Ichetucknee Springs Tubing - Things you need to know!
Updated: May 15, 2019
Ichetucknee Springs is a place for both adventure and relaxation. Located on the Ichetucknee River in northern Florida, it is closest to Gainesville Regional Airport (39 miles) and Jacksonville International Airport (89 miles). We did the Ichetucknee Springs Tubing activity on the lazy river flowing through the Ichetucknee North Entrance till the exit towards the south.
For Adventurous folks, they have lots of options to choose from viz. #canoeing, #kayaking, #snorkeling, #scuba diving, hiking, etc. I was more into relaxing mode that day and turned to tube activity where I hopped-on on the tube and the #river #current took me down the river flow.
Ichetucknee Springs Weather
The best time to visit Ichetucknee is through the summer season when you are allowed to start from the Ichetucknee north entrance all the way through and towards the takeout area which is the last exit point for the activity.
How Springs tubing works
There are 2 launch areas which one can start an activity from and reach the southern part where that particular activity ends,
Ichetucknee North Entrance: If you start from this area, you get to explore more till the last (southern end) for like 3-4 hours but the catch is you have to reach early to accommodate this much of a floating trail before sunset. The drill is to enter into north ranger station, bring down your own or rented gears and float along till the mid or south end. Take a shuttle back to the north station parking lot. Shuttle needs to be registered ($5) before the activity so that they give out wristbands to identify registered people.
Midpoint launch area: Enter from the south station, get your vehicle in the parking lot, take an established trail till the midpoint, get down your gears and float your way till the southern end for like an hour max and go back to your parking lot. OR Additionally, you have an option to float further down from the southern end for like 45 min till the last designated spot of the spring and trail back via a shuttle or walk, to the southern parking lot.
What I did at Ichetucknee springs tubing: I rented a tube for like 13$ from the local vendor and I took the midpoint trail. The reason for that was I reached a bit late to the venue so there was no time left for me to take the northern route, before sunset. As soon as I got down on the tube, I felt the cold water and the life beneath it. As it was raining, I could not take many shots but I dared to take my not-so-waterproof cell phone with me.
The tube also came with a paddle just in case you drift accidentally towards the trees visible along the river shore. The silence of the surroundings except the chirping and the sound of water was mesmerizing and breathtaking. There was a mist looming on the water surface and my voice echoed through the forest. The whole journey till the last take-out area was enchanting through the misty forest on a rainy day.
I reached the spot, took out my gear and head back to the south parking lot.
This is a must visit spot for nature lovers who have a knack for some adventures amidst the river currents.
Check out our other posts on nearby landmarks.