Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park, Live Oak FL
LOCATION: 18532 180th Street Live Oak, FL 32060 Park: (386) 776-2194 LENGTH: 1 mile interpretive trail TYPE: Loop RANKING: Easy ACCESS: 8 am - sundown Dives may not extend past 5 pm USAGE: Moderate FEES: $4.00 Per Car MAPS: Picture at kiosk SURFACE: Compact soil with some tree roots FEATURES: Scuba Diving: Yes–open-water, cavern, or cave diving with appropriate certification PET FRIENDLY: Yes
In 1875, Dr. John Calvin Peacock purchased the land on which the springs are located and by the late 19 century, the springs provided an important source of water and recreation to the town of Luraville. The Nature Conservancy purchased the land to protect the stand of Florida maple found on the land. Later Peacock Springs State Park was acquired by the state of Florida and opened to the public in 1993.
Peacock Springs State Park was recently renamed to honor the late world-class explorer, diver, cinematographer and photographer Wes Skiles. The springs is an international destination for recreational cave divers to explore 33,000 feet of surveyed underwater passages. Divers must have proof of their scuba certification.
The park has two major springs, a spring run and six sinkholes. Its geologic growth hasn't stopped since the land was pushed up to rest on a limestone platform approximately 1,000 years ago. Research has documented the platform has increased 30 per cent since 1957. All three springs can flow backwards when the Suwanee River floods.
The interpretive nature trail traces the twisting tunnels of the caves below. The interpretive displays contain photographs and maps displaying what lies directly below your feet.
We visited the park in April 2017 and was lucky enough to see scuba diving instructor, Paul Heinreth giving instructions. It was amazing to watch the divers prepare and the skill it takes to explore underwater. When they went under we started the interpretive trail and returned to see them come out of the water.
Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park is located 16 miles southwest of Live Oak on State Road 51, two miles east of Luraville on Peacock Springs Road.
From Live Oak, take SR 51 South approximately 17 miles to Luraville. Turn left on 180th Street, go approximately 2 miles. Park entrance is on the right.
From Mayo, take SR 51 North approximately 7 miles to Luraville. Turn right on 180th Street and go approximately 2 miles. Park entrance is on the right.