So, you want to tube the Ichetucknee River?
You won't regret going, ... unless you fail to pay attention, so tune in.
Do the following:
- Before anything else, go to the state park website for Ichetucknee Springs State Park and READ IT! Pay attention to the part about the park closing EARLY AND OFTEN due to crowding.
- Avoid a weekend or holiday unless you are insane.
- GET THERE EARLY NO MATTER WHAT DAY YOU GO.
- First timers should probably start with the south end half river float, expecially if you have little ones who might get chilled after a few hours in the spring water (72 degrees). These guidelines will mainly focus on that trip, but you can start at the north entrance to the park for a longer float.
- USE your sunscreen. You will float in and out of shade during the trip.
- What to take: a) nothing you would not want to lose in the river. b) a mesh diver bag that can be tied to your tube is really handy for holding your mask, hat, sunglasses ... things that can get wet, but you may not want to hold or use the entire trip. c) a change of clothes for afterwards.
- The less stuff you take on the tube ride the better, although I always recommend a mask and snorkel. Leave your fins at home if you are taking this trip. You do not need them and they damage the bottom vegetation.
- You don't have to hassle with taking your own tubes, there are vendors located just outside the park. We use the LOWES tube folks and it is always a good experience. A big basic tube costs $5 for the day and the LOWES folks will tie them on to your vehicle for you. After you finish tubing, you drop your tube off in the park and the LOWES folks take them back from there. Sweet.
- The basic procedure once in the park is simply walk to the tram pickup, ride the tram to the upstream starting point, walk a short beautiful trail to the water, jump in and tube to the get-out point (about 2 hours), then do it again or dump your tubes and you are done.
- REMEMBER, THE PRIME DIRECTIVE IS "GET THERE EARLY".
|My brother in law Frank and family demonstrate the terrific tubular tieing of the Lowes Tube Rental folks.|
|My son and his cousin Frankie demonstrate suave debonairyness.|
If you can look good in a tube, you can look good anywhere.
|Getting in is as easy as plunking your butt in the tube from the dock, or you can jump in and then mount your tube from the water.|
Caution, the dock stays wet and therefore is slippery.
|Smile, you are tubing.|
I am just demonstrating what not to do in this picture.