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The largest single spring in the United States (competing with Silver Springs in Ocala), a rise of the nearby river water.
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In the pristine Floridian forest near the picturesque Suwannee River hides one of the largest springs in the world – Alapaha Rise.
This First Magnitude spring is a roughly circular, 22 m deep, and 33 by 23 m large basin. All water comes up from a single vent. It does not create a visible upsurge but, nevertheless, the enormous amount of water forms a fast-flowing river that after some 200 m falls into Suwannee River.
Alapaha Rise produces from 10 000 l/s to 28 000 l/s of water and it is assumed that the average flow is 22 700 l/s.
Around the spring rise up to 10 m high limestone cliffs. These cliffs belong to the Suwannee Limestone formation that formed in the Early Oligocene some 30 million years ago.
Contrary to the lucid water of artesian springs this giant spring has darkened, tannic water. This fact alone means that Alapaha Rise is not artesian water but a resurgence of nearby surface water.
And this is a fact: through Alapaha Rise flows a large part of the Alapaha River stream. The main riverbed of Alapaha River falls into Suwannee some 650 m below Alapaha Rise but for a large part of the year it is dry: all water has gone underground towards Alapaha Rise and also Holton River Rise – a smaller spring at Suwannee River several kilometers before Alapaha Rise.
- Karst Hydrology of the Upper Suwannee River Basin, Alapaha River Area Hamilton County, Florida, Southeastern Geological Society. Last visited in January 14, 2022.
- Alapaha River Rise, CaveAtlas.com. Last visited in January 14, 2022.
Powerful natural freshwater springs belong to the most fascinating monuments of nature. Even more exciting is the diversity of unusual springs – mineral springs, hot springs, submarine springs as well as the unusual black smokers. Especially beautiful are such natural rarities as travertine, silica, or salt terraces created by warm and hot springs and, especially, geysers.
Wonders of the United States
The United States of America is one of the largest countries in the world and offers a wide array of diverse attractions: many are unsurpassed in the world. Highlights of the United States are cliffs, canyons, and rock formations, several impressive downtowns of cities with numerous skyscrapers as well as a rich array of geothermal features, and the giant forest of California.
Wonders of Florida
Florida is the tropical paradise of the mainland United States. Over the last century, it has experienced fabulous changes, turning from a forgotten, swampy badland into a densely populated and rich land. Highlights of Florida include the architecture of the late 19th and 20th centuries as well as its giant springs and caves.
Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida’s Oldest Roadside Attractions
In the postwar explosion of domestic tourism, Weeki Wachee spring offered the quintessential vacation fantasy, a city of colorful mermaids in a natural crystal spring right off the West Coast highway in a sparsely inhabited Florida. In those early days, the mermaids had to stand alongside the highway to flag travelers down, but once word of their charms got out, travelers headed south to playgrounds in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa found Weeki Wachee a tantalizing detour from the grueling two-lane road connecting vacationland with the work-a-day world to the north. Vickers shows how that local novelty became a stellar international attraction.
Backroads of Paradise: A Journey to Rediscover Old Florida
In the 1930s, the Federal Writers’ Project sent mostly anonymous writers, but also Zora Neale Hurston and Stetson Kennedy, into the depths of Florida to reveal its splendor to the world. The FWP and the State of Florida jointly published the results as Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State, which included twenty-two driving tours of the state’s main roads. Eventually, after Eisenhower built the interstates, drivers bypassed the small towns that thrived along these roads in favor of making better time. Those main roads are now the state’s backroads—forgotten by all but local residents, a few commuters, and dedicated road-trippers. Retracing the original routes in the Guide, Cathy Salustri rekindles our notions of paradise by bringing a modern eye to the historic travelogues.