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

Panacea Mineral Springs

Wakulla County

  • Scale - 4th magnitude
  • Scenery - fair
  • How Pristine? - remnants of concrete, wood, and brick structures around vents
  • Swimming - none
  • Protection - fair
  • Crowds - none
  • Access - excellent
  • Facilities - none
  • Safety - very good
  • Scuba - none
  • Cost - free


From Tallahassee, take U.S. 319 south to U.S. 98 west to Panacea. After passing the first big turn into Panacea and a diner on the right, turn right into the springs entrance immediately after crossing a culvert over a slough. Look for a large sign on the right for the springs

Spring Description

There are at least seven small springs on the site, in a marshy area near Dickerson Bay. Some appear as potholes; at least three have a clear flow into a nearby creek that flows under U.S. 98 into Dickerson Bay. Six of the springs have the remnants of concrete structures around them, vestiges of their use in the early 1900s as a spa to which people traveled to seek cure in the mineral waters. One spring, encircled by brick, has the remnants of a stump in it. The stump had been hollowed, and pressure forced water through the stump in a small fountain. The banks of the creek have at least twenty small-to-middling seeps that are visible at low tide—see rough drawing below for locations of the springs. The largest of the seeps is near U.S. 98 on the north bank and has a volume of perhaps one gallon per second.


Local Springiana

Personal Impressions

Even with some restoration, the site is not attractive. However, it is a very interesting little cluster of springs and historically significant. The town is named for the springs. Before students began their restoration, the site was so overgrown that even established residents (those who moved to Panacea after the park closed in the 1970s) did not know it was there. With precise directions in hand JF drove by it several times before seeing the way in. The nearest spring (one in the slough) is less than 30 feet from U.S. 98.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features