View Full Version : Any Freshwater Springs In Very North Florida/Georgia?

03-10-2016, 07:59 PM
Hey guys,

I have been trying to plan a trip to the keys for a couple years now and it just wont happen this summer like I had hoped. I have always wanted to find a natural place to swim (preferably with some fishy wildlife) that has very clear waters. Since the keys didn't pan out I figured the next best thing would be a freshwater spring, since I have heard that they have crystal clear water. Only problem is that I live just outside of Atlanta... I tried google multiple times but I cant seem to locate a single freshwater spring like this in Georgia (Maybe just looking in the wrong places?). If it was very north Florida I might be able to do it as a weekend trip as well. Can anyone help me out with spring a place to swim in?

Side Note: I feel like there should be a sticky thread in all the pods with springs, rivers, beaches/bays and lakes that mers have swam in and can leave feedback about whether they would recommend swimming there or not (Maybe its something we can get started up?)

Mermaid Russet
03-10-2016, 09:55 PM
I tried to find some springs in North Florida last summer, but most of them were more tourist destinations and less about wildlife. I'm trying to plan a visit to Alexander Springs, but I don't know if that's too far south for you. (I'm in South Carolina, and it'll be about 6 hours for me. I'm guessing from Atlanta it would be about the same.)

I also love this sticky thread idea! Someone should make that happen. :)

Mermaid Alea
03-10-2016, 09:55 PM
For Florida:
This Florida spring locator map is always helpful to me: http://www.floridasprings.org/visit/map/
You can click on each one and see more details about the spring. I usually also do a google search on the spring I find as well. I am in the Florida Panhandle and I went to Vortex Springs and really loved it. They have gotten stricter about people 'diving' in the spring who don't have a divers certification, but when I was there last summer they told some kids to stop diving down but I was in my tail and they never said anything to me about swimming down with the fish. The water is crystal clear and there are a lot of bluegills in the water. They are not very spooky so you can swim into a school of them and observe them eating at the bottom of the spring. The edges of the spring has elodea plants which are fun to swim through. One of the afternoons I saw a huge fish (I think some kind of carp) but I never saw it when I was swimming. Supposedly they have koi in the spring as well, but I didn't see any. I think they hide under the floating dock directly across from the regular swimming dock that everyone who is not a diver is told to use for entering the spring. Aside from swimming you can also jump into the water off of a zip line, jump off from a trapeze-like swing, jump off a high dive, slide down a huge slide into the pond fed by the spring, etc.

I can't say anything about the other springs personally. I definitely want to go to Wakulla Springs someday because it is one of the largest springs in the world.
For Georgia:
I found this page with different swimming holes in your state: http://www.swimmingholes.org/ga.html
From there I found this spring: http://www.swimmingholes.org/ga.html#JAY%20BIRD%20SPRINGS
Here is another one originating from a cave: http://www.swimmingholes.org/ga.html#CAVE%20SPRING
This is a spring fed lake: http://www.swimmingholes.org/ga.html#FARMERS%20LAKE

I think I clicked on each listing and those were the only springs I found, but hey at least you have 3 to check out! Good luck! ;)

03-11-2016, 11:28 AM
Oh my goodness Alea thank you! I had actually heard of the Georgia swimming holes site before, but every time I visit the regular link (Just tried again and it continued to happen) it would get glitchy and wouldn't let me click or scroll down or do anything. The links you provided worked great though! :D I will definitely have to check those out!

Also, I actually will most likely be in Destin for part of the summer (have spent a couple weeks down there in our family's condo every year since I was born), and Vortex Springs is just an hour away! A very doable day trip! I think I will also try to make a trip to Wakulla while in Destin since its only a little over a two hour drive. Is it safe to swim there though? I did a quick search for that spring and the first pictures I saw were of barracuda, alligators and manatees. I have swam with a wild manatee before (An AMAZING experience!) so those don't bother me (as long as you keep your distance) but I would not feel comfortable swimming in waters with gators. Is there maybe a roped off section safer from swimming and diving (and mermaiding)? I saw an underwater shot with super clear waters which makes me think swimming is available, but I'm hesitant if there are gators nearby... Thanks so much for your help! :D

UPDATE ABOUT WAKULLA: I did find a pic with a roped off swimming area. It doesn't look very large though :( I guess someone would have to actually visit to see if its worth going to for swimming

Mermaid Alea
03-11-2016, 05:43 PM
Glad I could help! Vortex Springs also has a great little dive shop on site and they have a ton of mermaid items in the shop such as mermaid ornaments, T-shirts, etc. Evidently for special events such as the 4th of July Vortex Springs has some of their staff and young girls dress up as mermaids at the spring. It can get a bit crowded at Vortex, but usually the main spring area isn't very crowded because it is more for divers and scuba divers than for regular swimmers. Most of the crowd is centered around the water activity areas. I didn't get any weird looks for mermaiding in the spring and a few little kids came up wanting to talk to me. Mermaiding at Vortex Springs has been my favorite mermaiding experience so far.

The barracuda were probably alligator gar or some type of gar. Yeah they do have gators and a bunch of other wildlife. The bottom of the spring has mammoth bones and other extinct animal bones. That is too bad that the roped off area looks small. Maybe I could try calling them and see what their swimming setup is. I would love to go there someday, but it is a good distance from me so it would probably end up being a camping trip.

A merman here on Mernetwork likes to go to Ponce De Leon Springs which is near Vortex Springs.

03-12-2016, 11:12 AM
Haha, whoops, those were alligator gar (silly me :$)

And woah, ponce de leon spings looks seriously amazing! Definitely will try and swim there while I am in Florida (only an hour away too! :D)