Jug Spring or, as it is more commonly known, Jug Hole, is the smallest cave on this list. It is also somewhat harder to get to, requiring a 0.65 km/0.4 mi walk in with gear. Additionally, anything but the cavern area requires sidemount.
It’s worth the effort though. It’s a beautiful cave with many unique formations. If you can get your hands on some smaller sidemount cylinders, you will enjoy it that much more.
Getting there/checking in
You access Jug Hole through the north entrance to Ichetucknee Springs State Park. As with Manatee Spring, there is no self-service kiosk at the entrance. You check in with park service personnel in person.
Be aware that the rangers who man the entrance aren’t generally use to checking in divers, and have known to be misinformed about park policies. Don’t be afraid to ask them to call park headquarters for clarification if they tell you something you know is not true.
Due to its small size, access to the cave is limited to one team at a time. Most of the time, the person checking you in will understand that, if the previous team has already been in a couple of hours, there is no problem with letting you get started.
After checking in and parking, you will need to walk the 0.65 km/0.4 mi to the water. It’s unlikely you will want to suit up in the parking area and walk this distance wearing gear.
The park generally has a rolling cart you can borrow for gear transport. It’s secured with a padlock; you can get the combination for the rangers or Wayne at Amigos. Many divers simply bring their own cart.
The trail to the spring consists of a boardwalk and a dirt path. The dirt portion is uneven and has many roots. Watch your step.
There is an ample deck and stairs at the spring. The stairs, however, are short and steep, and end abruptly. You may want to don sidemount cylinders before negotiating the stairs.
Diving Jug Hole
The cave entrance is a vertical shaft that widens as you approach bottom at 10 m/30 ft. On one side is a shallow ledge area. The other sides is the entrance to the cave itself.
Depending on conditions, flow from the cave entrance can be almost fire-hydrant-like. You may need to hug the left wall and pull yourself in.
Just inside the entrance is a second cavern area. Cavern divers can actually access this with backmounted singles. There is a steep, chimney-like formation in the roof of the cavern.
Past the warning sign, cave divers will encounter the Bedding Plane Restriction. It’s wide, but barely taller than a diver in sidemount. The restriction is roughly 24 m/80 ft long.
Past the Bedding Plane Restriction, you come to The Gray Room. Following the line around to the left, you reach the Diamond Sands Restriction. This can be tricky to negotiate, even in sidemount. The stronger the current, the harder it is to get through.
Past the Diamond Sands, you enter the Base Level Passage. This is the deepest part of the cave. At the end of this is the shallower Loft Room, where the cave ends at around 240 m/800 ft from the entrance.
Just before the Loft Room is an in-feeder tunnel on the right. There is a line there, but it is extremely advanced. Not a place for newly certified cave divers.
Jug Hole is less than 25 minutes from Little River to the west and Ginnie Springs to the south. Amigos Dive Center is less than five minutes to the east. It provides a convenient place to fill up before your next dive.
If you need to eat, there is a Subway and a few mom-and-pop restaurants in nearby Fort White. Heading to Little River? There is a Subway, McDonalds, Hardees and a few mom-and-pop places in Branford.