Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
3rd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

Alexander Spring

Lake County

Summary of Features

  • Scale - 1st magnitude
  • Scenery - excellent
  • How Pristine? - beach and camp area on one side; other sides and spring very natural
  • Swimming - fine, unsurpassed snorkeling/skin-diving
  • Protection - excellent
  • Crowds - heavy on warm weekends
  • Access - excellent
  • Facilities - excellent
  • Safety - very good
  • Scuba - yes
  • Cost - $5.50 to enter/swim, $6.50 SCUBA fee per person

Directions and phone number: 49525 County Rd 445, Altoona, FL 32702, (352) 669-3522

From the intersection of State Roads 19 and 40 in the Ocala National Forest, drive south on SR 19 about 9 miles and turn left (NE) on SR 445 and go about five miles to the well-signposted entrance to the Alexander Springs Recreation Area.

Spring Description

The spring is set in a low area with thick sub-tropical forest on two sides and pines and hardwoods in a camping area on the other. The spring pool is a large semi-circle about 200 feet across and forming the headwaters of Alexander Creek. Water flows from a cavernous opening near the middle of the pool. The depth of the pool gradually increases to about 6 feet over the course of 60 feet. The bottom in this shallow portion is sandy. There is then a 40-foot-wide fringe of aquatic vegetation before the bottom falls away suddenly to reveal a large open area of exposed and sand-covered limestone rock and boulders. The area forms a sunlit trench that is 45 feet long, 10-25 feet wide, and about 28 feet deep. Water flows strongly from a large opening on the bottom on the beach side of the spring. Water in the spring is very clear and can be bright blue over the vent area. Flow from the spring creates a large and powerful surface boil that is readily visible from the shore.

Fish, including bluegill, may be observed swimming among the aquatic plants and over the trench. The spring run narrows outside the pool and winds first SE then NE a total of about 25 miles to the St. Johns River in the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. There is abundant wildlife in the run, including alligators.


Personal Impressions

Alexander is perhaps JF's favorite spring for snorkeling and skin-diving. Because the spring pool is so wide, the exposed limestone area near the vent is not shaded except for very late and early in the day. The deep portions are bright and clear, inviting a plunge to the bottom. And because this area is large, well away from the beach, and in deep water, it is not "over-swum" with swimmers.


Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features