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

Chassahowitzka Main Spring (or Devil’s Punchbowl)

Citrus County

Summary of Features

  • Scale - 1st magnitude
  • Scenery - good-excellent
  • How Pristine? - near developed area; spring pristine
  • Swimming - no, lies in boat lane
  • Protection - very good
  • Crowds - boat traffic over spring
  • Access - very good
  • Facilities - excellent
  • Safety - fine
  • Scuba - no
  • Cost - $1.50 to park; more for canoe/boat rental


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 upstream about 100 feet to the spring, in the middle upper portion of the basin.

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

This spring is the headwaters of the Chassahowitzka River. The opening appears to be about 25 feet deep, and the water is fairly clear.  Flow from a long (about 20 feet) vent creates large, mild boils on the surface, and large fish may be seen swimming in the water.  The spring forms an oval pool that is about 100 feet across and 175 feet long.  The depth and salinity of the water vary with the tide.  Behind the spring (to the east), another spring run and a manmade canal enter the spring pool.  Land to the north, west, and southwest of the pool is undeveloped and is marsh, hardwood swamp, floodplain forest, and abundant in wildlife.  There is housing and development to the east and south.




Personal Impressions

The Chassahowitzka is still virtually unspoiled.  The main spring, the largest in the spring group, is actually the most developed.  It is a little hard to see without diving, which is not allowed, and is therefore actually one of the least interesting sights in this lovely area.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features