Visiting Florida’s Springs at Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Crystal clear and 72 degrees year round.  Those are Florida’s famous springs, conveniently located near Gainesville, where we were.  There are tons of springs to see, but we were going to the Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Fort White to see the Blue Hole, mostly.  We only saw one or two other people while we were in the park, but November isn’t the peak swimming month there, either.  But, if you want to avoid the crowds and visit when it isn’t 1000 degrees plus humidity, this is the time to go.

In the summer you can go tubing down the Ichetucknee River.  You can also go paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking on the river most of the year.  It’s also a great park for bird watching.  There are eight major springs feeding the Ichetucknee River, which eventually meets up with the Santa Fe River.

This is tons of wildlife along the Ichetucknee that you can spot on your canoeing trip including otters, alligators, beavers, raccoons, turtles, turkeys, wood ducks, limpkins, and egrets.  If you’re lucky, you may even get to see some manatees.

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Helpful things:

  • Park entrance is $5 I believe, definitely less than ten.
  • You can swim in the springs.
  • Snorkeling and diving are very popular in the springs since the water is so clear.  You can only dive in the Blue Hole and the Ichetucknee River.
  • Tubes and snorkels can be rented outside of the park.
  • Floating down the river in an innertube in the summer is a great option.  You can do this between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  • November is a great time to visit if you don’t want to swim.  It’s not busy at all.
  • If you are going in the summer, make sure you bring bug spray!
  • No matter when you go, wear sunscreen and drink lots of water, too.  Florida gets hot.

 

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