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Three Reasons You Need to Visit Ichetucknee Springs State Park

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When you’re visiting Gainesville, Florida, you have to take advantage of the stunning, sunny weather. There are a few ways you can do this: bar hopping, attending a sporting event, or taking a relaxing bike ride. However, if you want to appreciate nature, one of the best things you can do is spend a day at parks like the Ichetucknee Springs State Park. The 2,669-acres of land is fantastic for basking in the warmth and enjoying a breath of fresh air. If you’re looking for more ways to spend your time in Gainesville, make sure you look at our free Insider’s Guide. You’ll want to visit some of our favorite locations during your visit!


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Uncover Why You’ll Love a Visit to Ichetucknee Springs State Park

What Can I Do at the Park?

The crystal clear waters of the Ichetucknee River runs directly through this state park, making it the main attraction!  There are so many ways to enjoy this serene waterway by renting some gear onsite. And, as the winding river leads you along, you’ll pass through eight gorgeous springs to relax in while admiring the surrounding wildlife. Here are the visitors’ favorite ways to experience the river:

Tubing is a great way to relax, tan, and cool off as you float peacefully down the river. Simply sit back and unwind as the natural flow of the river guides you through lush greenery.

-If you’re looking for a little more activity, consider renting a canoe or kayak to navigate the waters. Don’t paddle too fast, though, or you’ll miss sightings of some awesome animals that we mention below!

-Did you know you could scuba dive at Springs State Park? Blue Hole is one of the eight springs that feed the river. However, what’s so special about this location is that it also holds almost 600-feet of twisting caves beneath its’ surface. If you’re not SCUBA certified, you can still catch views of the cavernous world beneath you as you float past.

-Not only can you make your own adventures, but the park also hosts amazing events you don’t want to miss. Join in for a special Moonlit Paddle to view the river in a brand new light. Check out other park activities like their Trekking on Thursdays and Ichetucknee Springs Fun Day as well!

What Will I See at the Park?

Sea otter floating in the water

Although the river is the main attraction, there are also plenty of trails that run parallel to the rushing stream for you to explore. Along the paths, you’ll get a better chance at views some of these unique animals you’ve never seen before, like:

-Wild turkey and wood ducks



-Softshell turtle


Are There Other Nearby Parks I Can Visit?

You may not have known it, but there’s so much green space in the city of Gainesville. If you’re looking for more nature to explore, we recommend these other fantastic parks:

The Butterfly Rainforest: view over 1,000 species of butterflies flying throughout the screened exhibit

The Devil’s Den: if you’re searching for a daring dive, this is the place to go!

Kanapaha Botanic Gardens: visit the largest herb garden in all of the southeast.

The Best Place to Stay near Springs State ParkTiffany's Room Bed

Now that you’re planning an excursion to Ichetucknee Springs State Park, you have to find a place to stay! Sweetwater Branch Inn is the best destination while visiting all of Gainesville. Our central location provides easy access to all of the destinations you want to explore on your list! Book a stay with us in the Tiffany Suite, decorated in floral greens, to continue the feel of your adventure in nature.

We look forward to hosting you at our lovely Inn soon!

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