“Remarkably clear spring-fed river”
The crystalline Ichetucknee River flows six miles through shaded hammocks and wetlands before it joins the Santa Fe River. During the summer, one of the most popular park activities is floating down the Ichetucknee River in an innertube. From the end of May until early September, "tubing" down the river is the premier activity in the park. As the water in this spring-fed river is remarkably clear, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving are extremely popular. The river's year-round temperature is 72 °F (22 °C) and therefore makes for a refreshingly cool escape from the hot afternoon temperatures in the region. Tubes and rafts, as well as snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented from private vendors outside the park. In addition to tubing, visitors can enjoy picnicking, snorkeling, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
I've been here probably a dozen times and it's AMAZING! Two of the times I have gone (including this past time in July of 2013) I have had manatees swim right under me while tubing! The first time one of them even touched me! It was definitely a great experience!! Everything is super beautiful. This last time, my husband and I camped at a nearby campground (there is no camping in the park) and made a 4 day trip out of it. Even if you tube more than once, you never see the same thing twice because there is so much wildlife! Advice... go to the Blue Hole and Headspring in the morning while everyone is still out tubing. The fish start to hide when it gets crowded!
I grew up going to florida's springs and finally took my native Tennessee husband to florida for a week and we stopped here. I'm glad we did. It cost us about seven dollars to enter the park. WE walked and took a look at the area to put in your tubes, it looked divine but we didnt have tubes with us.So we drove to the other entrance and walked about fifteen minutes to check out the blue hole but my husband didn't want to swim there. We then walked backed to the headspring. He fell in love he has never seen a spring that was anywhere near large enough to swim in. We took a refreshing swim before we got back on the road.
I've been here 3 or 4 times over the last 5 years. It is beautiful and really fun for kids (10 and up). The tubing is super fun and the place is not expensive so that is definitely a bonus! Watch for snakes though.
Such a wonderful place! If you go in the winter there is a lot more wildlife that you can get up close and personal with.
Great place for tubing surrounded by a gorgeous natural environment!
Although it was sunny, trees create a chilly environment, so be prepared with some warmer clothes.
Beautiful park to walk around, the fee is affordable, $5.00 pp and as far as food is concerned, bring some lunch with you and enjoy it at the picnic benches provided close to the car park.
Great family escape!
Clear blue and COLD (72 degrees) water. Bring a float and a beverage and off you go. Family friendly.
Went here many times ,beautiful but chilly !
Visit the Blue Hole. It's insanely-beautiful! Oh and bring a waterproof camera!
I've done this many times & it's a terrific & inexpensive way to spend an afternoon. There are not alligators in this river; we have seen otters though.
While on our summer road trip my family and I decided to tube the "Itchy". We took the tram instead of walking and were very pleased at how beautiful and clear the river was the entire trip. It was summer and there where plenty of people but not so many that it felt crowded. Just plan an early trip. After the tubing, we drove to the head of the spring (I believe its called the "Blue Hole") and explored that. To get to the head there is a short 5-7 min walk on a board walk to get to it. Be sure to bring goggles or a mask to clearly see the bottom. It was under construction for renovations but still open and a must see. If you are in the area, I highly recommend taking the time. Especially on a hot summer Florida day.
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Ichetucknee Springs State Park - South Gate
- Thu: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
- Wed, Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Mon, Sat: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sun: 6:00 am - 6:00 pm
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