Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
At Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
Spring basin at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park

In 1513, the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon came to Florida in search of a legendary "Fountain of Youth." He found lots of springs but never quite what he was looking for.

This spring in the northern part of Florida's panhandle occurs at the convergence of two underground water flows, and the output is a steady 14 million gallons of water per day at a steady 68°F year-round.

The springs are surrounded by a lush hardwood forest, and there are two nature trails that wind around the woods allowing an up-close exploration. In season the Park Rangers even offer guided tours where you can learn all about the local flora and fauna. The state park offers picnic shelters with grills for those who are so inclined. Fishing, swimming and snorkeling are also common activities here. Anglers will find largemouth bass, catfish, chain pickerel and panfish in the warm water.

This is a day use only park, and day use hours run from 8 am to sunset, 365 days a year. To get there: the springs are located 1/2 mile south of US Highway 90 on County Road 181A, between Ponce de Leon and Caryville.