The Great Florida Outdoors Scott Springs Park and Karst Formation


Photo caption: Scott Springs, the secret Grotto

Dr. Norman with a beautiful piece of karst.

During the last day of shooting for a new part of our film Reading the Florida Landscape (based on my book of the same name), we went to Scott Springs Park in Ocala. We needed karst and sinkhole shots, and my friend Guy Marwick suggested the location. As usual, he was right on.

My daughter Fionna and her boyfriend Chris were along for the ride during a busy and productive weekend of filming, which included a boat trip on the Ocklawaha River, an exploration of Rodman Dam with Captain Erika and Margaret Spontak, a wonderful kayak trip on the Silver River, and hiking at The Silver Springs Conservation Area.

To understand the formation and dynamics of Florida’s freshwater ecosystems, we need a foundational understanding of Florida, in a literal sense. The majority of the lakes, rivers, and wetlands are created by seepage into depressions in the limestone bedrock, or “karst.”

Florida’s bedrock of limestone was created by skeletons of billions of marine invertebrates deposited when shallow seas covered much of the state. Limestone is slowly dissolved by slightly acidic surface water over time which is why springs, solution holes, sinkholes, caves, and underground rivers are prevalent in Florida. You can see this phenomenon written on the craggy landscape from tip to tail. We call this “karst topography.”

The Kerns Father-son film makers extraordinaire.

How do you get to see a great park like this?

Get out and enjoy The Great Florida Outdoors!

Scott Springs Park is a city park located at 2825 SW 24th Avenue, Ocala, Florida 34474. Scott Springs offers a bike trail, health trail, boardwalk to the grotto, and playground. The 21.68 acre park has grills, picnic shelter/tables, and rest rooms.


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