COVID-19 Update

Ichetucknee Springs State Park, South Entrance on US 27, is now open! Tube rentals, Tram transportation to the Midpoint Tube Launch, Food and Retail are open daily. We are also renting Kayaks and Stand-up Paddleboards at the South Entrance General Store, launching from Dampier’s Landing. The Head Spring, Blue Hole, and North Hiking Trails are now open at the North Entrance as well as the Riverside Grill Food Trailer (open weekends) at the Head Spring Picnic area. Sorry, we are not currently taking reservations. Park capacity is limited.

We are taking precautions to help ensure your safe visit, but we need your help. Please observe social distancing guidelines at all times during your visit to the park, and face masks are encouraged. Remember, we’re in this together!

park history

a national landmark

In 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior declared the Ichetucknee Spring a National Natural Landmark

a natural wonder

Ichetucknee is an Indian word meaning “beaver pond”. The Ichetucknee River runs for six miles and contributes close to 233 million gallons of spring water to the Santa Fe River, another heavily-used recreation area. Ichetucknee Springs and River are one of Florida’s 33 first-magnitude springs

Area history

Located in Fort White, Fl, the Ichetucknee is rich in history. The springs and river were used consistently by early cultures of Native Americans, going back thousands of years. Bones and teeth of mastodon and other extinct megafauna have been found in and alongside the river. About one mile downstream from the head spring of the river, a 17th-century Spanish mission site has been identified in the park next to a short tributary connecting Fig Springs to the Ichetucknee River. San Martin de Timucua, built in 1608, was one of the major interior missions serving the important Spanish settlement of St. Augustine and flourished through most of that century.

 

After the Civil War, northern Florida received an influx of settlers. The area around Fort White was still considered wild frontier when the small community was incorporated in 1870. The town of Ichetucknee sprang up along the banks of Mill Pond Spring shortly after.

By 1884, Ichetucknee had its own post office, grist mill and smithy. The Ichetucknee River was the lifeblood of the communities and settlers such as the Dampier family came frequently to the river banks to swim, bathe, hunt, fish and worship. The area flourished with industries included phosphate-mining, citrus, cotton, and railroad commerce. During its heyday, Fort White boasted more than 2,000 residents.

Ichetucknee Springs State was purchased by the State of Florida in 1970 from the Loncala Corporation to preserve one of the state’s outstanding natural wonders.