Sulphur Springs USA

Discover the captivating Sulphur Spring, nestled within a charming city park in the heart of Tampa, Florida. This remarkable geological wonder has undergone transformation over time, but it still retains its allure. We draw insights from Florida Geological Survey Bulletin 66 to shed light on this natural gem.

  • Region: Florida
  • Coordinates: 28.021037, -82.45173
  • Depth: 120 ft
  • Remarks: SWFWMD Owned – Permit Required
  • Type: Cave

To reach Sulphur Spring, navigate to the City of Tampa and take the Sligh Avenue exit from I-275. A short 0.12-mile drive east on Sligh Avenue will bring you to US 41 (Nebraska Avenue). Here, turn north (left) onto US 41 and journey 0.8 miles until you reach Bird Street. Make a left turn onto Bird Street, heading west, and continue for 0.1 miles until you reach the Sulphur Springs parking lot entrance on the south side of Bird Street.

Description of Sulphur Spring

Sulphur Spring, once a pristine natural formation, now stands as a circular pool ensconced by concrete walls. Its diameter spans an impressive 90 feet, and the pool maintains a uniform depth of approximately 15 feet, with a base composed of limestone and sand. Notably, records from Rosenau et al. (1977) suggest a maximum depth of 30 feet. The water exhibits a slightly cloudy, greenish hue due to abundant algae presence. The spring’s outflow veers southeast, cascading over a 7-foot-high weir. The cascade continues for around 50 feet before the spring run extends approximately 600 feet to meet the Hillsborough River. As you journey along the spring run, you’ll notice a sandy bed interspersed with algae. An unmistakable hydrogen sulfide odor accompanies the spring, enhancing its distinctive character.

Facilities and Divers’ Exploration

On the western side of the pool, a City of Tampa water pumping facility stands, distinguished by a robust metal pipe discharging water with force into the spring. This facility serves a dual purpose—extracting a portion of the spring’s flow for municipal usage and redirecting another portion through the pipe into the pool. While swimming isn’t permitted in the spring itself, the surrounding area has been thoughtfully developed into a recreational haven, complete with a sizable swimming pool just a stone’s throw from the spring pool. It’s noteworthy that intrepid divers have ventured into the springs cave system, exploring its depths as it stretches northward under the city. The divers have even established connections between the cave system and neighboring sinkholes.

Utilization and Recreation

While the spring pool is enclosed within protective fencing, a portion of its water is harnessed for municipal needs. The vicinity around Sulphur Spring has undergone transformation into an inviting urban recreation zone. Though swimming isn’t sanctioned within the spring or its run, the area offers an array of recreational opportunities for visitors to relish.

Sulphur Spring stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of urban development and natural wonders. From its altered form to its connection with the cave system and recreation possibilities, it continues to be a unique and cherished destination in Tampa, Florida.

Sulphur Springs map


What is the length of the spring run to the Hillsborough River?

The spring run extends approximately 600 feet to the Hillsborough River.

Are divers allowed to explore the cave system?

Yes, divers have explored the cave system, connecting it to nearby sinkholes.

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