ABOUT SHANGRI LA SPRING
This pond has been around since 1866 when a dam was built – as two years went by the dam was sold and expanded to the size of the waterway you see today. You can access Merritt’s Mills pond by three different ways – seasonally through the Blue Springs Recreation park (N: 30.7903 W: -85.1409), a boat ramp located off of Hunter Fish Camp Road (N: N: 30.7795 W: -85.1681), or Arrow Head Campground at the south end of the pond, which is private and requires a fee through their accommodations (N: 30.7543 W: -85.1936). About 400 yards upstream you’ll find a hidden gem; a small cavern dive which is no less than 25 ft deep. The water clarity is profound and something that is encouraged to check out. Inside the cave area there is an old dock that was used and built around the spring. Merritt’s Mills pond is 202 acre source that is mostly fed by one spring called Blue Spring. On average, Blue Spring is flowing about 76 million gallons a day. This waterway is said to be the most sought out to explore by divers.
LOCATION: Off US 90 in Marianna by taking SR 71 north 1.1 miles to SR 164
HOURS: On May 29th, Blue Springs Recreation park will start it’s seven day per week schedule through August 8th. Starting August 14th, the park will be open on weekends only through Labor Day.
ENTRY FEE: $4 entrance fee (includes the cost to launch your own kayak or canoe)