This spring is tough nut to crack. It exists on the lower end of the Rodman Reservoir, a man-made fishing and boating area bordering the NW side of the Ocala National Forest. The water level in the reservoir is usually about 18ft, which covers the spring (and nearby Tobacco Patch Landing Spring) in much darker water, making both springs almost undetectable. If you're lucky you can catch a glimpse when the water level is naturally low and undisturbed, and if you follow the reservoir draw-down schedule, you can get an amazing view of it with the level drained to about 9ft. This year (2010) the governing body decided to postpone the draw-down so I had to make the trek not knowing what I'd find.
December 26th, 2010. The high today is 40 degrees. For some reason I decided that it was a good day to see springs! After making the trek to the forest and finding my way through the forest roads, I found what the GPS said was the road. My Dad and I parked on the side of the road and snuck under the rusted gate guarding the dilapidated roadway to the pool, hauling the camera bag, rubber boots, GPS, towel, and flashlight. The walk to the spring is about 0.4mi, just enough to make it seem longer than it is. The drive slopes down quite a bit (making the trek back a cold-lung-aching breather) and passes behind an old tin-roof wood house before reaching the pool.
The water level seemed high and the spring wasn't clear but the boils and characteristic green hue were obvious. The water, being 72-73 degrees, was misting into the much-colder air. I dipped my hand in; it still amazes me how different the water feels in the winter. It was almost tempting enough to take a dip, but the spring is fairly wild; no telling how many gators or snakes were warming up in the water below. A long, thin rope swing hangs on the south side of the pool but doesn't seem sturdy enough to hold anyone over 100 pounds.
I can't imagine how this ever became a "local swimming hole", but seeing how far into the forest it is, I can imagine the temptation. I struggled with whether or not to label this as "Minor" or "Limited Access", but I had no trouble driving to and finding the pool. It takes some work and luck to do it right, but it's not too bad.