Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
2nd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

Ichetucknee (or Head) Spring

Columbia County

Summary of Features

  • Scale -2nd magnitude
  • Scenery -fine
  • How Pristine? -developed swim and picnic areas, retaining wall and fence around spring
  • Swimming -good-very good, excellent snorkeling
  • Protection -excellent
  • Crowds -heavy on warm days
  • Access -excellent
  • Facilities -fine
  • Safety -fine
  • Scuba -no
  • Cost -varies by use--see Use/Access below

Directions (address: 12087 SW U.S. Highway 27 Fort White, FL 32038 (386) 497-4690

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 park entrance on the right. The spring is 250 feet from the head of the main parking area on the left below the restrooms.

Spring Description

The spring forms an irregularly shaped pool of about 75 by 100 feet in an area that slopes down 15 feet from the surrounding parkland and forest. Water flows from beneath a 20-foot-long limestone ledge in the NW end of the pool from several points at depths of up to 25 feet. The water is clear and deep blue over the vent, and the entire pool usually has a blue hue. There are small fish and minnows in the pool and larger fish near the limestone opening.  There is exposed limestone in the pool and at the surface.  The spring forms the headwaters of the Ichetucknee River.  A fence is strung across the mouth of the pool to prevent access from tubers and canoes into the spring.   There is a rock wall on one side of the pool. The general depth of the pool is about 8 feet.

Use/Access

Personal Impressions

Except when there are crowds at the spring, Ichetucknee Spring is a very enticing and attractive spot.  The manmade features do not significantly mar the relatively natural appearance of the spring, and the restoration efforts have at least doubled the submerged area, making it an excellent spot for snorleking.

Nearby Springs

Other Nearby Natural Features