LOCATION: Approximately 8 miles south of St. James in Phelps County, Missouri. The spring issues from within Maramec Spring Park.
SIZE: Ranked the 5th largest spring in the state with an average discharge of 99 million gallons of water per day.
OWNERS: Privately owned by The James Foundation (http://maramecspringpark.com/) and access to diving is restricted by research permit only.
DIVING HISTORY: Maramec Spring is the location of the first official exploratory project of the Ozark Cave Diving Alliance. Pioneer cave divers Roger Miller and Frank Fogarty first began exploration at this site in 1978. The OCDA continued their work in late 1996 to cover several thousand feet of passage, while also providing quality video, photographs, surveys, and a map of the system for the park. To date the spring has been explored ~3000 ft in length and to a depth of 233 ft. Much of the information on this park, like the seven minute video entitled “The Hidden World Beneath Maramec Spring Park,” is on display inside the Maramec Spring Park Museum.
NOTES: Flow and visibility is extremely variable within Maramec Spring, and because of higher flow, the OCDA decided to incorporate the use of underwater scooters for future exploratory dives. Spring temperatures average in the low 50’s, which are perfect for the trout hatchery, but rather chilling for long dives. Most springs are on average ten degrees warmer. In addition, some species of crayfish were identified here in 1981 after an ammonia pipeline ruptured.