Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.

Little River Spring on the Suwannee River

Suwannee County

Summary of Features

  • Scale—2nd
  • Scenery—fine
  • How Pristine?--banks lined with rocks to prevent erosion,parkingarea, steps, and facilities nearby
  • Swimming—fine, excellent snorkeling
  • Protection—good
  • Crowds—swarms on warm weekends
  • Access—fine
  • Facilities—very good
  • Safety—good
  • Scuba—yes
  • Cost—free


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From Branford, drive three miles north on U.S. 129 and turn left onto County Road 248. A green "Little River Spring" marks the turn. Go about a mile toward the river (west) and follow signs to the spring.

Spring Description

Little River Spring is set about 50 yards from the Suwannee River and forms a curved key-shaped pool and run surrounded by the 25-foot river levee. The level of the spring varies with that of the adjacent Suwannee River, but in times of normal or low water is shallow—2-4 feet deep.  The spring run narrows from about 75 feet wide over the pool to about 20 feet at the mouth. When the river is high, the spring and run are wider and deeper.

Water issues from two openings in a limestone crevice that is approximately 30 feet long.  The larger opening leads to a cavern entrance at a depth of about 15 feet. A cave system extends approximately ΒΌ mile from the entrance and is up to 100 feet deep.  Except in times of high water or when visitors stir the spring, the water is very clear with a deep blue over the vent.  The spring has a strong boil.   The bottom of the run is limestone and white sand, and the banks surrounding the spring are sandy and lightly vegetated. Trees line the tops of the levee above the spring.  The banks surrounding the spring and its run are lined with rocks and boulders to prevent erosion.  Steps lead from a parking area to the spring.


Personal Impressions

Despite the crowds and erosion, Little River is one of the more alluring natural sights in Florida. When the water is not high or stirred by visitors, the smooth and curving flow of this spring and its run to the Suwannee is beautiful. Under the right conditions, the water in the run is virtually invisible. Because the limestone shelf in the run is just below the surface, visitors have the rare opportunity to stand and peer directly over the cavern entrance while barely getting their knees wet. Breaks in the limestone near the vent create a pool that is perfect for wading, swimming, and snorkeling. Even in times of high water, the spring remains attractive. Its flow is strong enough that it remains relatively clear even when the river is up to 10 feet above the normal high watermark.

Try to visit on a weekday or in the winter, when the crowds will be small and the water clear.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features