The shortest river in the world is not really a river at all, but an underground stream known as a karst window. Formed when its cavern partially collapsed, Falmouth Spring bubbles up underground, flows above ground for around 450 feet, then mysteriously disappears back underground until it hits the Suwannee River. Although Falmouth Springs seem calm and peaceful, over 65 million gallons of water flow through this delightful spot daily, and in heavy rains, it can even form a small whirlpool!
The spring rises in a deep, dark pool, and flows downstream where it becomes shallower and more inviting, with a white sandy bottom and visible flow. Gentle rapids sweep the spring and run into a second large pool, where the ‘siphon’ sucks the water back underground.
The park itself has an atmospheric, almost eerie feel to it, shaded by grand oaks, cypress, and Florida palmettos. The springs are quite well hidden amongst the deserted forest, giving the spot an undiscovered, secret feeling which can be hard to find in North Florida. A series of boardwalks provide access to the spring itself, while hiking trails and picnic areas provide a wealth of other options for visitors.
Falmouth Springs is one of the more private, intimate, and peaceful natural springs in North Florida, with far less traffic than others in the area. It is far less developed than many other North Florida swimming holes, with no cement embankments and just simple amenities, but this quiet atmosphere is what gives it its unique charm.
Hours: Sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year
Location: Falmouth Springs, 18380 Us-90, Live Oak, FL 32060
Getting there: From Downtown Live Oak, take US90 west towards Madison/Tallahassee for approximately 10 miles. The entrance to Falmouth Springs is signposted on the left, just past 185th (Falmouth) Road.
Fees: Free to enter
Phone: Contact Suwannee River District Management – 386-362-1001
Described as the shortest river in the world, Falmouth Springs is a quiet, picturesque little swimming hole hidden away in a tiny park near Live Oak, Florida. Deceptively calm, the smooth, clear waters of this first-magnitude spring disappear underground, reappearing miles away to meet the Suwannee River.