No other place in Florida is quite like Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Not only is its name a mouthful, but it is considered the best place to go tubing in Florida. Boasting six miles of cool, crystalline Ichetucknee River spring-fed waters, a float, paddle or swim through the park’s canopy of shaded hammocks is a gorgeous way to escape Florida’s summertime heat.
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Located in Fort White less than a one-hour drive from Gainesville, this North Florida natural gem was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1972. From the end of May until early September the park is filled with outdoor enthusiasts looking for a lazy day on an inner tube to soak in the park’s stunning natural landscapes.
Tubing is by far the biggest lure to Ichetucknee, while water loving families can also enjoy the plentiful opportunities to go swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking. Surrounded by lush live oak and cypress trees, you can escape the bustle of everyday life with landscapes peppered with rock formations, wetland plants, and diverse wildlife. Home to an impressive nine crystal clear springs, Ichetucknee Springs is filled with white-tailed deer, otters and great blue herons, and it’s easy to see why this area is popular with locals and visitors alike.
A popular spot for scuba divers, the Blue Hole Spring is a 500-foot-deep spring that is said to date back 10,000 years to prehistoric Native American hunters who frequented the area. One of the only places that cave diving is allowed in the Sunshine State, the bright blue waters of this natural wonder is the largest of the springs in Ichetucknee. A perfect spot for underwater enthusiasts, certified divers can explore its series of other-worldly, underwater passageways that are shaped like a cone.
Offering a great combination of natural resources, those who want to enjoy the verdant landscapes of Ichetucknee Springs from outside of the water will find plenty of outdoor adventures to choose from with hiking, wildlife viewing and picnicking also premier activities found throughout the park.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
- Address: 12087 SW US Highway 27, Fort White
- Phone: 386-497-4690