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

Mud River (or Mud or Sulfur) Spring

Hernando County

Summary of Features

  • Scale--2nd magnitude
  • Scenery--unknown
  • How Pristine?--appears pristine
  • Swimming--unknown
  • Protection--unknown
  • Crowds--unknown
  • Access--unknown
  • Facilities--unknown
  • Safety--unknown
  • Scuba--unknown
  • Cost--free

Quick Directions

From the intersection of U.S. 19 and U.S. 50 at Weeki Wachee, go 3.6 miles west on U.S. 50. The spring is 100 feet south of U.S. 50 on private propery. Alternatively, the spring may be reached by boat. From the intersection of U.S. 19 and U.S. 50 at Weeki Wachee, go 3 miles west on U.S. 50. Proceed south on C.R. 595 to boat launch where the highway crosses the Weeki Wachee River. Put in boat and go downstream (west) about 3/4 mile to where Mud River Run enters the river. Paddle up Mud River Run about 2.5 miles to the head spring. From the land the spring is about 400 ft S. of U.S. 50, 1.3 mi E. of Bayport, and 3,000 west of the intersection of U.S. 50 and C.R. 595 (lat. 28°32' N., long. 82°37' W.).

Spring Description

When JF visited the spring in November 2002, he was only able to get within about 250 feet of it so could not make out many details other than those that are visible in the photographs. The fullest description of this spring that JF could find is provided by Rosenau et al. (1977):

The spring is at the head of Mud River . . . The head pool of Mud River is about 400 ft in diameter with a 200-ft wide run flowing from the east side. The spring is near the southwest side of the pool about 15 ft E. of a dock. The spring basin is elongate in a north-south direction and slopes irregularly down on the north, east, and south sides. The west side is essentially vertical to a depth of 185 ft (Sinclair, 1977, Table 2). Divers report a horizontal westward 3 mi per hour current at a depth of 50 ft. The bottom is obscured by a brown flaky material, probably algal, that gives the river and spring the name "Mud." Tidally affected, Mud Spring discharge has been measured at 128 ft3/s on January 18, 1961; and at 101 ft3/s and 83.1 ft3/s on a changing tide on December ll, 1975. The chloride content, based on a specific conductance of 23,000 mhos/cm, was 8,000 mg/L at a depth of 58 ft, and the temperature was 20.5°C. (69°F.) on December 16, 1960. Mud Spring is a fishing and boat launching site.

Champion & Starks report an average flow rate of 45 cfs from measurements taken in 1998 and 1999 (May 2001, p. 91).

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features