Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
3rd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

White (or White Sulfur) Spring

Hamilton County

Summary of Features

  • Scale - 2nd magnitude
  • Scenery - very good
  • How Pristine? - large concrete/wood structure around spring; land cleared
  • Swimming - no
  • Protection - excellent
  • Wildlife - poor
  • Crowds - can be crowded on warm weekends
  • Access - excellent
  • Facilities - excellent
  • Safety - very good
  • Scuba -
  • Cost - free to see spring; $5 per vehicle to enter the park


Address: 11016 Lillian Sanders Dr, White Springs, FL 32096, (386) 397-4331

website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Stephen-Foster.

The spring is 0.1 mile west of the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Road 136 on the Suwannee River in White Springs. Look for signs to the Stephen Foster Folk Culture State Park. As you approach the Culture Center, you will see the old spring house on the left. You can pay to enter the park, or park at the spring for no charge.

Spring Description

The spring flows from a limestone cavity and into the adjacent Suwannee River. It is enclosed by the remnants of a large "spring house," a four-story structure with beveled corners on the inside that provided access and accompanying health treatments. Multi-level ports—a tall sluice gate—in the spring house were designed to limit intrusion of the river when water levels were high. Stairs lead to the top, which is covered with a white wooden structure with cedar shingles. The gate is gone now from the sluice but water still flows out through it into the river. The flow was strong when the authors visited in 1998 and 1999.

The pool is circular and 12-15 in diameter. Most of the pool is only about three feet or deep or less. The water has a sulphurous smell and is lightly tannin-colored. The depth of the pool varies with the level of the river. The park ranger told RB that the spring hadn't flowed for several years, but is now flowing again. Either the water table was too low (due to industrial drawdowns?) or part of the cave had collapsed. During the floods of winter, 1998, the water rose above the railing around the top of the spring house—approximately 35 feet.


Local Springiana

Personal Impressions

Go down by the river when the water is low and stand on the big flat limestone shelf next to where the water comes out the spring. The Suwannee is narrow here–nothing like the wide river it becomes father south. The wooded banks on the other side are steep and sandy. From this angle, the springhouse looks sort of like a castle tower. Upriver RB could see the inevitable rope attached to a high tree limb nearby, with kids swinging off into the water.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features