We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Great Day of Tubing, Swimming and Fun”

Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“A Great Day of Tubing, Swimming and Fun”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Family and friends (9 of us in all) went tubing/snorkeing/swimming in the Ichetucknee Springs on Saturday, July 6.

The Ichetucknee is a constant 72 degrees, which makes for a "brisk" entry, However, one quickly adapts to the cool water, and it makes for a comfortable day of fun. On this particular trip, we arrived just after the max number of tubers had been accomodated at the north entry point, so we had to use the mid entry point. This meant that we had a 90 minute tube/swim until we reached the exit point. From the south exit point, there are trams that return you to the mid point -- where your car will be parked! This makes for a very convenient mid-day picnic point. We enjoyed a lunch break and then returned to the water for a second float.

Afterwards, we drove to the northern insert point, to enjoy swimming in the two spring-fed pools. It is an event not to be missed.

There are several tube-renting options available at the entry to the park. The prices are reasonble, and so we choose NOT to bring out own tubes. It makes for a better driving expereince, and we can just leave the rental tubes at the exit point of the river.

This is an EXCELLENT full day adventure for families. Snorke.l and mask are not a must, but are highly reccomended, as they give the opportunity to see the fish and underwater life along the way.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank rjgosselin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

485 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    373
    91
    15
    3
    3
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Decatur, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
“Great serene family outing”
Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

Tubed the river on a Friday of July 4th weekend. Overall this is a great time for the family. A couple of things I wish someone would have put in one place before I planned this trip:
- Here's how I would do it. If you don't own tubes (we had 2 already and a pump) and bought two more on Amazon of those blue/white River runner tubes which work great then stop at one of the spots on the way in and rent them. Any of them will do. The difference is negligible. If you rent you have to waste more time in the beginning having them strap these to your car, if you own then you have to lug them back on the tram. Both are no big deal.
- Don't do what we did and go to the south entrance first. Get your tubes and drive to the north entrance and get there before noon as they close it down at max 750 people. They closed on our day around noon ish. Drop off your tubes, have everybody sunscreen up, leave the family some snacks or money for concessions as you'll be gone 30 minutes and have the driver drive to the south entrance and park. You pay $2 and they hold your keys. Then the driver takes the van back to the top and you're set. Make sure you get the kids to eat right before, it's 3 hours with no food or water.
- If you've got other things to do you can do what most do and hit the mid point from the south entrance. It's actually more beautiful from the midpoint down but less secluded and more people. Takes less time obviously but you don't miss much.
- You can walk 10 minutes to the Blue Hole before you get underway. It's fine, but without a mask and snorkel I don't see the advantage of going to it. I'm the only one who got in as this is your family's first experience with the cold water.
- There's a more kid friendly swimming hole at the head spring if you want to swim around. Side note - for non tubing this is a nice place to have a picnic.
- You get underway from here and it's a 3 hour trip to the bottom. You can get out at a 3/4 point if you're bored. 20/20 hindsight even though we were not bored I would have gotten out here as that point is actually where you can walk back to your car. It gets more crowded when everyone joins at the midpoint but it never bothered us.
- It's more serene than you'll imagine. It really looks like floating through untouched wilderness. Your kids will be whining about it being boring after 20 minutes because they don't have their Ipads but tough. Good family time, good wildlife - tons of turtles and fish.
- If you've got younger kids may want to get a double tube or at least tie them to you. We didn't have them in life jackets as we were wondering if they would be needed. They aren't.
- It's pretty shaded at a lot of points, but really easy to get sunburned so wear it thick. Wear a hat and a swimshirt is my recommendation. Plus river shoes.
- Overall a good time for sure. Worth doing.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank olozbal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
225 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Serene float down a beautiful river”
Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

Fantastic park and memorable experience. Came on Independence Day expecting a crowd, but the threat of storms apparently kept folks away. So quiet and serene--Florida State Park system appears very well-run. All staff was friendly, river was gorgeous, snorkeled and tubed as we went down the 1 1/2 hour float. Restrooms were clean. Be sure and drive up to the Blue Hole at the headwaters--beautiful underwater cave visible while snorkeling. Places like Ichetucknee are natural treasures--so thankful that it's accessible.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Sandi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Springs, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“In Response to: “beautiful kayak experience but felt harrassed by the rangers for no reason” Reviewed April 8, 2013”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

I was saddened to read of your challenging experience in April 2013, although the manatees were a real treat this winter when the river was high due to flooding and I'm happy you were able to view them.

Informative signs are posted at all entrances to the Ichetucknee Springs State Park, but it can be confusing.

The Ichetucknee is an affordable and magical place to reconnect with nature and disconnect from everything else (especially during off season - Labor Day to Memorial Day)! I paddle the river frequently for my own peace of mind. Hope to see you there!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Catalina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Coral, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Floating down the Ichetucknee Springs”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

After the shock of 70 degree water we enjoyed ourselves. Will go again. The water is crystal clear. We brought our snorkel mask and enjoyed watching the fish, turtles, and grass go by as we floated down the springs.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Grandma720
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Ichetucknee Springs State Park also viewed

 

Been to Ichetucknee Springs State Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing