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Published on May 29th, 2018 | by The Local Staff

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Wiregrass area swimming holes to beat Alabama’s dog days of summer

By Sarah Lea Kirsch

           Gone is the era of our local swimming hole, Porter’s Fairyland. (Could someone please think about a revival? It would be seriously great.) Now, we survive on Dothan’s Most Exciting Beach (Water World), … but sometimes you still want to beat the crowds as well as the heat, take in some fresh air in a natural setting and recharge. We enjoyed a recent trip to Blue Springs in Clio, and after a full day of spring swimming, minnow catching (and eating, unfortunately…double dog dares are still alive and well people), paddle boating and full on mud baths in the creek bed, I feel it imperative to simply remind you guys how many amazing places there are close enough for a day trip.

Blue Springs, Clio, Alabama

Starting with the one that inspired the list. Blue Springs has two graduated spring pools surrounded by concrete walls, but they have natural sand bottoms. The springs flow over into a creek that runs into the woods…perfect for childhood explorations…and the creek has areas of clay bank. There is also a pavilion area, picnic tables and paddle boats you can rent. A small throwback arcade (nothing spectacular) and playground sit just up from the springs, and from what I was told, hiking trails should be opened now as well.

Blue Springs
2595 Al-10
Clio, Alabama
(334)397-4875

Cost: 0-3 free,  4-12 $1; 12-61 $4; 61 and up $1

Jackson Blue Springs Recreation Area – Marianna, Florida

Having two Blue Springs may be kind of confusing, but I would be amiss to leave it off the list. Several springs feed into this lovely swimming area, and the water in incredibly clear; you can see right into the mouth of one of the vents. Picnic tables, volleyball court, playground and paddleboats are available for you to enjoy, as well as kayak/canoeing equipment.

Jackson Blue Springs

5461 Blue Springs Hwy

Marianna, Florida

(850) 482-2114

Cost: $4.00 per person

Holmes Creek Water Park – Vernon, Florida

This livery has everything you could ask for in a water adventure: some of the most beautiful springs in Florida, and amenities to match. They have a slide and a rope swing…that’s all my kids needed to hear. They also do tours and rent a wide variety of kayaks, canoes, SUPs, etc. Prices are reasonable for rentals! Check out the website for full list of prices.

Holmes Creek Water Park

2899 Hwy 79

Vernon, Florida

(850)210-7001

www.facebook.com/holmescreekcanoeliverywaterpark/

www.holmescreekcanoe.com

Cost: Waterpark $5.00 per person

Econfina Creek – Youngstown, Florida

I am including an address in this one as well, but this entire area is riddled with beautiful springs connected by creek. Take your time and explore! You can swim, or rent a canoe or kayak from the local livery (number listed below) to take an expedition through the area and get shuttled back when you are done.

Econfina Creek

5641 Porter Pond Rd.

Youngstown, Florida

(850)722-9032

Falling Waters State Park – Chipley, Florida

You may think this is only a viewing area for the sinkhole waterfall. You would be wrong! We had fun here last year at the great little beach area they have along the boardwalk adjacent to the RV parking. You can take the short hike to see the falls and check out the old mining items that have been left behind, then walk back to the beach and swim. Bathrooms are close as well as a shower to rinse off.

Falling Waters State Park

1130 State Park Rd.

Chipley, Florida

Cost: $5 per vehicle

(850) 638-6130

Blue Hole – Florida Caverns State Park  -Marianna, Florida

A great little surprise after visiting the caverns (which also stay nice and cool in the summer heat).  The state park has a great trail system, camping and RV park. Right in the mix of it is this shocking blue water coming up from a hole in the ground. They have built a nice little bridge over the area, and a metal dock you can sit on and use the ladders to lower yourself in.

Florida Caverns State Park

3345 Caverns Rd.

Marianna, Florida

(850)482-1228

Cost: $5 per vehicle. Cavern tour $8 if you are so inclined – it is great. Ask for Taylor.

Chattahoochee State Park – Gordon, Alabama

Though not on the Chattahoochee River, this is great little state park where you can hike, swim and fish. The Civilian Conservation Corp. established this gem back in 1930. CCC also dug most of the areas cavern systems during the Depression as well (side note I learned from Taylor at Marianna Caverns). I have been told that in the last year there have been some improvements to the park, and it is up and coming as a place to visit.

Chattahoochee State Park

250 Chattahoochee State Park Rd.

Gordon, Alabama

(334)699-3607

www.facebook.com/chattpark

Cost: 12 and under $1; others $2


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