My feet are dangling in the fresh, cool, clear water as the warm Florida sun radiates to the sandy bottom below. I’m well into my Zen-like fog when I begin observing the abundance of beauty around me. Slowly floating through the shaded hammocks and wetlands, I spot egrets, wood storks and ducks, limpkins, ibis and scads of turtles sunning on submerged logs. Located in Fort White, northwest of Gainesville, the Ichetucknee Springs (9 total) and River has been a destination for campers, college students and Floridians seeking the delightful experience of floating down the six-mile river before it empties into the Santa Fe. Thousands of years ago, early Native Americans used the river and later, the Spanish built the Mission de San Martin de Timucua, which flourished during the 1600s, just one mile from the head spring. The State of Florida wisely secured over 2,200 acres to develop this popular park and designated it as a National Natural Landmark. To thoroughly enjoy the Ichetucknee, here are a few suggestions to maximize your experience: Go early, and if possible, go on a weekday. After you find a place to stay, decide where you will rent your tube (unless you bring your own). If you want the full Ichetucknee experience, begin your journey at the north entrance located at the Ichetucknee State Park (there are other points of entry to begin, but I recommend starting here).
Once you have left your tube, drive out of the state park (get a map from park ranger) to the south entrance, off Hwy.

Now, ask yourself: how often do you totally unplug and spend time meandering down one of Florida’s best rivers surrounded by stunning wildlife? To receive Authentic Florida's free ENEWs, featuring travel and living updates, delivered weekly, sign up on the home page Authentic Florida, voted 2015 Blog of the Year and 2015 Best Travel Blog at the Orlando Sunshine Awards.
About the Author: Robin Draper is a Florida native and blogger devoted to the simple and delightful pleasures for Florida living. Hi all, I recommend you call the State Park with questions about swim issues and current admission.
I did not see any alligators in Ichetucknee but would imagine they have been seen from time to time. Hi Kathy, you can bring water I am sure, but they just discourage containers that can be thrown in the water.
Shaded by overhanging trees and green luscious foliage, the Ichetucknee’s popular reputation is undeniable and I am reminded why so many love this river. I watch the beauty of this river as I pass by the marsh river grasses and white lillies, while otters swim beneath me. Later, during the 1800’s, weary travelers stopped to relax in the cool water while quenching their thirst.
From late Memorial Day until Labor Day, the Ichetucknee Springs State Park resembles a bustling summer camp.

There are numerous outfitters outside the state park off SR 238 or 47 and reservations are not required.
As the summer temperatures rise, the constant 72 degree water becomes one of the best antidotes for escaping Florida's heat and humidity.
Sometimes the river will be closed if the water is too low (at the start of the season) or too high (especially after a major storm). At the conclusion of the trip you will reach the final point, where you cannot continue any further. You can take thermos type bottles with you as long as you are careful to keep them with you. The water is cold (I think they said 72 degrees) so cold blooded reptiles aren't to fond of it.

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Comments to «Drifting downstream guided relaxation for stress reduction»

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