One of the springs we recently went to was Royal Springs, located in O'Brien, Florida. Visiting this spring was part of our weekend trip of staying in a cabin at the Suwanee River State Park. While at that cabin for a couple of days, we checked out several springs in the area.
Royal Springs is a hidden gem that is frequented mainly by locals of the area. It's a county park, so it is free to go there. On the downside, there are only around four picnic table areas, which were all taken when we got there. We set up a chair for our towels and stuff and headed into the water. The spring is 72 degrees, as the others are, and felt great on this hot day. It was a Sunday, so it was busy enough that the tables were all gone, but the spring wasn't too crowded. Surrounding the park is mainly farms in every direction. The spring is off the beaten path, but worth checking out.
You can walk into the spring at an end that is like a beach access, but there are bit boulders and rocks that make it a little rough on the feet. Just beyond the boulders, the water is quite deep. I tried snorkeling, as I always do at the springs we visit, but there wasn't much to see. The water was so deep and dark that I wasn't able to see much. A popular thing to do there is dive off of the platform. I'm not a diver, but plenty of people were doing it (there were even a few who jumped out of trees).
Royal Springs is not one of my favorite springs and I wouldn't make a point to go back to it unless I were in the area already. But my goal is to visit as many springs as possible, so it was worth going to it on this trip. Being a nature lover, I tend to find beauty in every spring we visit. Royal Springs is beautiful and offers a nice way to cool off on a hot day.
- Jacqueline Bodnar
Here are pictures and a video of our stop at Royal Springs: