Ichetucknee Springs and River (Summer 1988)
This is one of the most spectacular, gorgeous rivers in Florida. Fed by nine springs, it features crystal-clear, 73 degrees year-round (very refreshing during hot Florida summers); a white sandy bottom; and six-mile flow through hammock and river swamp to its confluence with the Santa Fe River north of Fort White. I have canoed the river both at sunrise and on a full-moon night, which provides a romantic trip full of the sights and sounds of abundant wildlife. Like most others, I usually use an inner tube to float down the river, which is a highly relaxing way to spend a summer day. I have also snorkeled down the river to enjoy the clear water, sandy bottom, and abundant fish.
The name "Ichetucknee" is an Indian word meaning "pond of the beaver". The Park was purchased by the state from a phosphate company in 1970. A Spanish mission was once located on the banks of the river. In the late 1800s, a grist mill was operated on the river.
The park is 2,241 acres. The head spring was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1972. The springs produce 233 million gallons of freshwater each day.
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