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Peacock Springs
State Recreation Area

Florida Wildlife

 

 

 

Located 16 miles southwest of the town of Live Oak, this fascinating park contains a series of springs, with sinkholes and underground caves and caverns. While uncertified human visitors are not permitted to swim into the caverns because they are home to several protected species including cave crayfish, the Florida cave amphipod, and Hobb cave amphipod, the spring pools are popular with swimmers and snorkelers who enjoy the warm water and underwater life.

The caves, the largest and most complex in the state, are available for entry by certified cave divers who use Orange Grove Sink to enter the cavern system. This is one of the longest underwater caves in the United States, with 28,800 feet of passages already surveyed by cave divers.

Most visitors swim and snorkel in the two major springs, Peacock and Bonnet. These springs are tributaries of the Suwanee River, flowing out of the pools via Peacock Slough. The park is also a fine place to picnic, with upland areas containing mature forests in four different plant communities: xerotic hammock, upland hardwood, bottom land, and swamp. In the hammock, you'll walk through sand live oaks, laurel oak , pignut hickory, and southern magnolia.

The upland forest contains American holly, dogwood, Florida maple, laurel oak and pignut hickory. The bottomland forest is dominated by oak, water hickory, and red maple, with sweetgum, loblolly pine, and cedar elm (the latter a tree with endangered status in Florida). Bald cypress is the predominant swamp tree, with pop ash, swamp privet, and button ash under the cypress canopy.

For information on Peacock Springs SRA, contact the rangers at 386-776-2194.

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