Artesian well at Pennekamp

A view of the flowing well.

This unique feature at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is easy to miss. The park has an artesian well nestled away in a wooded area near the campground. This flowing well was explored in the early 1960s as a possible source for fresh water. The 1965 project report described the well as 6 inches in diameter, 1,333 feet deep, flowing at a rate of 580 gallons per minute, and about one sixth as salty as seawater. The reported average temperature was 81°F and the surface pressure measured 38 to 39 feet above sea level.

The well has created a pond, which drains into a small creek, which in turn flows into the marina. The brackish-water creek is perfect habitat for the mangroves growing there.

The well is not visible to many visitors in the park, since the tropical hardwood forest has grown around it. In fact, the pond is now almost consumed by mangroves. Park staff have built a walkway over the wetland area so that visitors can easily view the flowing well. In a small open area across from the walkway, those who enjoy geocaching can find the park’s official geocache.

The boardwalk path to the well.