At least five known springs associated with Gainer Springs Group are along both sides of Econfina Creek. The uplands surrounding this group are high rolling sand hills that are forested with sand pine and patches of longleaf pine-turkey oak community. High ground adjoining the west side of the creek near Spring No. 2 and Spring No. 3 rises to 27 ft above the water surface and is densely forested with mixed hardwoods and pines. The creek floodplain is forested with cypress and hardwoods. Land on the west side of the Econfina Creek at Gainer Springs is privately owned. The east side of the creek is owned and managed by the NWFWMD.
GAINER SPRING NO. 1 - Gainer Spring Nos. 1A, 1B, and 1C form a 820 ft (249.9 m) long spring run that enters Econfina Creek on the east side directly across from Spring No. 2. Spring No. 1C is the first spring encountered approximately 495 ft (150.9 m) upstream from the creek, and its pool is adjacent to the run on the southeast side. Spring pool dimensions are approximately 72 ft (21.9 m) east to west and 33 ft (10.1 m) north to south. Water issues from a vertical tunnel in the limestone. Shell and sand particles are suspended in the spring flow. Pool depth is 20 ft (6.1 m) measured over the vent. There is very little aquatic vegetation; however, algae patches in spring pool are common. The adjoining, swampy lowlands are heavily forested with cypress and mixed hardwoods. The nearest uplands to the southeast support a mixed hardwood and pine forest. There is no high ground adjacent to the spring pool. These springs are also known as McCormick Springs.
GAINER SPRING NO. 2 - This spring, also known as Emerald Spring, is located directly across from the mouth of Gainer Spring No. 1 run along the west side of Econfina Creek. Spring water issues from the base of the riverbank and forms a pool along the edge of the creek. Pool diameter is approximately 60 ft (18.3 m) east to west and 62 ft (18.9 m) north to south. Pool depth over the vent is 5 ft (1.5 m). Vent diameter is approximately 5 ft (1.5 m). There is little or no aquatic vegetation, but patches of dark green algae are present. The water is clear and light greenish blue. A concrete wall forms the south side of the spring pool. Two parallel pipes that extract drinking water run from inside the spring vent toward the top of the bluff and beyond. There are at least three other smaller vents issuing from the bank just above this spring. A 23 ft (7 m) high bluff meets the Econfina Creek at Spring No. 2. A mixed hardwood and pine forest inhabits the bluff face and high ground.
GAINER SPRING NO. 3 - This spring is located along the west side of Econfina Creek, and is about 655 ft (199.6 m) upstream of Spring No. 2. It is at the head of a 325 ft (99.1 m) long spring run. There are at least three vent complexes in the combined spring pool. The depression is large and mostly shallow with a sand bottom and limestone boulders. The combined spring pool diameter is about 305 ft (93 m) east to west and 125 ft (38.1 m) north to south. There is a forested island in the center of the combined spring pool. Some emergent vegetation exists along the pool's shores, but there is very little aquatic vegetation. Dark green algal mats are ubiquitous throughout the bottom of the spring pool. The western vent issues out of a limestone sidewall and has a small boardwalk nearby. The north vent, where water quality was sampled, is the largest and deepest. This spring is about 15 ft (4.6 m) south of a wooden wall presumably constructed for shore erosion management. Clear, light greenish blue water issues from the bottom of a 16 ft (4.9 m) diameter conical depression and produces a boil at the surface. The depression is 7.4 ft (2.3 m) deep over the vent. Vent diameter is about 1.5 ft (0.5 m). On the eastern side of the combined spring pool, there are at least three other vents. Uphill to the north, there are picnic tables under a pavilion in a grassy opening. The rest of the uplands adjoining the spring pool to the west are forested with mixed hardwoods and pines. In the surrounding forested area, there are karst windows, dissolutionally-enlarged fractures and other karst features.
Gainer Springs Group is located 0.4 miles downstream from the SR 20 bridge over Econfina Creek. It is best accessed by canoe, however, there is a gated dirt track on Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) land that leads to the springs group on the east side of the creek. From the intersection of US 231 and SR 20 head west on SR 20 approximately 7 miles to Econfina Creek.
The uplands around Gainer Spring No. 2 are privately owned. Econfina Creek flows into Deerpoint Lake, which is a public water supply utilized by Panama City. Land around the spring group is privately owned and is pristine and forested. Swimming and canoeing occur frequently in all of Gainer Springs.
3613 Delwood Drive
Panama City Beach, FL 32408