Florida has many springs to choose from for a summer “cool down” where shimmering shades of aqua blues and emerald greens reflect with dazzling intensity.
Lucky for us, Florida is blessed with more than 700 springs, the largest collection on earth. From deep within the underground aquifer eight billion gallons of water flow from Florida’s springs each day at a constant 72-degrees.
Most of the springs are located in the central and northern parts of the state and many of Florida’s springs are found within state or national parks. This offers visitors an array of recreational opportunities while providing a level of protection for these essential natural resources. The entry fee to most parks is very reasonable, making the experience not only loads of fun, but a bargain.
Here are 15 cool, bubbly springs that will help you “chill out” this summer:
Ichetucknee Springs & River State Park, Fort White
Northwest of Gainesville, near Fort White, the Ichetucknee Springs and River have long 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.
From Memorial Day until Labor Day, the Ichetucknee Springs State Park resembles a bustling summer camp. Families and larger groups “raft up,” tethering their tubes as they float down the river. Alternately, there will be some areas where you will have the river all to yourself. And one thing is certain for all who go – everyone on the river gets to enjoy one of Florida’s most authentic pleasures.
To maximize your Ichetucknee experience, go early, and if possible, go on a weekday. Holidays and weekends are crowded.