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Jackson Blue Spring

Jackson Blue Spring
Jackson Blue Spring./ T. Scott, Wikimedia Commons / public domain

WorldBlue  In short

The picturesque Merrit’s Mill Pond starts with a mighty spring – Jackson Blue Spring. This spring emits approximately 1 271 l of lucid water every second.

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GPS coordinates
30.7905 N 85.1401 W
Location, address
North America, United States, Florida, Jackson County, south from Blue Springs Road, mouth of Merrit’s Mill Pond
Average discharge
1,271 l/s (2011-2023) (5.)
Length of cave
15,436 m
Depth of cave
30,5 m

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Geology and description of Jackson Blue Spring

Jackson Blue Spring
Jackson Blue Spring./ Jonathan Whitely, Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Jackson Blue Spring has formed in Lower Oligocene limestone, Suwannee Limestone – Marianna Limestone Formations.

This powerful spring now is inundated, some 3 m from the bank. The spring pool is 73 by 71 m large, maximum depth is 5 m. In the spring went is exposed the limestone rock and a comparatively slight boil is seen above the vent.

Through the spring vent one can access an impressive underwater cave system – Spring Cave of Jackson Blue Cave – which is 15,436 m long (2018). Please, always remember – cave diving is a high risk affair!

This enormous spring forms a head of a fairly large artificial lake – Merrit’s Mill Pond. Further along the banks of pond there are other, smaller springs: Shangrila Springs, Indian Washtub Spring, Twin Caves Spring, Holeintherock Spring, Hidey Hole, Lamar’s Landing and Gator Spring. After a dam the stream, that has been created by this array of mighty springs, falls in Chipola River.

Earlier Jackson Blue Spring was a first magnitude spring, f.e. in 2003-2006 its mean output was 3,879 l/s. Lately, though, its flow has decreased: in 2011-2023 its mean discharge was 1,271 l/s, thus it is well below the threshold of first magnitude springs.


Recreation area at Jackson Blue Spring
Recreation area at Jackson Blue Spring./ Alan Lupsha, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The spring stream was powerful enough to create a sizeable river that was used for canoe travel by the native people.

The first dam in this stream was built during the 1830ies, then the next one in 1840ies. The Merrit’s Mill Pond was created with a larger dam in its present site in 1866, stopping the mill on the previous dam and, rightfully, causing the anger of the owner of the first mill. Few years later the dam was enlarged, creating the mill pond in its present size.

Recreation site

The Merrit’s Mill Pond has been a publicly accessible recreation site for many decades.

Visitors enjoy a refreshing swim (the spring is included in the swimming area), boating or fishing in the unusually lucid water of the spring and Mill Pond as well as fishing. It is possible also to dive in the gorgeous spring, if the diver checks in before (1., 2.).

There is another Blue Spring in Jackson County – a smaller spring not too far, in the Florida Caverns State Park.


  1. Blue Springs Recreation Area, Jackson County. Accessed on August 13, 2023.
  2. Jackson Blue, Accessed on August 13, 2023.
  3. Summary of Existing Data – Jackson Blue Springs (Jackson Co.) (PDF file). Accessed on August 13, 2023.
  4. Merritt’s Mill Pond History, Chipola Divers. Accessed on August 15, 2023.
  5. USGS 02358795 JACKSON BLUE SPRING NR MARIANNA, FL, USGS. Accessed on August 27, 2023.

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