Florida buys Hardee Spring on the Withlacoochee River

Florida bought second magnitude Hardee Spring, with its karst window and 1.6 miles of Withlacoochee River frontage!

Map: River Error Farms Inc., Hardee Spring, Hamilton County, FL

The new Florida state administration has done some surprising things, such as revoking dozens of appointments by the previous governor, but this one is really surprising. I’m pretty sure I’ve recommended this purchase to the Suwannee River Water Management (SRWMD) Board. SRWMD had written up a property assessment on it years ago, but I thought the asking price of $8.5 million for River Error Farm was prohibitive. Apparently the state got Hardee Spring for less than a quarter of that price.

DeSantis, Florida Cabinet approve $2.54 million in Florida Forever land acquisition, Samantha J. Gross, Tampa Bay Times, 26 February 2019,

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet Tuesday voted to spend $2.54 million to buy land in Hamilton and Lake counties as part of the Florida Forever conservation program, the state’s leading conservation and recreation lands acquisition program.

Of that, $540,000 was for parcels in Lake County, leaving $2 million for Hardee Spring.

In Hamilton County, the 316 acres “Hardee Spring property” include parcels along the Withlacoochee River. The $2 million property is near the Twin Rivers State Forest.

Two WWALS outings have paddled to Hardee Spring, June 24, 2017 and October 24, 2015.

Looking out from Hardee Spring 30.5446434, -83.2505264

This summer, Paddle Georgia will paddle by Hardee Spring, on June 18, 2019. Hardee Spring is on the WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail, in addition to the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. It is about half way between Sullivan Launch and Madison Blue Spring.

Video posted by Vivian Searcy, 7 June 2016, Hardee Springs and Plantation, with titles over aerial drone and underwater footage:
Spring and Cavern located in Hamilton County, FL
Connected to 1st Magnitude, Madison Blue Springs
Hardee Springs and Plantation, Extensive underwater cavern system, accessible for cave divers allowing rare access to the Floridian system’s spring water without contamination. Access allows for exploration to understand complexity of spring water and groundwater flow, fossils, hydrology and geology. 17.5 million gallons of spring water discharged per day into a spring run. Access to the Withlacoochee River for fishing, canoeing, and swimming. It has 305 acres. 8,000 feet of river frontage on the Withlacoochee River. Located in Hamilton County, Florida, on the west side of the Withlacoochee River. Ideal for retreats, ecological adulation/training opportunities recreational usage. Spring connected to Blue Springs, a first magnitude spring in Madison, Florida. Log cabin with the main structure built in 1940 has additions and updates. Visit Personal Web Site at www.hardeesprings.com [That domain no longer has a website, unfortunately. -jsq]

I have to agree with newly-reappointed FDEP Secretary Noah Valenstein:

Both of the projects approved Tuesday show “increasing value of our current green infrastructure,” Department of Environmental Protection Noah Valenstein told the cabinet.

Thank you, Secretary Noah Valenstein, Governor Governor Ron DeSantis, and the Florida Cabinet!

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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