Ginnie Springs




Ginnie Springs basin.

 

One of the most popular fresh water diving locations in Florida, Ginnie Springs allows for some excellent diving activities. Ginnie Springs as some of the most pleasant staff around and also offers a large campground and fully stocked dive shop with an air fill station and rental gear. There is a high spring discharge from several of the springs on the property with the most popular being the Ginnie and Devils springs. Admission to Ginnie Springs for cave divers is $20 per day while open water divers (minimum ageo 0f 12) usually pay $27. The non-diver price is $10. Canoe rentals, picnic shelters, and volleyball courts are also available. Ginnie has numerous tent and RV sites available at a price of generally $16 a night per person.

 

Use these directions if you are driving north on Interstate 75 from the Tampa Bay are, or from Florida's Turnpike, coming through Orlando. Take I-75 north through Ocala and Gainesville. Thirteen miles north of Gainesville, look for and take Exit 399 (the Alachua exit). From Exit 399, take US-441 north approximately five miles to the town of High Springs. At the first stop light in High Springs (at the Hardee's), turn left. Continue through the next stop light, at the center of town, and go approximately one-half mile further to the turn off for County Road 340/NE 182nd Avenue. (You will see a sign on top of a pole indicating that this is the turn off for Ginnie, Blue and Poe Springs.) Turn right on to County Road 340 and go approximate 6.5 miles, to the sign indicating the turn off to Ginnie Springs (NE 60th Ave.) Turn right at the sign (NE 60th Ave.) and go approximately one mile further to the Ginnie Springs entrance.

Ginnie Springs is open to divers of all certification levels so during the weekends students often complete their open water dives in the basin and spring runs. The main popular cavern, generally known as the Ballroom, is open to all fully certified divers, including open water. All divers are allowed to bring lights to help in their exploration of the cavern, but diving the cavern at night should be restricted to those certified as full cave divers. All access to the cave has been completely blocked for several decades. Previously several divers had perished in the cave (also called Jenny Springs before being turned into a commercial resort) due to it's extreme silty and low ceiling environment. I have a couple of rare maps of that old system in the links below. 

The Devil's spring run consists of a series of three springs that pump water into the Santa Fe River. Little Devils is a vertical fissure that leads to the no-mount cave entrance (must take off tanks and push them ahead in order to pass the restriction). Devil's Eye and Devil's Ear are two caverns that connect about 60 feet into the cave. All divers are welcome to dive any of the caverns, but lights if any kind are not allowed except by those certified as cavern or full cave divers. All divers in the group must be cavern or cave certified. Extreme Exposure (home of GUE) has also opened a shop in nearby downtown High Springs (across from Ace Hardware). Now trimix and nitrox are more readily available locally. Previously if you wanted nitrox you had to get O2 from Lacy's Manor (since long closed) or the Berman O2 shed and then get air topped at the Ginnie dive shop. Whenever you enter the park, you will get a car pass that records the number of people in the vehicle. You then take the pass inside an pay the entrance fee for each person (depending on on they are diving, cavers, or just bubble watchers). Once leaving the dive shop, you'll loop back around to the guard house and show them the park pass. Once you get in, you have access to any place in the park to explore. Ginnie Springs is a great place to bring the (non-diving) family while you get wet or practice skills. Any time I get a new piece of gear or change my equipment configuration, I will practice here since the conditions are always the same and you can have plenty of bottom time. They are open 365 days of the year and offer a free gear exchange event every spring and fall. This is a good place to get rid of any old junk and find some decent deals on used gear. Contact Ginnie Springs Outdoors LLC at 386-454-7188 or fax 386-454-2085.

 

 

Click here for a map of the Ginnie Cavern (Ballroom) (PDF)
Click here for a map of the old Jenny cave (PDF)
Click here for another view of old Jenny cave (PDF)
Click here for a map of the Devil's cave system
Click here for another Devil's cave system map
Click here for yet another Devil's cave system map (PDF)

Click here for an good quality map of the system

Click here for a cleaner version of the same map as listed above

Click here for the best map to date (in PDF format)*







* This map data was recorded primarily by Steve Berman with the assistance of several other divers. Steve passed away in May of 2001 (news story) while doing some survey work over 3500 feet back as part of this mapping project. You can purchase the map in printed format. A portion of the cost will be given to help support Steve's family.



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Last Updated: 09/30/2008

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