Poe Springs Park is currently open only on Fridays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. all days are at 50% capacity due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Poe Springs Park
Poe Springs is set inside a well-maintained county park. The surrounding nature is beautiful, lush and green. The park is 3 miles west of the town of High Springs.
- There is a $5/car admission fee.
- The park may waive fees for visitors with disabilities.
- The spring and park may close when the facility reaches capacity.
- The park and spring is sometimes closed for maintenance.
- Check the official website before visiting to be sure it is open.
The spring is only accessible via a long wooden boardwalk, which connects the spring to the parking lot. The trail is partially shaded, depending on the time of day. The trail passes through lowland forest so there are often biting insects, including mosquitoes and no see ums.
The trail takes most people about 10 minutes to walk. It may be good to bring some sort of wagon if you have a lot of gear or picnic supplies to carry to carry, to avoid making multiple trips.
There are restrooms near the parking lot and non-flushing toilets near the springs. They are generally clean, but conditions will vary.
The restrooms near the parking lot are generally cleaner and nicer than the ones near the spring. The parking-lot restrooms have running water, showers to rinse off and separate changing areas.
There are not any on-site concessions or rentals.
Poe Springs is the largest spring in Alachua County so it’s a popular local and regional attraction.
The flow conditions vary along with the fragile Florida Aquifer, but the spring generally emits more than 45,000,000 gallons of water per day.
A man-made, concrete retaining wall is built around the spring. Concrete steps and handrails lead down into the spring pool.
The concrete steps are slippery due to moss and algae. Be careful and hold the rails!
The spring pool is medium-sized; about 120 ft. in diameter. It does not feel very private unless you are alone. It can feel noisy and crowded on busy days.
The water in Poe Springs is clear, and has a beautiful blue-green color. There is a boil on the water surface.
There is a spring vent on the south side of the pool. The spring is 18.7 ft. deep over the vent. There is a steep underwater limestone ledge on the east side of the spring vent.
The bottom is exposed limestone and sand. The spring is a popular swimming hole so the bottom is affected by heavy use.
Water shoes are recommended.
Spring Run and Santa Fe River
There is a short and fast-flowing spring run. It flows 75 ft northwest and empties into the Santa Fe River.
One fascinating feature of Poe Springs is that you can see a very visible line where the clear spring water mixes with the tannic Santa Fe River.
The Santa Fe River water is dark due to tannins, or natural coloring. Besides color, this line also marks a dramatic temperature difference between the Santa Fe River and Poe Springs.
Portions of the Santa Fe river are heavily affected by exotic aquatic vegetation, but there is not much in Poe Springs or the spring run.
There are restrooms, pavilions, picnic tables and other visitor facilities near the parking lot and on the east side of the spring.
There is a boat launch for access to the Santa Fe River inside the park. There is a set of well-maintained stairs which lead down into the Santa Fe River.
Land around the spring is low-lying river flood plain. There are often biting insects. The surrounding nature is lush, green and comprised of dense mesic hardwood forest.
- The park used to be free, but there is now a fee of $5 per car.
- The county park is staffed.
- Alcohol is not permitted in the park premises.
- Pets are not allowed past the boardwalk, or in the swimming area.
- The park opens and closes according to posted hours.
- SCUBA diving is not allowed.