Rock Springs is a second magnitude spring located within the Dr. Howard A. Kelly County Park in Orange County. It is a designated Outstanding Florida Spring and is in the St. Johns River Water Management District. Rock Springs’ run flows for 8.6 miles into the Wekiva River, but the spring has no distinctly defined spring pool; its primary discharge site is a partly submerged cavern with a 5 ft long opening located at the bottom of a limestone-sand bluff. A second discharge site can be found ten feet downstream from the initial opening. Some of the spring flow is diverted from the run into a swimming area that is delineated by concrete walls where overflow water can pass through a weir. The bluff and upper stream banks are covered in ferns and moss. Cabbage palms and oak hammock are present near the cave and upper portion of the run. Rolling sand hills surround the spring. The park has 17 miles of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. There are canoe campsites and hunting opportunities in the park as well.
In 2016, the Florida Legislature passed the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act.
Rock Springs is currently one of the twenty four Outstanding Florida Springs or Springs Groups that is considered “impaired”.
The following images were provided courtesy of the State Archives of Florida. This incredible photographic library provides a window into the historic spring landscape, documenting changing spring and surface water levels, as well as human use and development in this special location.
This is the location for access to data related to this spring. Below, you will find links to reports, data, as well as maps and information from the Florida Springs Institute’s Blue Water Audit project about this particular spring or spring group.
The Blue Water Audit is a tool developed by the Florida Springs Institute to estimate and visualize the impact of human activities on the Floridan Aquifer. Using existing data from a variety of sources, the Blue Water Audit estimates nitrogen loading and groundwater withdrawals for the Florida Springs Region. These estimates are used to assign Aquifer Footprints – a Floridan Aquifer Nitrogen Footprint (water quality) and a Floridan Aquifer Groundwater Footprint (water quantity). Below are maps of the Blue Water Audit Floridan Aquifer Nitrogen footprint for the Rock Springs springshed within the St. Johns River Water Management District, as well as a map of the land use within the Rock Springs springshed. To find out more about the Blue Water Audit project and to learn how this tool was developed, visit Blue Water Audit.
DATA AND REPORTS
The Interactive Florida Springs Atlas was produced with generous support from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida. The Community Foundation of North Central Florida supported this project through generous support for our Blue Water Audit project.