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

Welaka Spring

Putnam County

Summary of Features

  • Scale -2nd magnitude (estimated)
  • Scenery - fine
  • How Pristine? - near marina, otherwise very pristine
  • Swimming - fair-good
  • Protection - unknown
  • Crowds - small-none
  • Access - boat only
  • Facilities - none
  • Safety - fair-good
  • Scuba - yes
  • Cost - free


At junction of highways 309 and 308B in Welaka, proceed 300 feet west on 308B to public boat ramp. Travel by boat about 1 mile upriver on the St. Johns, enter wide mouth of Welaka run on the right (east) side of the river, and proceed to the spring.

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

Welaka Spring lies at the head of a 1,000-foot run that empties into the St. Johns River. The spring forms a shuttle-cock-shaped pool that is about 85 feet wide at its head and widens in the run. Water flows powerfully from two main vents near the center of the pool. The larger boil is more central, about 6 feet in diameter, and raises the water about 2 inches. The smaller boil is about 6 feet south of the large boil, is perhaps 3 feet in diameter, and is not as pronounced.

On date of visit in July 2001, the spring flow was bluish but not clear, and the surrounding water was brownish-green. According to Rosenau et al., the general depth around the spring is 5 feet, and the vents are approximately 13 feet beneath the surface (1977, p. 318-9). Land rises up around the spring and is dense hardwood forest.


Personal Impressions

Welaka is a large and attractive spring of at least 2nd magnitude flow. There is no development at all on the north side of the spring, which has a primeval appearance. Welaka Spring is worth the trouble to visit..


Manatees were seen in the spring during the winter of 2000-2001. It was the first time that anyone could remember seeing manatees in Welaka Spring.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features