Ichetucknee Springs State Park is located around 40 miles northwest of Gainesville, Florida. The Ichetucknee River runs for six miles before it joins Santa Fe River and the main spring of the river is a National Natural Landmark.
There are many different things for you to do in the park. Swim, picnic, tube, canoe, kayak or hike the trails.
About Ichetucknee Springs in Florida
There are two entrances at Ichetucknee Springs, the south and the north. Two of the most beautiful spots to hang out are located closer to the north. These are the main headspring and the Blue Hole.
The main headspring of Ichetucknee is located just at the north parking lot. And to get to the Blue Hole you need to walk roughly half a mile from the parking lot at the main spring to reach it.
There are launching points for tubing Ichetucknee both at the south entrance and at the north entrance. However, tubing from the north is only allowed during the summer period.
Things to do in Ichetucknee Springs State Park
The head spring is open year round for swimming. Tubing is also a very popular thing to do in the park. So are canoeing and kayaking.
But Ichetucknee Springs is not only about water activities. There are also great trails to hike. Along the trails you find raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks, white-tailed deer and more.
And there are picnic tables available in the park, so bring some food and make yourself comfortable.
Tubing the river in Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Ichetucknee Springs State Park has various launch and take out points throughout the park. As the river flows from north to south, the further north you start, the longer your Ichetucknee Springs tubing ride will be.
During the summer you can launch and tube from the northern part of the park. Other times of the year you have to pick from the launch spots more adjacent to the south entrance.
There are various tubing routes available depending on when you go and what you want. Check the Ichetucknee Springs map below to see the different launch options.
Three of the most popular tubing routes are from North Launch all the way south, Midpoint Launch all the way south and Dampier’s Landing all the way south.
North Launch all the way south
North to all the way south lets you experience most of what Ichetucknee Springs State Park has to offer. The floating to the south entrance is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) and should take 3.5 hours. Note that you can only launch from the north end during the summer periods.
Midpoint Launch all the way south
Compared to the full stretch, Ichetucknee springs tubing from Midpoint also gives you a good but a little bit shorter ride. However, it’s open year round, unlike the northern launch spot. And you can get here with tram from the south parking lot. Beacause of that, the Midpoint Launch of Ichetucknee River is a very popular option.
Dampier’s Landing all the way south
As the Ichetucknee map cleary shows, this is the shortest tubing ride of them all. But it’s still a fun ride, from Dampier’s Landing to the south take out point. It gives you a good taste of tubing on the Ichetucknee River. As it belongs to the southern part of the river it’s also open for tubing year round.
A relaxing day in the cool Ichetucknee Springs
After tubing the Ichetucknee River it’s a great idea to take the car up to the north entrance and go swimming in the head spring. The water is pretty cool, but that’s much appreciated in the hot and humid Florida air.
Also, there are trees everywhere at the head spring, which makes it easy to find shade if you want to avoid the direct sunlight. And the head spring area has picnic tables if all the tubing and swimming makes you hungry.
Other fun Florida things to do
To swim in the cool springs of Ichetucknee is a must thing to do when you visit Florida. Read more to see an entire list with more fun Florida things to see and do.
Ichetucknee Springs FAQ
Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about Ichetucknee.
What city is Ichetucknee Springs in?
Ichetucknee Springs is situated 4 miles (6 km) northwest of Fort White which is the city closest to the park.
Are there alligators?
It’s a bit hard not to think about alligators when you go for a swim in a spring in Florida. It’s common knowledge that many alligators call Florida their home.
The truth is that all Florida waters potentially can harbor alligators, but the chance of you seeing one in Ichetucknee River is very small. They tend to be wary of people and keep distance. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation advises paying attention to your surroundings, sticking to designated swimming areas, and avoiding swimming at night.
How long time does it take to float down the Ichetucknee?
It takes about 3.5 hours to flot from North Launch all the way south. From Midpoint Launch it takes 1 hour and 45 minutes. If you just want to try tubing you can enter at Dampier’s Landing and float for 45 minutes to South Takeout.
You find more information about Ichetucknee Springs on the official site for Ichetucknee Springs State Park.