Cedar Head Spring (on the Ichetucknee)
Summary of Features
- Scale -3rd magnitude
- Scenery -very good
- How Pristine? -completely unspoiled
- Swimming -no
- Protection -excellent
- Crowds -none
- Access -moderately difficult
- Facilities -fine nearby
- Safety -good, watch for poisonous plants
- Scuba -no
- Cost -varies by use--see Use/Access below
From Branford, drive SE on U.S. 27 for about 10 miles. Turn north (left) at park sign onto State Road 137. Take first paved road on the right (State Road 238) to the park entrance on the right. The spring is between Ichetucknee and Blue Hole Springs. Walk to Blue Hole Spring and follow run from Cedar Head Spring 1,000 feet to the north.
The spring lies at the head of a 1,000-foot run that empties into the pool for Blue Hole Spring in Ichetucknee Springs State Park. The spring area is of irregular shape and perhaps 20 by 50 feet in an area of heavy forest and rolling karst terrain. There is a 5-foot limestone bank on the west side of the run, and a low bank on the east side. Water in the spring is clear, but the spring head is difficult to see due to the overhanging bank and foliage that blocks a clear view. The run is about 15 feet wide and 1-2 feet deep.
- The spring is rarely visited. There was a slight trail along the run to the spring in December 2000. It is likely that the area would be overgrown and swampy in the summer, rendering access more difficult. The pool and its run appear to be used only by animals.
- There is a nature trail along part of the spring run just below nearby Ichetucknee Spring at the canoe/tube put-in on the west side. A shuttle service ferries tubers from the parking area to the river and back from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tubes must be obtained outside the park.
- Wood ducks were wintering in the spring on date of visit (December 2000).
- This spring is one of a series of springs that form the Ichetucknee River. Altogether, the springs discharge an average of over 230 million gallons of water per day.
- Park fees are as follows: $5 per vehicle (up to 8 people per vehicle, and no river use/tubing/canoeing); $3 for single car occupant; $3 for 1-2 persons on a motorcycle; $1 for pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with annual entrance permits; $5 per person for tubing.
- Tubing at the park can be done from three locations: North end (3 hours). Mid-point ( 1.5 hours), and Dampier's LAnding (1 hour). The peak tubing season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A shuttle service ferries tubers from the parking area to the river and back from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tubes must be obtained outside the park. The tubing is in the river and not in the springs.
- A citizen support organization, the Friends of Ichetucknee Springs, Inc., has been established to support Ichetucnkee Springs and its watershed. For more information, contact Craig Harper at 196 SW Mission Springs Court, Ft. White, FL 32038.The park includes bathrooms and picnic facilities, and a concession stand at the south entrance.
The authors were glad to finally see the spring after being within 1,000 feet of it on a dozen occasions. At the same time, they felt like intruders on the unspoiled scene and ruined a perfectly good morning for a dozen wood ducks wintering at the spring head.
- Blue Hole Spring
- Ichetucknee Spring
- Mission/Roaring/Fig/Singing Springs
- Devil's Eye Springs
- Grassy Hole Spring
- Mill Pond Spring
- Coffee Spring
Other Nearby Natural Features
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park
- O'Leno State Park
- San Felasco Hammock State Preserve
- Devil's Millhopper State Geologic Site
- River Rise State Preserve