Summary of Features
- Scale - 2nd magnitude
- Scenery - excellent
- How Pristine? - retaining wall and picnic area at site
- Swimming - fine
- Protection - excellent
- Crowds - small
- Access - good -primarily by boat
- Facilities - good, very good nearby
- Safety - good
- Scuba - limited
- Cost - free
Off State Road 20 about seven miles west of where it intersects withU.S. 231 north of Panama City. Put canoe in on right where SR20 crosses Econfina Creek and paddle about ¾ mile upstream past Pitt Spring and Sylvian (or Sullivan) Spring run on the left.
Williford Spring is a paddle of around half a mile or 20 minutes upstream from where SR 20 crosses the Econfina River. It is 15 minutes upstream from Sylvian (or Sullivan) Spring. The 800-foot spring run is after the steep bluffs rise on the west bank. There was a rope swing atthe mouth of the run (on the SW corner). From Panama City, driven orth on U.S. 231, then turn left onto County Road 2301 which goes throughBayou George, becomes Blue Spring Road, and intersects State Road 20 ¼mile east of the bridge over Econfina Creek. Follow above there.
The spring pool lies at the head of the 800-foot winding run, and waterflows from a cave opening 10-15 feet deep. The spring has a strong boil and forms an egg-shaped pool of about 60’ by 40’. Water flows upward toward the land to the west, and the bottom is sandy. The cave entrance is a crevice perhaps 7 feet long and 2-3 feet high. The springhead is blue in the sunlight when the river is not high, butcan also have a greenish tint. There is a retaining wall on the west side of the spring.
The run is very clear, about 15 feet wide, has a sandy bottom, and isabout three feet deep. After about 2/3 its length, the run splits around an oval island and flows into Econfina Creek on both sides of theisland. Just before the run splits and over the water is the remnant of a fence that had been strung over the run to block navigation and access to the spring from the river.
On the south bank of the Williford run, there are a whole series of additional seeps and springs--the authors walked for a couple or hundred yards along the run and lost count of the opening, fractures, and fissures from which water rose to the surface and flowed into the run. The flow ranged from trickle to one with several gallons per second in this area of exposed limestone and karst.
Another small spring run enters the Williford run near its mouth onthe south side of the island—see description for Williford Run Spring.
- The site is owned by the NW Fla. Water Management District.
- There is a picnic area at the spring that includes tables, grills, andportable toilets. A sign notes that a day use permit must be obtainedfrom the NWFWMD to use the picnic area.
- Because the water is shallow in the spring basin except directly over thecavern entrance, once can stand on the edge of the opening and look directlyinto it.
- There are usually boats in the spring on warm weekends.
Williford is a very attractive and appealing swimming hole.
- Walsingham Spring
- Unnamed Econfina Creek-bed Spring
- Glowing Spring
- BlueSpring Group
- Williford Spring
- Williford Run Spring
- Gainer Springs Group
- McCormick Springs Group
- Pitt Spring
- Sylvian (or Sullivan) Spring
- Poncede Leon Springs
- Vortex Spring
- Cypress Spring
- Morrison Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Pitt Spring Recreation Area
- St. Andrews State Recreation Area
- Falling Waters State Recreation Area
Northwest Florida Water Management District