A swimming hole as a work of natural art, the deep gash in the earth that is Ichetucknee Spring glows as a ribbon of blue, cradled in a limestone bowl within a leafy glen. Four miles of trails ramble through the forests, leading past historic phosphate mines, weird rock formations, and fields of wildflowers that bloom in spring.
Location: Fort White
Fees: $4-6 per vehicle
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome, but not in the spring areas.
While there is no camping at this park, there are several nearby campgrounds:
O’Leno State Park
Ichetucknee Family Canoe & Cabins
Ichetucknee Springs Campground
River Run Campground
Ichetucknee Family Canoe & Cabins also offers tube rentals. They’re located right near the North entrance to the park.
North of Fort White, west of High Springs, east of Branford.
A National Natural Landmark, the Ichetucknee headspring is one of numerous springs that add to the flow of the Ichetucknee River, one of Florida’s top tubing runs. Cool water, deep shade: it’s the perfect combination for a summer’s day. Grab a tube from a local shop (you’ll see them lining the road) or bring your own.
The park has two entrances: North and South. North is where you’ll find the springs, the hiking trails, and the beginning of a 2.5 to 3 hour tubing or paddling run along the river, depending on the season. Tubing is only permitted from the beginning of the river between the weekend before Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The South entrance is all about tubing. During the summer tubing season, the park runs trams up to the Midpoint put-in, from which it’s a 45-minute float through the forest back to where you started. Show up on a weekday, as weekends – especially Saturdays – can be busy!
Certified cave divers can slip into Blue Hole, a spring flowing into the run, between October and March. It’s located down a half-mile boardwalk and nature trail, so be prepared to haul your gear or bring a cart.
Explore the park
- Florida’s waters- In Florida, water is an ever-present part of our lives. A visit to the Rainbow River yesterday brought back memories of the past and concerns for the future of Florida's waters.
- Springs of the Suwannee River Valley- It's August. It's Florida. Where do you go to cool off? The springs of the Suwannee River Valley. No matter the size, these natural swimming holes are a delight.
- Tubing the Ichetucknee- Tubing the Ichetucknee River means letting go and going with the flow, letting the waters carry you past beautiful springs and through ever-changing habitats. Here's how.