access - excellent, fee for use
- Facilities - excellent
- Safety - excellent
- Scuba - only with special permission
- Cost - varies by services and use--day pass is $15 for adults and $11.25 for ages 6-17
Photo from postcard, photographer unidentified
Address and phone: 12200 San Servando Avenue, North Port, 34287, 941-426-1692
The springs are located about a mile north of U.S. 41 in North Port in southern Sarasota County, a short distance above Port Charlotte. The entrance is well signposted off U.S. 41.
The spring forms a circular pool about 200 feet in diameter. Water in the pool is clearer in the mornings and after periods of rain, but tends to get cloudy during the day. The flow may also be affected by tide (Rosenau et al., 1977, p. 327). Water flows from a cave system that has been explored to depths of more than 250 feet. The water is high in salt and sulfur content and is about 85 degrees on the surface. The temperature rises as the depth increases and is over 90 degrees in the deepest portions. Land around the spring is mostly cleared, except for ornamental plants and palms. Much of the perimeter of the spring has been modified into a beach area. Water exits the spring pool on the SW side and flows into Salt Creek, which flows about 2 miles into the Myakka River. Flow from the spring is about 8 MGD, making the site a low second-magnitude spring.
Warm Mineral Springs is the last of the great Florida spring cure sites, and continues today as a spa where people come to relax, bathe in the warm and smelly waters, and actually seek cure from arthritis and other ailments. The owners term the site Warm Mineral Springs: The Fountain of Youth. Services at the spring include use of the spring for swimming, mud baths, massages, wraps, and other treatments.
Manatees travel up the Myakka River and Salt Creek to the spring in the winter.
Visiting this spring is not just like traveling in time, it is also like traveling back to the old world. When JF visited the spring in 1996, he did not hear any of the customers speaking English; they all sounded like they were from eastern Europe.
Many of the local residents around the spring moved or retired to the area for the specific purpose of being in proximity to the spring. The spring has a rich archeological history. During the ice ages, when water levels were much lower, native inhabitants utilized what were then caverns at the site. Human and animal remains have been dated to 12,000 years old. Remains of 26 native people have been found at the site, suggestion it was also a burial ground. Approximately 6,000 burials have been found at nearby Little Salt Spring. The website for the spring has much more additional information about the spring.
- Little Salt Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Myakka River State Park
- Myakka State Forest
- Oscar Sherer State Park
- Port Charlotte Beach State Recreation Area
- Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
- Don Pedro Island State Recreation Area
- Gasparilla Island State Recreation Are
- Gasparilla Island State Recreation Area