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Friday, September 15, 2006

Ichetucknee Springs: Best time to go is now!

Published Sep 15, 2006
On summer weekends, as many as 3,000 people wedge themselves into inner tubes to float a 3-mile section of North Florida's Ichetucknee Springs State Park near Fort White. Pushed by the Ichetucknee River's gentle 1 mph current, the ride takes almost 3 1/2 hours, often in very noisy company.

But after Labor Day the crowds thin and only the 1.7-mile southern stretch of the Ichetucknee remains open -- a 90-minute float. This is my favorite time for tubing the amazingly clear stream, which is so pristine that in bright sun the sand bottom almost looks like it's sparkling. The river's remarkable clarity is due to the 233 million gallons of 73-degree water poured into it daily by nine springs.
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