The Floridan aquifer is a portion of the principal artesian aquifer that extends into Florida and is composed of carbonate rock and located beneath the coastal regions of the Southeastern United States and is one of the world’s most productive aquifers. It is under all of Florida as well as large parts of coastal Georgia and areas of coastal Alabama and South Carolina.

Groundwater in the Floridan aquifer is contained under pressure by a confining bed of low permeability sediments over much of its extent. In other locations the upper Floridan aquifer is unconfined. Where the limestone of the aquifer is at near the surface, it can be dissolved by infiltrating water. This is a region where water and life begins from a source that bubbles up directly from the ground. North Florida springs flow the purest, clearest water in the world with underwater views that are absolutely breathtaking. The springs are fed through the natural underground aquifer (a river that runs beneath Florida) dumping millions of gallons of water daily.

As a result, caves and sinkholes form. Springs form where the water pressure is great enough for the groundwater to flow out on the land surface. More than 700 springs have been mapped in Florida. Water temperatures in springs are relatively constant 72 degrees year-round which makes it excellent for scuba diving, cave diving and snorkeling.

It was the legend of these springs, in fact that brought the first Spanish explores to La Florida, or the “land of flowers” as they called the mysterious new land. Juan Ponce de Leon heard of magic waters that had the power to rejuvenate and set out in search of the famed “Fountain of Youth”.

Ponce de Leon never found the legendary fountain, but tens of thousands of others do as they swim and play in the clear, cold and magical waters of North Florida.

This is a region where water and life begins from a source that bubbles up directly from the ground. North Florida springs flow the purest, clearest water in the world with underwater views that are absolutely breathtaking. The springs are fed through Florida’s natural underground aquifer (a river that runs beneath Florida) dumping millions of gallons of water daily.

Gilchrist County has the best springs for canoeing, kayaking, swimming and nature watching.