|Copyright 2017 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Updated: May 3, 2017
Madison Blue Spring
The beautiful main spring is 25
feet deep and 82 feet wide. It is a
popular spot for cave diving.
MADISON BLUE SPRING STATE PARK
|Madison Blue Spring
A state park since 2000, this beautiful first
magnitude spring is a popular spring and
First Magnitude Spring
Madison Blue Spring State Park is
home to a beautiful first magnitude
spring. It is located about 10 miles
east of Madison, Florida.
The spring became a state park
when the previous owner sold 38
acres to the State of Florida in
2000. The property is a geological
wonderland that includes sinks,
karst windows, submerged caves
and the magnificent spring.
The Spring Run
Madison Blue Spring feeds a
short but powerful run that flows
100-feet into the WIthlacoochee
Madison Blue Spring has been a landmark along the WIthlacoochee River for
thousands of years. This river rises northwest of Nashville, Georgia, and flows
south to join the Suwannee River 12 miles below the spring at Suwannee River
Prehistoric Native Americans first visited the spring thousands of years ago. The
area around the spring was rich in game, making it a good place for early people
to hunt for food. The pure water and adjacent river provided fish.
The spring was a landmark for U.S. troops during the Second Seminole War
(1835-1842) and was routinely mentioned in the reports of soldiers assigned to
patrol the west side of the Suwannee River. A ferry was established just below
the spring run in 1839 by an early settler named Simeon Driggers:
...Be it enacted by the Governor and Legislative Council of the Territory of
Florida, That Simeon Driggers be, and he is hereby invested with the right and
privilege of establishing a ferry across the Withlacoochee river, in the county of
Madison, on our near section 20, township 1, range 1, north and east; and that
he and his heirs shall continue to enjoy all the rights and privileges hereby
granted for a term of five years. - (Act of the Florida Territorial Legislative
Council, signed by Gov. R.K. Call on January 29, 1839).
Driggers also became the first owner of the spring when he purchased title to
104 acres surrounding it from the U.S. Government on March 10, 1843. A road
leading from Madison to Jasper in nearby Hamilton County was shown leading
across the WIthlacoochee River at the site of Driggers' Ferry on a military map
published in 1846, evidence of continued use through history.
The spring appeared on an 1880s list of mineral springs in the United States.
This was the era of the "mineral springs boom" due to the belief that mineral
waters held curative properties. Scientific doubt has been cast on that theory
today but many people around the world still believe it is true.
Madison Blue Spring was subjected to study from time to time during the early
20th century. The temperature of the water was recorded to be 70 degrees in
1932 while the force of the spring was measured at 145 cubic feet per second in
More recent studies by the Suwannee River Water Management District indicate
that the amount of water flowing from the spring ranges from as few as 52 cubic
feet per second during times of extreme drought to as many as 224 cubic feet
per second during times following extreme rains.
The submerged cave system that feeds the spring is massive. Dye studies
conducted in 2004 found that at least some of the water from that system also
flows beneath the WIthlacoochee and for more than one mile to Pot Spring. More
than 24,000 feet of passages have been mapped and the system is among the
longest underwater caves in the United States. Certified divers can obtain
permits and cave diving is a major activity at the park.
Madison Blue Springs State Park is located at 8300 NE State Road 6, Lee,
Florida. From downtown Madison, just take State Road 6 east for 10 miles and
turn right into the entrance as you approach the west end of the bridge over the
The park is open daily from 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days per year. The cost of
admission is $5 per vehicle ($4 if only one person is in the car) and $2 for
pedestrians and bicyclists. There are restrooms, picnic tables, nature trails and
plenty of things to do, but no overnight camping. Camping and cabins are
available at nearby Suwannee River State Park.
Please click here to visit the official state park website for more information.
Stunning Florida Scenery
Water from Madison Blue Spring
feeds the Suwannee River by
way of the Withlacoochee.
A nature trail provides access to
a staircase that leads down to
the cold blue water of a karst
window that has opened into the
top of a submerged cave.