Spring of Troy Spring
Troy Spring is one of Florida’s 33 first magnitude springs, providing a relaxing swimming hole and vital habitat to visitors and residents of the park alike.
The only known spring in the park, it has a unique profile in an area with abundant spring features. The spring vent discharges an impressive 96 million gallons of water every day, at a consistent 72 degrees. The spring itself is partially fed by the Little River sink stream and Stick Sink, which collect rain and groundwater that feed into the aquifer. The 325-foot spring run meanders to eventually join the much darker and tannic Suwannee River. Prone to flooding, the Suwannee can actually back up into the spring, causing water to pour back into the aquifer. The larger area of the spring has some shallow areas for wading and swimming, but the main vent is approximately 70 feet deep, with unique exposed limestone rock formations.
The spring has long been popular in the area for swimming and diving due to the clarity of the water and large run. Visitors can swim, snorkel, or dive to see the underwater world of the spring, as well as the sunken wreck of the Confederate steam ship Madison. Unlike many other springs in the area, the cave systems at Troy Spring are not extensively mapped or really explored due to unstable limestone caverns that have collapsed in the past, leading to dangerous conditions and sometimes reduced clarity in the water.
Wildlife abounds in this spring, including many types of fish like the Suwannee bass and gulf sturgeon, turtles such as the Suwannee river cooter and common snapping turtle, wading birds like the little blue heron, and sensitive cave-dwelling invertebrates including the pallid cave crayfish. This life lives together in relative harmony, and it is illegal to take or disturb any wildlife in the park.
The waters of Troy Spring comprise the lifeblood of this special park, a small but wonderful destination in the center of the Suwannee River watershed. The emerald green water of Troy Spring State Park makes up a vital part of this rare ecosystem, one that is worth protecting.