United States » Charles Spring

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Rated 2.9/5 stars (497 ratings)

Overview Location & Specifics Conditions Resources Nearby Systems  
Portions of the following information were taken from Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 31.

Charles Springs is about 2.3 mi N. of Dell on the east bank of the Suwannee River. From Luraville drive 8.8 mi N. on State Hwy 51, turn west onto State Hwy 252 and go 5 mi; the road angles to the left, turn left and drive another 0.4 mi; the spring is to the right.

Description – The banks of this oblong pool are steep. The pool is divided by a small limestone bridge and each section has a boil. It is not known if the springs discharge from one or two vents. The pool has a maximum diameter of about 25 ft and depths from 2 to 10 ft. The depth is greatest at the southwest end near the bridge. Water flows from the pool beneath limestone rock to a run 1 to 3 ft deep and 35 to 40 ft wide but narrowing to 15 ft some 75 ft downstream near the river.
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Latitude: 30.167221
Longitude: -83.230678
Coordinate System:
Maximum Depth: 80'
 Cave Diving
 Cavern Diving
 Open Water Diving
Date Submitter Visbility Remarks
7/30/2022 Bama Diver 15-20 feet Some flow. NOthing to compare to since was my first time.
6/27/2021 AndrewJ 20-30' Conditions pretty good. Some of the line needed tidying up, a few placements had come loose.
12/8/2020 AndrewJ 20' Viz 20ft and a little milky.
12/8/2017 Peter 15’ getting in, 2’ getting out Basin is full with a healthy runoff flow. Not much junk in cave from last reversal except for the usual silt. Cave line and silt stakes in good shape. Have I just become fatter or is the first sandbar restriction bedding plane a few inches higher? I had to plow through a bit to get further in.
1/8/2016 M Bloedorn N/A Park is open for diving, but the river water is now high enough to flood Charles. River water in the basin and no visible flow from spring.
10/23/2015 Ryan 0 Park is closed for repairs not sure when it will reopen.
11/18/2014 Peter 20-30' Basin and runoff channel are full of water. Flow inside was light. Lots of very loose silt in tunnel. Just swimming through and exhaust gas would stir up a little silt. The new line installed is great, but there still is some old tangled black line found in some places. A good side mount dive as long as you are careful and not stir up the silt. Max depth 24', dive time 50 minutes
8/9/2014 Jason 25 Vis was nice. Could see both walls almost the entire dive. Swimming is a bit of a workout for the first 300'. After that not bad. The first two T's have been removed (BM bypass). The line is in great shape, recently replaced. Turned at the first restriction at 1100'.
6/28/2014 Walter Pickel 25 Flow has returned with a vengeance. Nice to see the spring flowing this well.
12/27/2013 David Moore 15' First time to dive this spring. Vis was decent and flow was good. Very nice cave.
12/15/2013 Bil Lindstrom 15' Nice flow, spring run while not up to the levels the banks indicate it used to be, it now runs all the way down to the river. That was nice to see. I stayed right at the tees and went back a good way. The line is in good shape, a few silt stakes are down, but still intact. Loads of baby catfish, and they were not lethargic at all. Very fluffy silt throughout, be on your best behavior if you go! Depth at p.300' was 23'; depth at p.700' was 18'. Stayed in that range for the whole time.
10/22/2013 Jason 15' Cool cave. Had significant flow. Exit vis was reduced.
3/3/2012 T.Wood 20' Mainline is near entrance, which is under the land bridge on the far right viewed from the stairs. Silt screws were often pulled out, but line was in good condition. Plethora of baby catfish, freshwater clams and a few snails, but many animals moved slowly or staid still (possibly due to low DO. No connection to river via surface). The low flow and high propensity to silt along with the cave size make this a bad choice for unskilled sidemount divers.
12/29/2011 FW 20' Still no water in the run. No detectable flow. Viz about 10' at the entrance, around 20' towards the back. It still silts out in the first couple hundred feet, but only percolates farther back. Lines are in better condition than when I was last there, a couple years ago. While I was in the cave, my primary tieoff was moved. There were some teenagers watching me get in the water, so it could have been them.
10/13/2011 nick hargreaves 30 feet in zero on exit the run is dry, a slight ripple on the surface of the head pool to indicate flow. very low and silty approx 28 inches floor to ceiling. carried on for 30 feet past where the line splits but it closed down even more so we turned it and exited in line contact due to the unavoidable silt cloud we had made. the line appears in good condition but some more substantial silt screws are needed as the present ones are a little loose
9/14/2010 Walter Pickel 5-20 First time in this system and really liked it. This is definitely a sidemounters cave. Made it through the first 3 restrictions and almost to the sinkhole. Had to turn on time as had be back in Tampa early. I would say this system is done for a while. The run is completely dry and although there was a positive flow, it was just barely enough to keep you honest.
1/16/2010 Mathew Bull Tannic Tannic from the surface, but somewhat clearish.
1/13/2010 Kenneth Richard Sørensen 2-3 The viz was approximately 2-3 feet, we dived for 5 minutets before we turned, as the viz wasn't getting any better.
2/22/2009 Mathew Bull clearish I'd estimate 10' from the surface, looked good enough. Would have took a dip if I didn't have a 5 hour ride home to get started on.
12/4/2008 Ginger 6-10 ft Spent a lot of time cleaning line and removing crap off it, digging it out of silt mounds and at one point fixed a broken bit… the line is in reasonable condition generally speaking. The shallow depth allows for a long bottom time. Vis is nothing to write home about, but enough to see in front of ya.
5/10/2008 Shirley Kasser not bad The spring run is dammed up. The pool is about 3' deep near the first land bridge. There was a ton of debris caught up in the myriad of lines. We removed a good bit of it, but plenty remains. The cave is a dark one, but the flow was sufficient to clear out the silt we stirred up clearing the lines fairly quickly. We spent 33 minutes in the cave, never getting deeper than 24'.
4/16/2007 Paul Hartwick 5'-10' The spring run is dry. Dove there for the first time and took the left of the two lines going through the entry restriction. The line was buried in silt after the restriction, but was a short jump to find the other line. Please e-mail if you know of a map or more info.
3/30/2007 kevin 20 ft ad silty The water in the pool was dark and only about 3 ft deep. There was no boil and no discernable flow. Silt has piled up making it hard to get past the restriction. We only made it a few feet past the 3rd pvc pipe and only after some digging. We retreated in 0 viz when the floor and the ceiling became too close together. It was my first dive at Charles so I don't have anything to compare it to, but unless there is another way in, getting through the restriction in backmount is challenging right now.
10/12/2006 Billy Fowler 15-20ft Great viz, no flow, anyone know of a map for this system
8/31/2006 Craig Gaffka 5-10' Charles spring has been reduced to Charles sink. The spring run has completely dried up the systems overall flow is a trickle. The visibility was pretty poor about 5' for the majority of the dive.
10/24/2005 John LaManna 30' with particulates Dove Charles three times the week of Oct. 24th. Strong boil at surface. Nice shallow dive, with max depth of 24'. After entering, you swim under two natural bridges, and the cave starts on the right just past the second bridge. The permanent line starts immediately upon entering, and there's a white sand/silt restriction for the first 50', then it opens up large with passages 8 to 12 feet high. Bring plenty of clothespins due to several "T"'s, and splits in the line. As you go in, the main line has another line also tied to it, but both go out. One of the lines must have been under the silt in the past, but was uncovered by the strong flow. Once inside, it's easy to swim, or pull and glide with little effort. I went in 45 minutes the longest I have been in there, not sure how many feet back, but it was still going. Very nice dive.
9/17/2005 Joe Tegg 10-15ft Dove the first 500ft of the cave since it had reversed. There was a line flapping in the current so I removed it (it T'd back into the mainline anyway). I figure a couple more weeks of current may help bring the vis back up to the more normal 40ft or so.
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Description Type Date Author Remarks
 System Map Map 2018 Adam Hughes
Sslect Search Radius:
System Depth Cave Cavern OW Last Report Distance (mi)
 Overview Information Available for Cow Spring  Cow Spring 110 True False False 1/20/2024 8.2
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 Overview Information Available for Peacock Springs - Peacock I  Peacock Springs - Peacock I 175 True True False 11/17/2022 6.6
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 Overview Information Available for Peacock Springs - Peacock II  Peacock Springs - Peacock II True False False 4/8/2015 6.6
 Overview Information Available for Peacock Springs - Waterhole III  Peacock Springs - Waterhole III 55 True False False 9/26/2013 6.5
 Overview Information Available for Bathtub Spring  Bathtub Spring 20 True False False 2/5/2011 9.5
 Overview Information Available for Crazy Horse Sink  Crazy Horse Sink 60 True False False 1/30/2011 3.2
 Overview Information Available for Peacock Springs - Baptizing Spring  Peacock Springs - Baptizing Spring True False False 8/15/2010 6
 Overview Information Available for Bonnet Spring  Bonnet Spring 48 True False False 8/15/2009 6.3
 Overview Information Available for Hidden Spring  Hidden Spring True False False 6/1/2006 8.3
 Overview Information Available for Running Springs  Running Springs False False False 8.1
   Thomas Spring True False False 1.5