Floridian Nature

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Florida Nature: Fanning Springs
snorkeling in Fanning Springs FloridaFanning Springs is a  Florida city in Gilchrist and Levy counties. The population was 737 at the 2000 census, with an estimated 2004 population of 800. Fanning Springs Florida is famous for the springs and the Suwannee River. Located on the central, west coast of Florida on the Suwannee River.  Fanning Springs is breath taking at first sight.  It has a large basin with very clear water and excellent scenery all around.  Depths vary from 2 to 21 feet depending on the river height.  Water discharges from visible sand boils and small cracks in the rocks that surround the bottom. 

Fanning Springs consists of two springs or pools, each with a run discharging to the Suwannee River. Fanning is about 200 ft wide and 350 ft long. Its vent, near the southeast wall, is about 30 feet in diameter. Pool depth is greatest near the vent, 18 ft or more, depending on river stage. The vent area is nearly funnel shaped, with a sandy bottom and limestone sides. The spring run, about 100 ft wide, 8 ft deep, and 100 ft long, flows westward. Little Fanning Spring has a nearly horizontal opening into a limestone hillside. It flows nearly southwest and the water is slightly turbulent for about 10 ft beyond the vent. The run widens from about 10 to 30 feet, and in a short distance turns west and joins the Suwannee River about 1,000 feet downstream. Fanning Springs is used primarily as a recreational area. Diving is allowed with a small additional fee, although it is primarily used for certification dives for local shops.

Fanning Springs State Park is a popular recreational site operated by the Florida Park Service. Located on the Suwannee River, this inviting source of cool, clear water has attracted people for thousands of years. As a strong 2nd magnitude springs, Fanning Springs provides refreshing swimming or snorkeling on a hot day. Visitors can enter the park by car or arrive by boat from the Suwannee river. Divers can enjoy searching the remains of a 90 foot Union gunboat sunk near the mouth of the springs sunk by Confederate fire.



Fanning Springs state park in FloridaIn 1936 Fanning Springs became the site of the southernmost bridge spanning the Suwannee River. Until railroads crossed the Suwannee River early this century, the Fanning Springs area served as local boat landing. Products such as cotton, lumber, turpentine, and other plantation products would be loaded and hauled off while household and farm supplies would be received. Fanning Springs produces an average of 65 million gallons of water daily, making it one of Florida´s 33 first magnitude springs.

Fanning Springs Florida is also home to the 1836 site of Fort Fanning, located on a high Suwannee River bluff.  Fort Fanning was built in 1838 during the Second Seminole War. The Fort was originally called "Palmetto", but was renamed in honor of Colonel Alexander Campbell Wilder Fannin. Made of wood, and situated in a warm humid climate, remnants of the actual fort have long since disappeared. Colonel Fannin served under General Andrew Jackson in the First Seminole War. As a lieutenant at the beginning of the Second Seminole War he was noted for outstanding service when he lead a charge in a battle near the Withlacoochee River. His objective, during the Second Seminole War, was to capture Seminoles for deportation to the West.

Many visitors enjoy the picnic area, playground, volleyball court or use the park's large open areas for ball games, throwing Frisbees, and also for events. There is a canoe/kayak launch available, a nature trail and a boardwalk that overlooks the river. In the summer the gazebo at the end of the boardwalk is a fine place to watch sturgeon jumping. Manatees are often seen in the springs during the winter months and occasionally in the summer. White-tailed deer, gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers, and barred owls are some of the other animals seen in the park. The Fanning Springs River walk, as well as the Nature Coast Greenway Trail are great walking trails and the perfect spot to enjoy some Floridian nature.

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Fanning Springs Florida is famous for the springs and the Suwannee River. Depending on what time of year you visit Falling Waters State Park, you may or may not view a cascading waterfall into a 100-foot deep ancient sinkhole, as the waterfall is dependent on the ground seepage from rainfall. However, if you are a Floridian nature lover, don’t let the lack of a waterfall deter your interest in visiting this 173-acre State Park, as the geological wonders of the gigantic sinkholes are perhaps the most interesting feature this park provides
Fanning Springs consists of two springs or pools, each with a run discharging to the Suwannee River. It is a source of cool, clear water that has attracted people for thousands of years. As a strong 2nd magnitude springs, Fanning Springs provides refreshing swimming or snorkeling on a hot day. Visitors can enter the park by car or arrive by boat from the Suwannee river. Divers can enjoy searching the remains of a 90 foot Union gunboat sunk near the mouth of the springs sunk by Confederate fire. Many visitors enjoy the picnic area, playground, volleyball court or use the park's large open areas for ball games, throwing Frisbees, and also for events. There is a canoe/kayak launch available, a nature trail and a boardwalk that overlooks the river.
Fanning Springs
Date published: 10/22/2013
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