Jackson Blue Springs is about 5 miles east of the city limits of Marianna in the northeast end of Merritts Mill Pond. From Marianna, drive 1 mile east on U.S. Hwy 90, 1.1 miles north on State Hwy 71, and 3.3 miles east on State Hwy 164. The spring is centered on the recreational park.
Numerous springs feed Merritts Mill Pond. The main spring is at the head of the pond, a second is about 300 ft downstream, and a third about 1,000 ft downstream. Numerous small springs and sinks are reported to border the four mile long southwest trending pond that discharges through the base of the dam at U.S. Hwy 90. The springs are tributary to the Chipola River in an area of clay hills, farms, and woodlands, with limestone at or near the surface. The main spring vent is near a concrete diving platform at the head of the pool. Water depths are 15 to 20 ft below the diving board. Jackson Blue is closed during the summer months to allow recreational swimmers access to the water. One must have full cave certification before diving this site. The magnesium gives the entrance an incredible blue color. WKPP team members Scott Hunsucker and Heather Choat have fought hard to keep access open for cave divers as the site has been opened and closed many times. Currently is costs $25 to get in for a single day or you can purchase an annual pass for $150. It is open for cavern and cave divers (must get key from sheriff's office) only until Memorial day at which time it will close to divers during park hours. Call ahead and check to see if diving can be conducted after the park closes for the day. Check in and pay at the Jackson County Sheriff's office just west of downtown Marianna. Jackson County government continues to make it harder for cave divers to access the site. Parking is no longer permitted near the bath house and all cave divers must park on top of the hill above the spring. The Jackson County Commissioners proposed in May of 2001 to increase the prices to $30 per day and $300 for a year pass. This increase only affects cave divers and is being used to fund improvements (that will undoubtedly not help the diver in any way), though as of yet pricing has not changed. Contact the board and let them know of your opinion and include information such as how often you dive in Jackson County and how much you usually spend on each trip.
If anyone has a good map or surface picture, please pass it along.
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