Otter Spring has a nearly circular, bowl-shaped spring pool measuring 68 ft in diameter. It is surrounded by a concrete bag retaining wall. The spring issues from a vertical fissure in limestone. The depth over the fissure measures 27.5 ft. The water is clear and greenish. There is very little aquatic vegetation within the spring; however, algae cover the entire spring depression. A small, limestone, man-made dam stretches across the outflow channel on the west side of the pool. The flow is southwest approximately 110 ft into a larger, apparently man-made, circular pool having a diameter of about 130 ft. The larger pool averages 10 ft deep and is utilized as a swimming area.
Otter Spring discharges westward 0.8 miles where it joins the Suwannee River. Its shallow, sand bottomed run is approximately half as wide as the spring. The run flows through the heavily forested river floodplain. Land surrounding the spring is relatively low and rises to approximately 5 ft above water level. Most of the uplands are covered in large grassy areas with interspersed live oak trees. Private residences are visible from the spring several hundred feet to the east through oak trees.
The spring is located 4.5 miles north of Fanning Springs on the east side of the Suwannee River. After crossing over the Suwannee River on US 98/27A heading east, turn north (left) on SR 26 and travel north on SR 26 approximately 1.4 miles to the town of Wilcox. In Wilcox, SR 26 makes a 90 degree bend to the east (right). At this bend continue north (straight) onto CR 232. Once on CR 232 continue north to the intersection with CR 334 approximately 1.7 miles. Turn west (left) onto CR 334 and drive approximately 2.3 miles to the boat ramp. The spring run enters the river 0.5 miles upstream from the CR 334 boat ramp.
My first visit to the spring was a dud; although the adventure to the location was indeed fun, the spring was flooded (check the March 2010 photos for the evidence). In fact, it took me a good ten minutes to find where the boil would have been and realized that the Suwannee had flooded at least a good 4-5 feet. The sandbags on the sides of the pool were under a foot of tannic water.
I was anticipating the second visit much more but I was unfortunately let down. The lack of local interest and funding/ownership has let this spring eat itself with vegetation and overgrowth, so much so that the entire cave is covered in some kind of loosely-fitted algae and grass. I took one dive through the cave and kicked up enough of it that my camera could no longer focus on or see anything nearby. The run is nice however, and due to the relatively low crowds, some good isolated relaxation can occur.
Bottom line here is that this is as close as you will get to a spring that has good parking and good privacy. Other than that, it's not really worth much of your time.
July 2010 [flickr-photoset:id=72157624553549242,size=s]
March 2010 [flickr-photoset:id=72157623756103578,size=s]