|Summary of Features
At junction of highways 309 and 308B in Welaka, proceed 300 feet west on 308B to public boat ramp. Travel by boat about 1 mile upriver on the St. Johns, enter wide mouth of Welaka run on the right (east) side of the river, and proceed to the spring.
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 at the following address: http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida
Welaka Spring lies at the head of a 1,000-foot run that empties into the St. Johns River. The spring forms a shuttle-cock-shaped pool that is about 85 feet wide at its head and widens in the run. Water flows powerfully from two main vents near the center of the pool. The larger boil is more central, about 6 feet in diameter, and raises the water about 2 inches. The smaller boil is about 6 feet south of the large boil, is perhaps 3 feet in diameter, and is not as pronounced.
On date of visit in July 2001, the spring flow was bluish but not clear, and the surrounding water was brownish-green. According to Rosenau et al., the general depth around the spring is 5 feet, and the vents are approximately 13 feet beneath the surface (1977, p. 318-9). Land rises up around the spring and is dense hardwood forest.
- The land directly behind the spring is privately owned and is not developed near the spring. The land on the south side of the run is a private boat club and is not open ot the general public.
- One may reach the spring by boat and swim or fish in it. On date of visit, swimming was not inviting because the water was not clear and alligators are often spotted in the area.
- Dan Hayes, of the St. Johns River Water Management District, took JF to the spring and noted that manatees had been seen in it during the winter of 2000-2001. Hayes noted that it was the first time that anyone could remember seeing manatees in Welaka Spring.
Welaka is a large and attractive spring of at least 2nd magnitude flow. There is no development at all on the north side of the spring, which has a primeval appearance. Welaka Spring is worth the trouble to visit.
- Alexander Springs, Fern Hammock Springs, Juniper Springs, Sweetwater Spring, Silver Glen Springs, Silver Springs, DeLeon Spring, Orange Spring, Salt Springs, Whitewater Springs, Mud Spring, Satsuma Spring, Welaka Spring, Beecher Spring, Sulfur Spring
- Lake Woodruff Wildlife Refuge
- Welaka State Forest
- Tiger Bay State Forest
- Withlacoochie State Forest
- Ocala National Forest
- Ravine State Gardens