Quick Adventures: Ichetucknee River, Florida

Our category called “Quick Adventures" is when you just want to drive somewhere and do something epic, or just get away and relax without spending too much money. It could include a quick activity in the city or a few days in the country, but it specifically does not include air travel.

This last June, Matt and I stayed off and on in Panama City Beach, Florida for the whole month! His family had a RV down there for the time. For the most part we went to the beach every day. Matt went scuba diving some. I learned how to paddleboard and tried snorkeling. I am very proud of myself for trying new things and getting over a few fears I have. It was a very fun month, but a very tough month in many ways as I came to reality after graduating college! Matt and I decided to do a get-away and drive to central Florida.

Florida is filled with flowing clear water that comes from its natural springs. One popular collection of springs, 4.5 hours south of Atlanta, is the Ichetucknee River. The run is over six miles that you can tube, kayak, or paddleboard down to enjoy the crystal clear river. For a mere $6 entry fee to the park, it’s well worth your money.

We brought our own paddleboards, but there are few places around to rent kayaks or tubes inexpensively. You can also pay $5.50 to be shuttled back to your car once you’ve reached the bottom of the river. For an extra price they will bring your float/kayak/paddleboard with you back up the river to your car. If you were to just float and not paddle down the river, it takes about 3.5 hours.

The river is home to beautiful fish and turtles. Fresh water trout swim underneath you and you can even find gar hiding along the bank. Be prepared with sunscreen or a cover-up because the sun can get intense. The park also includes picnicking areas, restroom facilities, and one spring where you can scuba dive.

If you are looking for a cheap quick adventure and short road trip, I would definitely consider Ichetucknee River in Florida. It’s a perfect place to float or paddle down a river when the weather is nice! If you enjoy that, there are other springs and parks to research and experience in Florida too!

- Kaleigh


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