ICHETUCKNEE SPRINGS STATE PARK
The crystalline Ichetucknee River flows six miles through shaded hammocks and wetlands before it joins the Santa Fe River. In 1972, the head spring of the river was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior. From the end of May until early September, tubing down the river is the premier activity in the area. In addition to tubing, visitors can enjoy picnicking, snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing. White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks and great blue herons can be seen from the river. Picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills, are available throughout the park. A full-service concession offers food, refreshments, and outdoor products from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Tubes plus snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented from private vendors outside the park. Located four miles northwest of Fort White, off State Roads 47 and 238.
Humans have lived and toiled near these beautiful springs for over 10,000 years. The Ichetucknee River and the surrounding forest have been home to many. Prehistoric creatures once roamed its banks. Native Americans hunted and fished here. A Spanish mission was built next to one of the many springs. In the 1800?s, a grist mill was in operation here. Travelers on the Bellamy Road often stopped at the main boil to quench their thirst. Early in the 20th century, phosphate was extracted from small surface mines which are still visible, although now heavily wooded. At the same time the turpentine and timber industries also flourished. From the prehistoric to the pioneer, Ichetucknee?s history is as deep and varied as the springs themselves.
Visit our Education and Exhibit Center and be treated to a one of a kind experience. Dedicated to the interpretation of urban growth, water usages, and their affects on our springs and river, you will join cave divers as they explore and investigate activities taking place deep within our recharge basin. Through interactive and interpretive displays, "go with the flow" as you trace this precious resource from source to boiling spring. Complete the journey sharing in the mystery as you enjoy a movie in our state of the art theater.
A full service concession stand is located at the SOUTH Entrance. It is open every day during the summer season, and may be operational during the off-season depending on park visitation. The concessionaire carries a wide assortment of food, refreshments, and personal items.
The concessionaire does NOT rent tubes, canoes, masks, or snorkels, but there are several vendors outside the park which provide these and other services.
Swimming/snorkeling is available every day of the year from 8 am until sundown at the North Entrance. Here, you may swim at either Ichetucknee Spring (head spring) or Blue Hole Spring.
Ichetucknee Spring provides for excellent swimming; however, Blue Hole Spring should be used by experienced swimmers due to depth and strong current.
SCUBA diving is allowed at Blue Hole Spring from October through March.
Divers must be cave certified.
SCUBA diving is not permitted in the river or other springs.
There is a 1/2 mile trail to Blue Hole Spring; many divers bring a cart or wheelbarrow to transport gear.
Dives cannot extend past 5:00 p.m.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Canoeing is available year-round at both the NORTH and SOUTH Entrances, and is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of the river.
During the summer-season, there is an in-park shuttle service available.
During the off-season, you must arrange your own transportation service either with a local canoe outfitter, or private vehicles.
Canoe rentals are available from local vendors outside the park.
The one-way canoe trip from the NORTH Entrance (UPPER LAUNCH) to the LAST TAKE-OUT POINT is about 2 hours (see park map).
Canoeing is recommended during the weekdays during the summer-season due to the high volume of tuber traffic.
Canoes must yield right-of-way to tubers.
Canoeing Fee: $5.00 per person year round.