This spring issues from the bottom of conical depression. The spring pool diameter is about 72 ft (21.9 m) north to south and 82 ft (25 m) northeast to southwest. Pool depth measures 24 ft (7.3 m). The spring has vertical limestone walls. The 100 ft (30.5 m) long and 15 to 25 feet wide (4.6 – 7.6 m) spring run flows swiftly into the tannic Withlacoochee River. There was no visible boil in October 2001. Nearly the entire spring bottom and sides are covered with dark green algae. Sandy high ground surrounds the spring and rises to approximately 20 ft (6.1 m) above water level. Mixed hardwoods and pines occur along with numerous dirt pathways. An underwater cave system has been mapped at Madison Blue Spring.
Madison Blue Spring is approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Madison on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River. From the intersection of US 90 and SR 6 just east of Madison, drive east on SR 6 approximately 8 miles (12.9 km) to the bridge over the Withlacoochee River. Turn south (right) at the park sign just before the bridge. The spring is 525 ft (160 m) south of the highway.
Of the first two-day jaunt, this was probably the most stunning all-around. I don't know if words really work to describe how it shined in the morning; the pictures below do it much better justice.
The park is technically a state park but is maintained by the SRWMD, so there's no visible staff or complex facilities; this probably went a long way to preserving some of the fun of the park. The spring has a direct-access jumping platform and a dock; paths are made of mud and roots, not concrete; there are no ropes to be found in the swimming area. The spring run snakes around a small limestone formation and into the Withlacoochee river, crashing over a line of rocks into the tannic water.
This spring has everything: cave diving, free diving, deep swimming, shallow areas, wading areas, relaxing rapids, river wading, and fishing. My only regret is not swimming. We were in a hurry and it was the first spring of the day, but I do very much regret it. Madison Blue Springs State Park is highly recommended, and I cannot wait to go back someday.
8300 N.E. State Road 6
Lee, Florida 32059