» Rock Bluff Spring

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Rated 2.7/5 stars (122 ratings)

Overview Location & Specifics Conditions Resources Nearby Systems  
Portions of the following information were taken from Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 66.

Rock Bluff Springs are located 11 miles south of Branford. The springs can be accessed by boat. From the bridge over the Suwannee River in Branford head west on US 27 approximately 1.3 miles to the intersection with CR 349. Turn south (left) on CR 349 and travel approximately 10.5 miles to the intersection with CR 340. Turn east (left) onto CR 340 and travel approximately 3.3 miles to Rock Bluff boat landing on the east side of the river. The 750 ft spring run flows into the east side of the Suwannee River approximately 0.25 miles upstream from Rock Bluff Landing.

Description – The Rock Bluff Springs pool measures 250 ft north to south and 171 ft east to west. Numerous vents feed the large shallow spring pool, and the most prominent vent discharges from a deep vertical limestone fissure on the north end of the pool. The depth over the fissure measures 27.8 ft. The water is clear with a greenish tint, and the bottom is exposed limestone and sand. Water quality was sampled from a smaller, circular vent opening in limestone 20 ft south of the main vent. The circular opening measures approximately 1.5 ft in diameter. Discharge over the sampled vent creates a prominent boil on the pool surface. A rock retaining wall is constructed along the north shore of the spring pool. There are numerous cypress trees both in the spring pool and along the perimeter of the spring. The spring run flows southwest approximately 750 ft before entering the Suwannee River from the east about 0.25 miles upstream from Rock Bluff. The surrounding land is forested lowland floodplain. There is a cleared sandy area on the north shore above the rock retaining wall. Rosenau et al. (1977) report that two smaller springs enter Rock Bluff Springs Run about 100 ft downstream from the spring pool. An underwater cave system has been mapped at this spring.
6560 Co Rd 340, Bell, FL 32619, USA
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Latitude: 29.79889
Longitude: -82.918968
Zone:
Coordinate System:
Maximum Depth: 65'
 Cave Diving
 Cavern Diving
 Open Water Diving
River access only
Date Submitter Visbility Remarks
5/10/2015 RB Havens (via CDF) 30-40 Dove Rick Bluff yesterday. Conditions are still nice, flow is down, viz about 30-40'. There is ALOT more sand at the entrance than when we tried to get in February and it was really pumping. No problem getting in, coming out I got a bit of a sand slide and it did a good job of jamming up my inflator and a couple of my bolt snaps. We noticed that the main line is loose in one section and getting pretty worn on some of the sharper edges/hard turns. I moved it up or down a couple of inches to smoother rock in a couple of places.
4/3/2015 Teddy 10 Flow minimal but present, visibility 10' during penetration. Entrance required a little digging, but was then easily passed through in SM 95's.
2/12/2011 Tegg 75 - 80 Flow was down, cave was nice as usual.
12/8/2010 Jerry 75 Flow isn't that bad. Entrance has a few rocks in it; pretty much normal. Vis is pretty good. dead deer in the run may get funky in a few days.
12/5/2010 Tegg 80' River is down so flow is decent. Vis was good inside the cave. Only had to dig out the entrance a little bit, so someone must have been there recently.
7/26/2010 Jerry 60 to 70 Good dive; river is dropping so the flow is picking up. Took the south route out to grim pickins.
7/12/2010 James Garrett 50ft Not terrible flow, entrance restriction is reasonable, not as difficult as it looks in the video.
5/2/2010 Flyczek 50 Easier entrance since the last flood, no need to dig in or out. Checked out the south side to the T. Flow was significant throughout. Lots of people hanging out in the spring pool on a nice spring day.
1/18/2010 Flyczek 20 On second thought, I think I reversed my directions in the below post, North is South and vice versa.
1/18/2010 Flyczek 20 River level is up and flow is barely noticeable. Had to dig a little to get in, but getting out was no problem. Cave looked orange in color, lots of particulate and dust on the south section. After turning, visibility had reduced to 10 feet due to falling dust. I peeked into the North section, it appeared much cleaner, possibly 30 feet vis.
12/16/2009 Jerry 60' Rising river level really suppressed the flow; we were able to swim in the entrance. Took the South Route out past Sheppard Sink. Still a decent flow to keep the silt moving in the cave.
11/8/2009 Iowa Cave Diver 60-70' flow-kickin', enterance... seemed the norm from what I hear (first time at this site) I had to move some rocks before attempting my enterance. Water was slightly greenish and still lots of silt build up on the rock projections and overhangs. Basin was very shallow with mung all over the bottom... great for the gear. No bugs! Bats were overhead everywhere as we exited in our inflatable back to the boat ramp. **I experienced a broken line on exit and had to run a safety reel to search/locate and reconnect to the mainline. Not having gas to go back and check for placement or security, I had to exit. My replacement line should be a short way past the upsidedown restriction in the south passage. First team in may want to bring some line in case the line needs to be re-run or adjusted for safety. Details of my dive can be found on www.cavediver.net
10/13/2009 Jerry 30-50 Rich and I had a great dive; the flow is ripping. There is still a lot of particulate in the water and on the walls. The water has a strong green color instead of the normal blue. Did the South route to Beaver Spring and back; recalculated and went up the North route. Had a great :80 dive!
8/8/2009 Billy Fowler 50 Absolute fabulous; the flow is ripping and has blown out the entrance so a shovel wasn’t necessary but it was difficult getting in due to the flow and nothing solid to hold on to. Both routes have a good amount of flow, as well as some of the side jumps off of the north route.
1/25/2009 Jerry 40' Great dive; river is coming down. Flow is up in the cave; even the North Route has flow. It only took 5 mins of digging to open the entrance enough to get in. Easy dive after that.
12/26/2008 Jerry 0 Rise in river level has caused the spring to reverse; it is black.
10/5/2008 Jerry 20-25 System is still tannic but clearing; took a fair bit of digging to get in. Good flow in the system, even the North Route has good flow. Should get better as the river drops. Good dive!
2/2/2008 Eric Deister 60 First time in there, yes you need a shovel to get in. Great dive, almost went end to end. South route was VERY silty.
12/29/2007 Jerry 50 Jill and I did the South Route---amazing cave; smaller than the North Route so the flow keeps the silt clear. The Flip-Over Restriction isn't too bad. Entrance hasn't changed---a shovel helps. If you hang in hte en restriction the sand slope will try to lock you in.
9/7/2007 Jerry 60 Dove with Wayne Kinard; water is way down; flow is still impressive. Used a shovel to clear about 6 inches of debris from entrance it was still very tight--Wayne reported 6 inch or better rocks shooting out when I blocked entrance--flow very manageable once inside; North Route is larger but siltier went about 600 ft. South Route is clear with gravel floor went to the Flipover restriction and turned. Make sure your side-mount rig is tight and tanks trimmed to get through the entrance restriction. Great dive; need a boat and watch out for leaping sturgeon!
Click here if you would like to contribute any information or resources for this system.
Description Type Date Author Remarks
 System Map Map
 System Map #2 Map Wes Skiles
 Video YouTube 2008
 Video YouTube 2011 Joe Tegg, Mike Clay
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