The great natural spring hunt

What we now call Lawson Hill Farm was once part of a much larger farm that included a natural spring. When the farm was broken up into smaller parcels, the section with the spring was sold in the 1970s and we no longer had access. Even before the land was sold, we had been searching for more springs. Although we had found some suspect sites, we never found anything promising until the summer of 2020.

It started with the Grandview spring…

Grandview Hiking Trails sign

In 2019, Barry was using (with permission of the Lot Owners Association) the Grandview Lake hiking trail to train for his fall Appalachian Trail (AT) trip. The trail, which crosses our driveway and has an entry point marked as Lawson’s Farm, is hilly enough to provide a good workout. One morning, when headed east and just after crossing our drive, Barry spotted running water under a small foot bridge. Although he had crossed the bridge dozens of times over the years, he never noticed the water.

Looking north (toward our house) he could see the spring; a seep spring on the bank of a dry creek bed that has it start at our driveway. The spring is probably a hundred feet from Grandview Drive. Although it has never been “developed” it has a good flow.

Suddenly, after 50 years of looking, here is an active spring. Had it been there all those years and we just missed it because it was on Grandview property? Possibly, but we are skeptical that it wouldn’t have been found by Paula’s dad. In any case, it is here now and gives us hope of finding another, this time on our land.

Finding water in a drought

The summer of 2020 included a drought that lasted from mid-August to mid-October. While hard on the lawn and garden, it made searching for a spring easier. Barry had searched the area east of the house during the winter and spring, and had noted a couple of potential spots, but no real evidence of a spring.

Then in mid-September, while doing trail maintenance, Barry spotted some areas of deep green vegetation in a ravine and took a look. What he discovered is explained in the following video.

The search area

Map of search area

The Google Maps terrain view shows the approximate location of both the Grandview seep spring and our hunt area. There are a couple of interesting features shown on the map. There is our driveway listed as “W Locust LN”. But of more interest here is the appearance of blue “water” lines in both the Grandview spring and our hunt area. We need to research the origins of the map marking, but it would appear that there were clues available to us all along.

During the coming months we plan to dig around one or more of the spots we have found. Stay tuned for updates.