Many springs are measured regularly, while some have never been measured. The largest springs are called "first-magnitude," defined as meaning they discharge at least cubic feet of water per second cfs , or about Currently, 33 first-magnitude springs have been identified and recognized in Florida. This count is not static and has nearly doubled since the first official accounting of Florida's first-magnitude springs was published in That seminal work, Springs of Florida Ferguson et al.
In winter, the springs are relatively empty, giving visitors a reprieve from the throngs of snowbirds and theme park-goers. Karst fenster St. Kelly Park Road, Apopka. Retrieved April 19, Moreover, as scientists learn more about the springs rist Florida, there may be additional reclassifications. There is also White springs florida mag fist more challenging cave dive fidt the park's Devil's Springs system, a trio of headsprings, one of Sheer micro g strings goes down 50 feet. But visitors need to get there early, especially on weekends, as park officials will close off this entrance to the 6-mile spring run when it reaches its daily capacity of people. Human remains dating to B.
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Use the map below to locate one of Florida's major springs or parks with springs.
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- The population was at the census ,  down from at the census.
- White Springs area travel itinerary.
- There are springs located within 21 Florida State Parks.
Use the map below to locate one of Florida's major springs or parks with springs. Below is a list of the major springs that are publicly accessible with direct links to the springs' web pages. Alexander Springs is the only first magnitude spring within the Ocala National Forest, yet it is easy to explore and enjoy. Blue Grotto is primarily a SCUBA diving destination, featuring a large clear water cavern located in a sinkhole karst window.
Blue Spring is the largest spring on the St. Johns River and a crucial winter refuge for manatees. Blue Springs is a favorite local swimming hole with spring waters abounding from a series of sand boils.
This last unspoiled and undeveloped habitat in Kings Bay, the headwaters of the Crystal River, is critical for protection of the West Indian Manatee. The springs in the bay, with their constant 72 degree Fahrenheit water, provide essential warm water refuge for the manatees that congregate there in the winter months. This second-magnitude spring has seen its share of Florida history. First, Native Americans left burial mounds, a shell mound, and a 6,year-old canoe sunk in the spring. Falmouth Spring is a first-magnitude spring flowing about cubic feet per second.
It is located within a acre recreation area managed by the Suwannee River Water Management District. The majority of the area is sandhill and upland mixed forest, with some slash pine. Fanning Spring is a borderline first -magnitude spring, with clear bluish water. The spring pool is about feet by feet, and the main funnel-shaped vent is about 20 feet deep. Several other small seeps create sand boils and trickle into the spring pool from limestone outcroppings on one end.
This is a very popular spring for families, with shallow sandy areas, a floating dock, and a platform for jumping into the deepest water above the vent. This is one of the few state parks with dry air-filled caves and is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours to the public. Important cave fauna in the park include colonies of 2 bat species 1 endangered , as well as blind cave salamanders and crayfish in a water-filled cave. The clear, bluish water of Ginnie Spring and several other springs in the Ginnie Springs Recreation Area have attracted visitors for generations.
Ginnie Springs Outdoors is located approximately 6. With one of the area's largest swimming facilities, Hart Springs County Park is park designed for families with plenty of amenities and activities to enjoy. This unique state park is one of several old Florida tourist attractions that were built around first-magnitude springs. The main attraction is the Florida manatee. The crystalline Ichetucknee River flows six miles through shaded hammocks and floodplain forests before it joins the Santa Fe River.
The upper 3. Jackson Blue Spring is the heart of this county park, located approximately five miles east of Marianna. A favorite park for tubing, Kelly Park features a free-flowing natural spring and Rock Springs a clear, swift creek. Lafayette Blue Springs is one of the 33 first-magnitude springs in Florida and discharges at a very variable rate, ranging from approximately 13 million to million gallons per day. When the Suwannee River floods the spring vent, which happens fairly frequently, it can become a siphon.
The Head Spring pool is approximately feet long, 60 feet wide, and 20 feet deep, at the base of a limestone outcrop. The acre park, located on the Alafia River, offers varied plant communities, river cypress swamps, hardwood hammocks.
The spring pool is a small limestone basin about 72 feet by 82 feet wide and 24 feet deep, on the west bank of the scenic Withlacoochee River. Morrison Springs is one of the most popular diving spots in northwest Florida and is well-known throughout the southeast.
The large, sandy-bottomed spring is surrounded by a acre park that is managed by Walton County. Otter Springs is a second-magnitude natural spring with a near-constant temperature of 73 degrees and 10 million gallons of sparkling pure water flowing daily into the Suwannee River.
The spring is surrounded by a acre park and campground managed by Gilchrist County. The spring pool and shallow, sandy spring run in a natural setting invite swimming, snorkeling, photography, nature study, hiking, birding, and fishing. Peacock Springs is an international destination for recreational cave diving. The park has two second-magnitude and one third-magnitude springs and 6 sinkholes—all in near-pristine condition and deep in the surrounding forest.
All three springs can flow backwards when the Suwannee River floods. Pitt Spring is just one of many springs along Econfina Creek and one of the most popular in the area for recreation. The water from this foot-deep spring vent emerges from beneath a submerged limestone ledge into a foot-diameter pool, and then flows through a short foot run to the creek.
Poe Springs is just around the corner from the lively little town of High Springs, in Alachua County, just up the road from Gainesville. Poe Springs pumps an average of 45 million gallons of cool, refreshing water daily. Alachua County manages the park. Visitors might well regain their youth by taking a dip in the clear waters where the temperature is a shocking 68 degrees F.
The surrounding land is high and rolling, providing picturesque vistas of the spring surrounded by forest. The spring pool is large feet wide and shallow, with especially clear blue water flowing over the beds of green aquatic plants and brilliant white limestone and sand.
Research has shown that the water discharging from the Rise includes a large amount of new ground water as well, leading some to classify the Rise as a first-magnitude spring. Cave divers have partially explored the conduit between the Sink and the Rise. This natural land bridge is punctuated with numerous sinkholes and lakes.
The recreation area is located in the lush, semi-tropical setting of central Florida. The natural beauty of Silver Springs has attracted visitors from around the world since the midth century. The Silver River is the largest tributary on the Ocklawaha River. Within the view of the confluence is Suwanacoochee Spring, a single-vent, second-magnitude spring on the southwest bank of the Withlacoochee.
Visitors can swim in the springs, picnic, and enjoy the snow white river sand bars of the Suwannee River. Located on the Suwannee River, this acre park is a hidden gem in rural north Florida. The spring produces 28 million gallons of crystal-clear water daily at a year-round temperature of 68 degrees F.
Depths in the spring basin range from about 50 feet for a cavern dive and up to feet for a cave dive. Wakulla Spring is one of the largest springs in the world, discharging an average of million gallons of water per day. The spring pool is an impressive feet in diameter, and the huge vent is about 82 feet wide, 50 feet high, and feet deep.
Warm Mineral Springs is the only warm water mineral spring in the State of Florida, and is the largest water mineral spring in the world. The surface area of the spring is a round pond, it is 1. The spring, plus a second-magnitude spring in the park and several smaller springs outside the park, combine to form the 7-mile-long Weeki Wachee River. Wekiwa Springs is a second-magnitude spring that is joined within a half-mile by the smaller run from Rock Springs to form the headwaters of the mile-long Wekiva River, a tributary of the St.
Johns River. This Pasco County state park comprises 3, acres, including 4 miles of coastline, and more than 80 percent is marsh or submerged acres.
Odum Florida Springs Institute. Map of Florida Springs Use the map below to locate one of Florida's major springs or parks with springs.
Alexander Spring Recreation Area Alexander Springs is the only first magnitude spring within the Ocala National Forest, yet it is easy to explore and enjoy. Blue Spring Blue Spring is the largest spring on the St.
Blue Springs County Park Levy County Blue Springs is a favorite local swimming hole with spring waters abounding from a series of sand boils.
Falmouth Spring Recreation Area Falmouth Spring is a first-magnitude spring flowing about cubic feet per second. Fanning Springs State Park Fanning Spring is a borderline first -magnitude spring, with clear bluish water.
Florida Caverns State Park This is one of the few state parks with dry air-filled caves and is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours to the public. Ginnie Springs Outdoors The clear, bluish water of Ginnie Spring and several other springs in the Ginnie Springs Recreation Area have attracted visitors for generations.
Hart Springs County Park With one of the area's largest swimming facilities, Hart Springs County Park is park designed for families with plenty of amenities and activities to enjoy.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park This unique state park is one of several old Florida tourist attractions that were built around first-magnitude springs. Lafayette Blue Springs State Park Lafayette Blue Springs is one of the 33 first-magnitude springs in Florida and discharges at a very variable rate, ranging from approximately 13 million to million gallons per day. Lithia Springs Regional Park The acre park, located on the Alafia River, offers varied plant communities, river cypress swamps, hardwood hammocks.
Morrison Springs Park Morrison Springs is one of the most popular diving spots in northwest Florida and is well-known throughout the southeast. Otter Springs Otter Springs is a second-magnitude natural spring with a near-constant temperature of 73 degrees and 10 million gallons of sparkling pure water flowing daily into the Suwannee River.
Pitt Spring Recreation Area Pitt Spring is just one of many springs along Econfina Creek and one of the most popular in the area for recreation. Silver Springs State Park The natural beauty of Silver Springs has attracted visitors from around the world since the midth century.
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park Wakulla Spring is one of the largest springs in the world, discharging an average of million gallons of water per day. Warm Mineral Springs Warm Mineral Springs is the only warm water mineral spring in the State of Florida, and is the largest water mineral spring in the world.
Wekiwa Springs State Park Wekiwa Springs is a second-magnitude spring that is joined within a half-mile by the smaller run from Rock Springs to form the headwaters of the mile-long Wekiva River, a tributary of the St.
Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park This Pasco County state park comprises 3, acres, including 4 miles of coastline, and more than 80 percent is marsh or submerged acres.
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Travels in Geology: Finding Florida's hidden freshwater gems | EARTH Magazine
Ponce de Leon had the right idea. Florida's original hidden gems are its crystal-clear springs. Whether or not he was looking for the Fountain of Youth, Florida had plenty for him to find with more than 1, headsprings bubbling up from the depths.
Long before mouse ears and wizard wands, Florida's original tourist attraction has been refreshing and invigorating those who dip into the cool water shooting up from the Floridan aquifer.
So which springs are the best? That depends if you like more of a natural vibe, mermaid sightings, tube runs or possibly making your own pancakes before diving into the water that stays in the to degree range all year long. On the off chance one of these springs is in fact the Fountain of Youth, best you put each of these springs on your Florida Bucket List. Another formerly private spring turned state park is home to mermaids.
Opened in , the attraction features performers who learned to breathe compressed air through a tube, putting on shows while battling the 5 mph current that flows out to the Gulf of Mexico.
ABC bought the park in the s, building the current seat theater and giving the park and its famous inhabitants national attention. The park became part of the Florida State Parks system in and still attracts more than , visitors a year. The park's mermaids still put on multiple shows a day and are available for photo ops as well. In addition, the park has an animal show featuring native Florida species and river cruises that head down the spring run, all included in admission, as is access to Buccaneer Bay, a small water park with multiple slides that send riders into the spring swimming area.
This is the most famous spring in the state, having first drawn tourists in the late s with the attraction's signature glass-bottom boats and their amazing views. The spring then became a movie star of sorts, acting as scenery in films such as "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and "Tarzan.
It became a state park in You can't swim in Silver Springs, but the glass-bottom boat tours persist, and canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are welcome. Taking a tube down Ichetucknee 's spring run takes longer than most movies. It's a mecca for lazy people, or at least lazy people who can wake up early enough to access the park at its north entrance, the one that allows for a three-hour run. But visitors need to get there early, especially on weekends, as park officials will close off this entrance to the 6-mile spring run when it reaches its daily capacity of people.
The park's south entrance gives access via boardwalk paths to a midpoint entry to the springs that lasts two hours as well as a shorter minute run. That entrance, too, has a limit of only 2, tubers, swimmers of snorkelers a day. Springs first, then pancakes, then maybe springs again. That's a good schedule for a day this park that is home to The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House, where you can make your own pancakes from two types of homemade batters on a large, tabletop griddle.
It's a popular draw that can mean two-hour waits to sit and make your own breakfast, although the springs that shoot out 19 million gallons of water a day have their own appeal. In between springs and pancakes, you can hop aboard a minute boat tour that heads down the spring run and into Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge or take a stroll on the half-mile nature trail and see Old Methuselah, the year-old bald cypress.
There's also the 4. This is the swimming hole for many a Seminole, the college kind as the park is only 14 miles from FSU in Tallahassee. Many a co-ed has made the jump from the platform 21 feet above the spring surface.
What's better is once you break the surface, you plunge into only a smidgen of the springs foot depth. It's one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. It's an exit point for the Floridan Aquifer with a massive cave system that attracts divers year-round. The 6,acre park also features a vast trail system, a popular minute boat tour daily and its own glass-bottom boats that will venture out when the water is clear.
Also on site, and open since , is the Wakulla Springs Lodge with a full-service dining room overlooking the springs. Rainbow Springs is one of the largest spring flows in the state, and was a privately owned tourist attraction from the s to the s that features among other things three man-made waterfalls. The waterfalls still flow, but the rodeo, zoo and tree-level monorail are long gone.
There is still a 2. The spring does welcome swimmers, although tube fans can access the Rainbow River at a second park entrance with on-site rentals available. One of the most easily accessible springs in the state, located just a few minutes drive from Interstate 4, Blue Spring State Park, not to be confused with several Blue Springs as in plural state parks in the north of Florida, flows into the St.
Johns River and is a favorite for manatees seeking warmth in the winter months. Those manatee months from November to March in which hundreds of the gentle mammals huddle together mean the springs are closed to water activity, but the park still attracts many who want to see them up close. Every January, the park hosts its annual Manatee Festival drawing thousands of visitors. When not looking at manatees in the winter, or diving into the first magnitude spring in the summer, visitors can take a self-guided tour of the historic Louis Thursby house built in The site was a steamboat landing site along the river in the 19th century.
These three springs flow into Crystal River and are best known for the congregation of manatees that make their way here in cold-weather months as they enjoy the constant, warmer temperatures of the spring outflow. The springs can be viewed by city-owned land, but that way doesn't offer access for swimming, canoeing or kayaks.
To do that, you can make your way up the river on your own or hook up with one of several outfits in the city of Crystal River that will bring you into the springs. These private vendors will get you swimming alongside the manatees, which is a popular endeavor, although not cheap. That includes everything from a wetsuit to bottled water, and the guide will join you in the water to make sure you don't do anything illegal, like ride a manatee. Remember, they can touch you.
You can't touch them. The city-owned facility that allows for land-based viewing has a boardwalk around as part of a acre park that has access to five springs as well as Lake Crystal and wetlands. A trolley tour is offered on weekends in the summer, and then daily during manatee season from November-March. For those who like a good workout before jumping into the springs, Manatee Springs offers 8.
As the name of the park suggests, it attracts manatees in the cold-weather months. Naturalist William Bartram even noted the manatees presence when he explored the area in The park may be home to the best barbecue at a state park with its on-site concessionaire Anderson's Outdoor Adventures, which serves up ribs, barbecue pork sandwiches and "The Manatee Springs Dog," an all-Angus beef premium grilled hot dog with barbecue pulled pork, baked beans and coleslaw.
There's a reason Ginnie Springs is a popular destination among the University of Florida crowd. It's private property, and unlike the state park system, you can drink alcohol here. There are several private springs in and around the High Springs area northwest of Gainesville that flow into the Santa Fe River, but Ginnie Springs with its seven headsprings that push out more than 80 million gallons a day among them is popular with swimmers, snorkelers, tubers and divers.
It's not completely without rules, though. No beer bongs or funnels please, although you can bring a keg with prior approval. Still, the springs are the big draw. The park rents everything from scuba equipment to tubes to kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards. Divers will be treated to the Ginnie Cavern, which is the bottom of the Ginnie Springs basin, a foot-wide, foot-deep depression that allows novice divers without caving experience a safe look at its limestone walls.
There is also a more challenging cave dive at the park's Devil's Springs system, a trio of headsprings, one of which goes down 50 feet. There's an oasis in the middle the sand scrub pinewoods of Ocala National Forest. It's a springhead set under a lush canopy of palms of oaks that makes you feel like you're in a fairy tale. The spring gushes forth as happy visitors jump from the limestone wall that surrounds the main swimming area. Constructed in the s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the recreation area takes advantage of the spring vents that discharge millions of gallons of water into Juniper Creek that eventually makes its way to Lake George.
The spring offers a welcome respite, especially for those who wish to explore the Florida Trail that is accessible from the park entrance. Visually, Juniper Springs offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in the state. Not all salt is bad for you, especially the kind that mixes with the cool water at this spring in the middle of the Ocala National Forest. The springs here have a mild salty taste unlike other Florida springs because the water, which is still crystal-clear, is mixed up with potassium, magnesium and sodium it picked up on its way up from the aquifer.
The 53 million gallons of daily flow heads into a 4-mile long spring run into Lake George. The recreation area that also features canoe and boat rentals has the largest campground in the national forest, and the only one with full hookups for RVs.
The state's southernmost spring is also its warmest and geologically different than the cold-water springs farther north. Warm Mineral Springs, which has changed hands from private to public ownership over the years, is a constant 85 degrees year-round. Tourists have come to the 1. Floating is easier at this spring, although it's not crystal clear like its colder brothers up north.
Below the surface, the spring reaches a depth of nearly feet, a sinkhole that was the result of a 20,year-old earthquake. At near feet, 30,year-old debris has been found amid the limestone bedrock.
The 9 million gallons of water that flow into the springs each day may only be reaching the water after 60, years of filtering through the earth, according to the United States Geological Society. Now owned by the city of North Port, the full on-site spa and restaurant have closed, although the city has brought some limited spa-like services including massages, facials and waxing. The closest springs to downtown Orlando, Wekiwa Springs, spelled with a "w," flows into the Wekiva River, spelled with a "v.
It's one of the most popular state parks, attracting more than , visitors a year, so park officials will close it down when it reaches capacity as often happens on weekends and holidays. Its signature hillside overlooking the spring that shoots out 42 million gallons a day is a popular spot to lay out and let the sun dry you off between dips in the water.
The park has a popular campground, trail system and even a little nature center filled with the trappings of a taxidemist, next to the snack bar of course. There are canoe and kayak rentals available as well. This private spring in north Florida touts itself as one of the best and safest diving resorts in the U. Since the park is private, you'll find more than the regular fish friends along your dive including lots of koi fish and eels, although the normal gar, catfish, blue gill and bass are present as well.
Cavern divers can explore down to a depth of feet. The springs, though, offer some serious fun and adrenaline for nondivers with tall platforms for diving, diving boards, water slides and even a rope swing for people doing their best Mountain Dew commercial impression.
The two are miles apart, so don't get confused when trying to hunt down the entrance as the preserve doesn't let you swim in the spring. Kelly Park, though, is a good old-fashioned, fun-filled springs day just waiting to happen, and only 30 minutes from downtown Orlando just north of Apopka.
Rent tubes on the way in from the corner store or bring your own. The park has food, a beach, lifeguards and a boardwalk up to the spring run, which is short of 1 mile long and takes about 30 minutes per trip. It's one of the state's biggest. A first-magnitude spring, it sends out 65 million gallons of degree water a day and is the largest of the national forest's springs.