Alexander Springs is the only first-magnitude spring in the federal parks and forests system.
The Aripeka Springs Group is located along Florida’s west coast within the Springs Coast Basin. This spring group is part of the Hammock Creek system, a coastal system formed by a number of lesser-magnitude springs and swamp discharge. The springs are clustered in a one-square-mile area in southwestern Hernando County, near the town of Aripeka. The water discharging from the springs has probably not been in the aquifer for more than a few decades at most.
“Blue” is the most common name given to springs in Florida, due to their naturally clear blue water. Blue Spring in Volusia County (also known as Volusia Blue) is the largest of the state’s springs named “blue”. The only natural winter refuge for the federally endangered West Indian manatee on Florida’s east coast, the spring has been designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a critical habitat for the species.
Chassahowitzka Springs are the headwaters for the Chassahowitzka River, one of the most pristine and scenic rivers in Florida, accessible only by boat or canoe. Endangered West Indian manatees frequent the springs and river year-round but are especially common in winter.
Both Fanning Spring and Manatee Spring are major springs flowing into the lower Suwannee River, a few miles apart, are located within state parks, and share common features.
One of several old Florida tourist attractions that were built around first-magnitude springs, this is now a state park. It showcases native Florida wildlife, including red wolves, Florida panthers, black bears, bobcats, Key and white-tailed deer, alligators, river otters, and many others—all seen by visitors from an elevated boardwalk that winds through their enclosures in a natural setting. The main attraction is the endangered West Indian manatee.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is perhaps the most famous spot for tubing in Florida. Cool, clear water welcomes summertime visitors and provides important habitat for an array of birds, wildlife, and vegetation.
Rainbow Springs is the fourth largest and one of the most picturesque of Florida’s first magnitude springs. Archaeological evidence dating back 12,000 years ago shows that Rainbow Springs was important to prehistoric people for clean water, food and making stone tools.
The Santa Fe River of north-central Florida is fed by the flow from many springs: Ginnie, Poe, Hornsby, Lilly, Rum Island, and Gilchrist Blue, to name a few. In fact, during dry seasons, the collective spring flow can make up the majority of the water in the river.
Silver Springs of Marion County in central Florida is the largest and one of the most well known of Florida’s first magnitude springs, with average discharge of ~ 766 cubic feet per second (cfs) (or over 550 million gallons per day).
Wakulla Spring is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world, in addition to being a natural treasure within Florida.
This historic and world-renowned tourist attraction, once privately owned and now a state park, features Weeki Wachee Spring, one of Florida’s 33 first-magnitude springs. The spring, plus a second-magnitude spring in the park and several smaller springs outside the park, combine to form the seven-mile-long Weeki Wachee River.