In the quiet town of Ponce de Leon, the spring’s the thing.
Chalky blue 68-degree water tempts swimmers in for a chilly dip in this first-magnitude spring, which gushes forth 14 million gallons of clean, clear water daily.
It’s a natural plunge pool hemmed in by limestone walls and shaded by ancient cypress, inviting relaxation on a quiet summer weekday.
Resources for exploring the area around Ponce De Leon
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OverviewLocation: Ponce De Leon
Address: 2860 Ponce de Leon Springs Rd, Ponce de Leon
Fees: $4 per vehicle
Restroom: Full bathhouse near the parking area
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM to sunset daily. Leashed pets permitted on trails but not in the swimming area.
The park closes when it reaches capacity so arrive early, especially on weekends.
The park is along US 90 just north and east of the interchange for Ponce De Leon off Interstate 10.
About the Park
Weekends mean the old swimming hole is pretty busy! Especially during the summer months. Arrive early and stake out a spot.
This has been a popular local bathing spot since the 1920s, and still hosts swarms of families looking for a picnic spot and a place to lay a beach towel.
You are welcome to bring your fishing pole and watch in fascination as the fish rise to the bait. Downstream from the spring, away from the swimmers, of course.
To slip away from the crowds, follow the Spring Run Nature Trail along the spring run into the hardwood forest it nourishes.
It connects to the Sandy Creek Trail, which showcases views of the larger creek fed by the spring run.
See our photos of Ponce De Leon Springs
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Surrounded by a rim of old growth cypress, Morrison Springs is a beautiful second magnitude spring with swimming and diver access down an interpretive boardwalk
While dive training is part of what they do, you don’t have to be a diver to visit Vortex Spring Adventures, where 28 million gallons of water a day create a natural summer-season water park that the family will love
With a dozen launch points and more than 15 springs along its 16 mile length, Holmes Creek, a tributary of the Choctawhatchee River, is a must-do paddling trip along a remote waterway.