Experiences & Amenities
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and offers visitors ample opportunity to bird watch throughout the park. Bird enthusiasts might see a variety of water birds, American kestrel, Northern bobwhite, Eastern wild turkey, barred owl, red-headed woodpecker, Bachman’s sparrows and many more. Bring your binoculars and checklist on your next visit!
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land-use ethics should be followed.
There are three hiking trails located at the north entrance of the park. Trail maps are available at the Ranger Station or information booth.
- Blue Hole Trail: A half-mile walk through the Ichetucknee forest and cypress floodplain leads to Blue Hole Spring, the largest spring in the park. Blue Hole Trail closes one hour before sunset.
- Trestle Point Trail: This shaded path winds along the crystal-clear waters of the Ichetucknee River. The self-guided trail will take you back in time to the early 1900s, when phosphate ore was mined in the area. Walking time is approximately 30 minutes.
- Pine Ridge Trail: A frequently overlooked area of the park is the majestic sandhill with its towering longleaf pine and wide open vistas. View the natural diversity of this unique and vanishing ecosystem. The self-guided, two-mile loop trail will take approximately 75 minutes.
Canoeing and kayaking is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of the river. It also provides an opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife, including wading birds, manatees and river otters. See all of this while enjoying the views of moss-draped cypress, limestone banks, and some of the nine different springs that make up the Ichetucknee River. Paddling is accessible year-round from the north or south end.
- Canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards can be rented and transportation arrangements can be made through Paddling Adventures at the general store located in the south rntrance.
Scuba diving is allowed at Blue Hole Spring. Divers must be cavern or cave certified. Scuba diving is not permitted in the river or other springs. There is a half-mile trail to Blue Hole Spring; many divers bring a cart or wheelbarrow to transport gear. Dives must be finished one hour prior to sundown.
- Swimming/snorkeling is available every day of the year from 8 a.m. 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 only, due to the depth and strong current.
- Swim at your own risk; no lifeguard on duty.
Help us protect the Ichetucknee River. No food or drinks, pets, fishing, tobacco, alcohol or disposable items on the river. (All items may be inspected for compliance.) Tubes are available for rent within the park or can be rented from vendors outside of the park, or visitors can bring their own. Tubes must be smaller than 5-feet wide to float freely down the natural river.
- Begins the day after Labor Day until the Friday before Memorial Day; tubing is available only through the South Entrance off U.S. 27.
- The shallow and sensitive north section of the river is being given the opportunity to regrow and recover from the heavy traffic of the summer. To tube from Mid-point or Dampier's Landing, park in the South Entrance parking area.
- Mid-point Launch: Follow the Midpoint trail behind the Concession building (0.65 mile from the South Parking Lot) or Tram Road (0.75 mile) to the Midpoint dock. You can then float (45 to 60 minutes) to Dampier's Landing and walk (0.25 mile) back to your vehicle at the south parking lot, or continue floating for an additional hour to the last take-out. Please use the concession tram service or hiking trail (0.55 mile) to get to the south entrance parking lot. Tram service wristbands are $5.50 + tax per person.
- Dampier's Landing: Follow the trail behind the Concession building straight to the river (0.25 mile). You will float for 45 minutes to an hour to the last take-out. Please use the tram service or hiking trail (0.55 mile) to get to the south entrance parking lot. Tram service wristbands are $5.50 + tax per person.
- From the Saturday of Memorial Day to Labor Day, tubing is allowed from the North Canoe Launch. There is a daily limit of 750 tubers launching from the North Canoe Launch. Visitors bringing their own tubes or renting from an outside tube vendor must go through the north ranger station to launch from the north end. Visitors renting tubes within the park should go through the south ranger station and visit the general store for tube rentals and tram/shuttle services. If limit is not reached, the North Launch closes at 2 p.m.
- Visitors who would like to use the concession's shuttle and tram service during the summer season will need to buy wristbands for $5.50 plus tax per person for tram service and $7.50 plus tax per person for tram/shuttle combo wristbands at the concession building in the south parking lot. The wristband is good for all day on the trams to midpoint launch and from south take-out at the south end of the park. The combo wristband includes shuttle bus back to the north end from the south end for drivers dropping off their cars and going tubing.
- The park's concessionaire, Paddling Adventures, offers additional rentals and services. For pricing and more information, visit Paddling Adventures.
The crystal-clear Ichetucknee River and head spring is a spectacular location for weddings. People have gathered here throughout history! Picnic areas equipped with tables and grills are available throughout the park. Pavilions that accommodate up to 50 people are located at the south end of the park.
- Please call the administration office at 386-497-4690, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., for pricing and availability for your special day.
- Weddings at Ichetucknee
Canoe/kayak/SUP may launch from the north canoe launch or from Dampier’s Landing year-round.
The south takeout area is closed to vehicle traffic April 1 through September 30 annually. Access to the south takeout is available year-round by trail from the south main parking area or by scheduling transportation with Paddling Adventures. Please call 386-497-1113 for details and pricing.
Ichetucknee Springs has a full service concession stand at the south entrance.
Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and cannot be left unattended for more than a half-hour.
Dogs are permitted only on the Trestle Point and Pine Ridge Trails located at the north end. Dogs are not permitted on the trails to the springs or river, or in the springs or river.
- See our Pet Policy.
The Visitor Center is currently closed.
Visit our education and exhibit center and be treated to a one-of-a-kind experience. In this encounter, dedicated to the interpretation of urban growth, water usages, and their effects on our springs and river, you will follow the actions of cave divers as they explore and investigate activities taking place deep within our recharge basin. Through interactive and interpretive displays, you can "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.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park invites you to come learn more about the 85-year history of the Florida Park Service and 50-plus years of Ichetucknee history at a temporary exhibit at the education center. After a long day of tubing on the beautiful waters of the Ichetucknee River, come in for a break to see how our new display shows why and how the Florida Park Service has protected this gem and others for generations. See snapshots of the family-favorite head springs from the 1950s to current day as the unspoiled attraction that draws visitors from all over the globe to come swim, snorkel and relax.
Education center is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Education center tours upon request. Please email William.Register@FloridaDEP.gov to schedule a tour.