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Telford Spring System

Telford Entrances

THe Telford Spring system is unique among north-central Florida cave diving sites in that, although it is a single cave system, it has three separate entrances within close proximity to one another.

  • The system starts at the Telford Spring basin, located on the very edge of the Suwannee River, just a short distance downstream from the SR51 bridge.
  • Two hundred seventy five feet upstream, the cave passes underneath Telford Sink, a largely in-line sinkhole. (Entry and exit here is almost impossible.)
  • Four hundred fifty feet upstream, the cave passes the very edge of Terrapin Sink, an offset sinkhole whose steep, slippery banks make entering and exiting here difficult and potentially hazardous. Nevertheless, some cave divers choose to enter at this point to gain an additional 450 feet of penetration.

A gold line runs several thousand feet back into the system before changing to white. There are gaps at Telford and Terrapin Sinks.

The system is relatively shallow, hitting a maximum depth of 70 feet. The last several hundred feet downstream are increasingly shallow, culminating at the 15-foot-deep Telford Spring entrance. These factors combine to virtually eliminate and need for decompression.

Passageway

The cave layout is one primary conduit, with only a few offshooting passageways. Cave configuration changes dramatically every few hundred feet, ranging from largely square phreatic passageways to low, wide bedding planes and tall vertical fractures. The Telford Spring entrance is unique in that is actually located immediately underneath a small natural bridge.

Visibility seldom eclipses 40 to 50 feet. The cave’s close proximity to the Suwannee River means this system will be among the first to flood and first to clear.

Michael Poucher has created a detailed map of the first several thousand feet of this system. Inquire about it a Cave Excursions or Dive Outpost.

Cave access is through private land with a long-standing public right of easement. People come from throughout the region to enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities — including a few unsavory characters. Make certain your vehicle is locked and keep valuables out of sight. If possible, dive at a time when there are several others present, to discourage scumbags from pilfering a lone, unattended vehicle.

Peacock/Orange Grove System »

 

 

 

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Cave Map PDF

A detailed road map showing how to get all of north-central Florida’s most popular cave diving sites is available for download in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). 2 pages; 1,002K


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