The first stop on my springs roadtrip was to Silver Glen Springs, a first magnitude spring located in Ocala National Forest. The Forest is well known for its density of springs, others of which I will visit later on in this journey.
Many of the Ocala NF springs flow, directly or indirectly, into Lake George, forming the headwaters of the St. Johns River. Silver Glen’s spring run is only one mile long before it dumps into this lake, and this has contributed to its popularity among boaters that ply the Lake George/St. Johns waterways.
Fortunately, the boats are kept outside of headsprings area. Yet, their impact is still a cause for concern, as this spring is also popular with manatees in the winter, who come in from the colder waters of Lake George at that time of year.
These were only a few of a long line of boats moored along the river.
The headsprings itself is still beautifully crystalline – and with palms lining the cerulean blue water, one feels as if they’ve stumbled into a tropical locale.
These bass were swimming over an extensive, thick mat of algae surrounding a deep depression the spring vents were set in. Unlike many other springs, Silver Glen has low nitrate levels, so scientists are puzzled as to why its algae seems to be growing.
Despite this and possible impacts from recreation, the water of this spring appeared sparkling clean and clear. This is a beautiful natural place that is well worth preserving. Additional funding for scientific research into its particular spring ecology is a great place to start.