One of the most beautiful settings for a spring in Florida’s Panhandle, surrounded by a rim of old growth cypress, Morrison Springs is a popular destination for divers, with crystal-clear water. It’s also a lovely place for photography. But you need to call ahead to find out if the springs are open for swimming.
Location: Ponce De Leon
Lat-Lon: 30.657262, -85.906905
Open: sunrise to sunset daily
The spring pool at Morrison Springs is au natural, gushing forth more than 48 million gallons of water every day. But Morrison Springs has had ongoing battles with water purity, despite its rural location. As of July 8, 2014, it is once again open for swimming and diving.
Given the beauty of these springs, and the boardwalks and other improvements that the county made to the 161 acre park, it is such a beauty spot that no matter whether you can swim or not, it IS worth the stop to see it, to stand in awe under the ancient cypress, and to stare into the clear depths, knowing that all of Florida’s springs are similarly at risk as our population crowds into aquifer recharge areas. This region is still rural, so the contamination is a mystery. According to the Florida Springs Initiative, “A chronic bacteria issue like this usually suggests that there is a persistent source of bacteria nearby.”
According to the Florida Springs Initiative, this was one of the cleanest springs in Florida up until 2010 or so. So something has changed in the surrounding area, and not for the better.
Divers are welcome but should take appropriate precautions and check beforehand with the county as to the health safety status of the spring. A dive platform is provided at the spring.
A boat ramp located down a back road leads to a spot where you can put in kayaks and canoes to explore the spring and the spring run, which flows towards the Choctawhatchee River. SUP is not recommended unless swimming is permitted at the time of your visit.