Free North Florida Springs – In our forth and final episode in the series we will be listing a couple of the free springs left on our list and relisted a few of the websites you might want to “favor” or “bookmark” for future reference. Again, please remember that all of the springs we have listed are located somewhere along one of the rivers, have a tendency to flood several times a year and do not have the same amenities as the ones in our Florida State Parks. Also, please do not harass the local wildlife, bring mosquito repellent, wear water shoes to swim and always bring along someone who is a better swimmer than you are. The buddy system works for a reason. Most of these places are in the middle of a wildlife and/or wilderness area and you do not want to swim alone. Finally, please be kind and take your trash with you or at least use any trash cans that may be provided. Leave only footprints and take only pictures.
Checking River Levels: http://www.srwmd.state.fl.us/index.aspx?nid=253
Florida Springs Information: http://www.flsprings.com/
Protecting Florida Springs: http://www.floridasprings.org/
Florida State Parks: https://www.floridastateparks.org/
Water Management Districts in Florida: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/watman/#sr
Final Springs on our List
Owens Springs Tract
Mayo, Florida Area
Located off U.S. Highway 27 about halfway between Branford and Mayo, Florida turn on 251/NE Creek 411 and the entrance is at the end of the road. If you turn right onto CR 410 it ends at a boat ramp area that use to be a park.
This is an all-in-one kind of park with a small playground, boat ramp, swimming in the little springs and even RV camping sites. It is located between Branford than Old Town off of CR 349. It has a park host but he/she doesn’t seem to be there all year round. It is probably very popular during the summer months but we went during a weekday and there was only one family swimming and no campers at the time. If you would be interested in becoming one of the boat ramp volunteer work campers contact the Dixie County Parks and Recreation Volunteer Coordinator. We are still waiting for the county to finish completing their new boat ramps that will fit our 31 ft camper. Once they do we can stay there all year round or trade off with someone who would like to split the year with us.
Royal Springs Community Park
20016 157th Ln
O’Brien, FL 32071
Informational website: https://www.tfn.net/~springs/Royal.htm
This little 5-acre park is located in my brother’s neighborhood so we have been to it a couple of times over the years. It is located between Live Oak and Branford, Florida off of CR 349. Just follow the yellow boat ramp signs into the neighborhood. Sometimes during the summer months when we don’t get a lot of the rain the dirt road leading into the park gets pretty soft sandy so be careful. The park is well maintained, probably by a local resident, and owned by Suwannee County and the Suwannee River Water Management District. There is a couple of porta-potties, picnic tables everywhere, a boat ramp and a new wooden walk with stairs all around the spring head. Once you find it you will come back again and again.
Royal Springs March 2017
Royal Springs when it was flooded by the Suwannee River
Till next time…Be Safe In Your Travels!