Turtle Spring in Florida, near Suwannee River

Turtle Spring


Lat. 29° 50’ 50.62” N., Long. 82° 53’ 25.03” W. (SE 1⁄4 SW 1⁄4 NW 1⁄4 sec. 26, T. 7 S., R. 14 E.). 

Turtle Spring is located 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Branford on the west side of the Suwannee River. 

Directions to Turtle Spring

Turtle Spring is only accessible via boat or watercraft from the Suwannee River.

From the bridge over the Suwannee River in Branford head west on US 27/20 approximately 1.3 miles (2.1 km) to the intersection with SR 349. Head south (left) on SR 349 and drive approximately 7.3 miles (11.7 km) to the second CR 342 intersection with CR 349 (second CR 342 sign – CR 342 loops around and joins CR 349 at two points). Turn east (left) onto CR 342 and drive approximately 5 miles (8 km) to the Simms Landing boat ramp. CR 342 makes several right angle turns prior to the boat landing. The spring is 0.5 miles (0.8 km) downstream from the CR 342 boat ramp.

Spring Description

Turtle Spring is situated along the Suwannee River in a cove surrounded by 15-18 ft (4.6-5.5 m) high sandy banks. The surrounding lands are all forested with mixed hardwoods.

Turtle Spring pool measures 30 ft (9.1 m) from north to south and 66 ft (20.1 m) east to west. 

The depth over the spring vent is 21.4 ft (6.5 m). 

The vent is an elongated fracture beneath a limestone ledge. The spring pool bottom is sand and limestone. There is sometimes a small boil in the center of the pool. 

The bottom is predominantly sandy, along with limestone rocks and boulders. There are numerous submerged logs within the spring basin. Algae grows on both rock and sand substrates. 

Water Clarity

The water in Turtle Spring is generally clear and greenish. Water clarity in Turtle Spring varies due to water conditions in the Suwannee River, rainfall, runoff, and other factors. Water inside Turtle Spring is often relatively clear, but with a lot of suspended sediment which makes the water cloudy and reduces visibility.

Spring Run and Suwannee River

There is a spring run which flows into the dark water of the Suwannee River. 

The spring run is shallow, 90 ft (27.4 m) long and 20 ft (6.1 m) wide. Limestone is exposed in the shallow spring run and near the vent. 

Usage and Recreation

Turtle Spring spring is undeveloped and surrounded by private land. Turtle Spring is a popular spring for swimming, and is a popular spring to visit while paddling the Suwannee River.

Depending on the season there can be a significant temperature difference between the spring waters of Turtle Spring and the adjacent waters of the Suwannee River. 

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