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

The Crack (or Miss Maggie's Crack or Baird) Spring

Citrus County

Summary of Features

  • Scale -3rd magnitude
  • Scenery -excellent-outstanding
  • How Pristine? -evidence of campfires, otherwise pristine
  • Swimming -fair
  • Protection -unknown
  • Crowds -few
  • Access -fair-good, canoe only
  • Facilities -excellent at nearby campground
  • Safety -good
  • Scuba -yes
  • Cost -$1.50 to park, extra to rent canoe


From intersection of U.S. 19 and U.S. 98, go west on Highway 480, a.k.a. Miss Maggie's Drive.  Follow 1.7 miles to the end, passing small homes and the Chassahowitzka River Lodge on the right.  Turn right at signs for the Chassahowitzka River Campground and follow to headwaters.  From the boat ramp, go downriver about ½ mile and then turn south (left) into either of two openings of Baird Creek, which flows around a tiny island at the mouth of the run.  Paddle up main channel for ½ mile to large basin for Blue Spring.  Pass through a narrow opening at the back right of the pool and continue upstream another 100 yards until the creek is too shallow to navigate.  Walk up the creek another 250 feet to the spring.

The spring may also be reached by land--ask for directions at the campground.

For maps, latitude/longitude data, driving directions, satellite imagery, and topographic representations as well as weather conditions at this spring, go to Greg Johnson's informative "Florida Springs Database" web site at the following address:  http://www.ThisWaytothe.Net/springs/floridasprings.htm#Florida

Spring Description

The Crack is a zigzag, lightning bolt-shaped fissure set perpendicular to the creek it creates like the top of a capital "T."  The fissure is about 35 feet long and 3-8 feet wide. It slopes downward to a visual depth of at least 15 feet.  The spring forms a roughly oval pool around the fissure with depths of 2-4 feet and overall dimensions of 30 by 60 feet.  Water in the spring is clear and blue over the fissure.  Small fish congregate in the pool and crack.  The spring lies in dense semitropical forest/jungle. There is a slight path around the spring and a small area on the bank where campfires have been made in the past.

The spring initially forms a shallow (6" on average) canopied creek that flows 100 yards before turning, deepening, widening, and flowing another 100-150 yards to the Blue Spring basin and thence to Baird Creek and the Chassahowitzka River.



"Miss Maggie" owned the original public campground at the headwaters of the Chassahowitzka River.

Personal Impressions

The spring and its runs are superlative sights.  The lower run is a lovely combination of marsh, semitropical forest, canopied canoe trail, and open paddling.  The run teems with mullet, needlefish, blue crab, herons, kingfishers, snakes, and other fauna and flora.  The final section, the portion that must be walked in the shallow creek, is almost breathtaking in its pristine beauty.  Sunlight shafts through the canopy and into the sparkling and bubbling water, minnows dart at your feet, birds flit about in the surrounding canopy, and the spring is revealed through a curtain of foliage as a startling blue oasis in a surrounding world of brown and green.  It is worth returning to repeatedly as an expression of how the forces of nature can conspire to create a living aesthetic vision.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features