Swim, Tube, and Scuba in Crystal Clear Waters at Blue Hole Spring and Ichetucknee Springs in Northern Florida

Posted on |

Are you looking for the perfect photo-ready swimming hole that will cool you off on even the hottest days in Florida? We found the perfect natural swimming spot at Ichetucknee Springs and Blue Hole Spring. This crystal clear spring is just a day trip from Gainsville, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville, Florida at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. This state park has two natural springs and one even has an underwater cavern that you can see with goggles.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park florida
Ichetucknee Spring

This article includes:
Can you swim at Ichetucknee Spring?
Getting to Blue Hole Spring
Is there tubing at Ichetucknee Spring?
What is the admission cost for Ichetucknee Springs State Park?
Where to stay near Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Ichetucknee Head Spring Is Perfect for Swimming

Parking at the North Entrance and Ichetuckness Spring is just a short walk from the parking lot. You will also find a bathhouse, bathrooms, and playground in this same area.

This clear, blue-green swimming hole is shallow around the edges with stairs that lead into the pool. The middle of the pool was deep so parents would probably want life jackets for small children or weak swimmers. the Ichetucknee Head Spring is close to Blue Hole Spring in the northern part of the park, so you can head that way before or after you decide to explore the caverns.

The water is not only picturesque but a brisk 72 degrees year-round. Cold enough to take the breath out of parents but not cold enough to keep the kids from insisting that their parents join them. Not only will the water cool you off but the swimming area also has plenty of natural shade

Be aware that as a natural swimming area, there are natural hazards such as slippery rocks and wildlife. This is a no “jump or dive” swim area.

Boardwalk trail to Blue Hole Spring
Boardwalk to Blue Hole Spring

Blue Hole Spring at Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Follow a .5-mile trail from the North Entrance over wetlands and through the Florida forest to Blue Hole Spring. Only experienced swimmers should swim in this spring as it is deeper and has strong currents.

We ran into a local who told us that the best way to see the cavern is with goggles and by swimming along the outside of the spring and then peering in with the goggles to see underwater. He told us that one of the biggest mistakes he sees is swimmers trying to swim directly over the spring but the currents are too strong to swim through.

Diving at Blue Hole, Photo Credit: Columbia County Tourism Development Council
Diving at Blue Hole, Photo Credit: Columbia County Tourism Development Council

This area is completely deep and there is no shallow access. It’s worth the short walk, though, even if you don’t swim there though to see its beauty. We also saw a variety of wildlife near the spring such as turtles sunbathing and even a snake.

You are also allowed to scuba dive in Blue Hole Spring if you are cavern or cave certified.

There are no lifeguards at either spring.

Blue Hole Spring
Blue Hole Spring

Tubing at Ichetucknee Springs State Park

You can also choose to tube down the river from the Ichetucknee South Entrance. You can either rent tubes from local vendors or bring your own tubes (under 60 inches).

There is a tram ride available for purchase ahead of time at the General Store if you choose to tube to the furthest point.

Be aware that the park does limit the number of tubers from Mid-point Launch.

Visiting Blue Hole Spring and Ichetucknee Springs State Park

We visited Ichetucknee Spring State Park in April and the park was not crowded but online reviews indicate that the park can fill up in the summer months and that visitors should plan on arriving early.

Admission costs were $6 per vehicle.

You cannot cross the park by car from the South (State Rd 27) to the North Entrance (State Rd 238) so be sure to arrive at the correct entrance for your chosen activity.

8294 SW Elim Church Rd, Fort White, FL was the address given to us by the Park Ranger to get to the North Entrance. It didn’t exactly get us to the entrance, but it got us close enough to see the signage.

The address online for the South Entrance is 12087 S.W. U.S. Highway 27, Fort White FL.

The park opens at 8 am each day and closes at sunset. Tubing may close earlier.

Stay Near Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Looking for more places to visit in Florida?

Swim and See Manatees at
Blue Spring State Park

travel guide

Love Where You Travel!

Find 100+ reviews, recommendations, and things to do in KA’s Travel Guide

About the Author
Bethany Winston is the owner and editor-in-chief of Kidding Around Greenville & Kidding Around Spartanburg. She enjoys exploring parks, discovering local events, and meeting the people who make Greenville an amazing place to live. You can contact her directly at bethany@kiddingaroundgreenville.com.

Sign up for our email newsletter.

Comments are closed.