The star of Florida’s Gulf Coast premier inland dive resort is Vortex Spring. The spring produces 28 million gallons of crystal-clear water daily at a year-round temperature of 68 degrees F. Depths in the spring basin range from about 50 feet for a cavern dive and up to 115 feet for a cave dive.
The bottom of the spring bowl is sandy, with limestone near the vent. A handrail leads cave divers back 400 feet. Vortex waters flow out of the 225-foot-diameter spring pool to form Blue Creek, which flows over a half-mile before entering the Choctawhatchee River.
The spring pool and spring run provide excellent opportunities for snorkeling, paddling, photography, and other nature studies.
The fish at the spring include bluegills, channel catfish, American freshwater eels, gar, redhorse suckers, shadow bass, and exotic species such as koi and goldfish.
This 480-acre resort offers recreational and professional dive training opportunities. It has diving classes for every scuba level, including those with special needs. The spring pool has a swimming area that slopes gently from shallow to deeper water and includes a diving board, two high jumping platforms, a "zip line," 2 slides, and an old-fashioned rope swing.
To get to Vortex Spring, take Interstate 10 to Exit 96 (Ponce de Leon), and go north 4.5 miles. The entrance to the spring is on the right.
At a Glance:
Activities: Diving, camping, swimming, lodging, equestrian trails, all-terrain vehicles, motocross, paintball
Entrance Fee: Yes
Scuba Diving: Yes
Onsite Camping: Yes–tents; cabins and lodges also available
Dogs Allowed: No
Type of Park: Commercially operated dive resort
Location: Lat.30° 46’ 13.99” N., Long. 85° 56’ 54.51” W. (SE¼ SW¼ NW¼ sec. 9, T. 4 N, R. 17 W)
Address and Contact Information:
1517 Vortex Spring Lane
Ponce De Leon, FL 32455
Phone: (850) 836–4979 or 1 (800) 342–0640
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