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Madison Blue Spring

Madison Blue Spring
Madison Blue Spring./ Michael Rivera, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

WorldBlue  In short

The enchanting, gorgeous Madison Blue Spring was voted to be the best swimming hole in the whole USA (1.). This is a powerful spring

4.2 out of 10 stars 41.5%

GPS coordinates
30.4804 N 83.2443 W
Location, address
North America, United States, Florida, Madison County, Madison Blue Springs State Park, near Withlacoochee River
Mean discharge
2,763 l/s (April 2002 – September 2023, 4.)
Length of cave
7,775 m (Dec 2022)
Depth of cave
43 m (Dec 2022)

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Madison Blue Spring
Madison Blue Spring. / Ebyabe, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

It seems that lately the discharge of Madison Blue Spring has fallen slightly below the official threshold of the 1st magnitude springs. The mean discharge of a 1st magnitude spring should be at least 100 cubic feet or 2,832 litres per second. Measurements in Madison Blue Spring from 2002 to 2023 show a mean discharge of 2,763 l/s (97.6 cubic feet) (2.).

This does not diminish the popularity of this stunning natural wonder. The spring is situated in a very scenic area, and has formed a natural basin of incredibly clear, blue-green coloured water. The spring pool has a diameter of about 24.4 m and is up to 9.1 m deep. A limestone bluff is on its western bank.

The spring forms a pool that is connected to the nearby Withlacoochee River by a roughly 45 m long spring run with a lively stream in it. This short “river” is about 6 m wide and 1 m deep. The colour of the spring water contrasts with the tannic, brownish water of the river.

The spring has formed in Oligocene and Eocene limestone.

When there are floods in the Withlacoochee River, the water also rises in the spring pool – sometimes up to 6 metres! During the flood, the flow is reversed and slightly acidic river water enters underground. Throughout the millennia, this inflow of acidic water has created a large, impressive underwater cave system. Some 7.775 km of cave passages have been explored through the vent of the spring. The depth of the cave reaches 43 m.

Madison Blue Spring is included in the list of Outstanding Florida Springs, along with 29 other springs of the state. Around the spring, Madison Blue Spring State Park has been created – it was established in 2000 after the sale of this formerly private land to the state. This is a well-known site for cave divers, but also used for swimming, tubing, paddling. The water temperature in the spring is constant – 21.3 ° C.

Unfortunately, the nitrate pollution in the water of the spring has gradually increased (3.).


  1. Madison Blue Springs Named America’s Best Swimming Hole, USA Today, July 24, 2015. Accessed on September 24, 2023.
  2. Madison Blue Spring, Florida Springs. Accessed on August 20, 2023.
  3. Summary of Existing Data –
    Madison Blue Spring (Madison Co.)
    (PDF file). Accessed on August 26, 2023.
  4. Madison Blue Spring NR Blue Springs, FL – 02319302, USGS. Accessed on August 27, 2023.
  5. Madison Blue Spring. Suwannee River Water Management District, Water Data Portal. Last accessed on 9th September 2023.

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WorldYellow Recommended books

Florida Natural Wonders: 101 Slices Of Heaven That You Can’t Miss When Visiting Florida

Are You Ready for a Breathtaking Experience Through the Heart of Florida, Exploring Its Most Famous Wonders and Attractions?
If you want a guide that will help you find the most beautiful spots in this gorgeous state, then keep reading because this is the book you were looking for!

FLORIDA SPRINGS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Your Guide to the Best of Florida’s Springs, Parks and Recreations

The author started gathering information for this unique guidebook of Florida Springs over 40 years ago. In 1973 Robert F. Burgess began diving and photographing the underwater caves associated with Florida’s labyrinthine freshwater springs long before scuba divers had such things as depth gauges, personal flotation devices, or cave divers training programs. He attributes his survival in what has been called “the world’s most dangerous sport” to the fact that he always stayed within sight of the way out of these underwater sites.

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