Ichetucknee Springs Group

The Ichetucknee Springs Group, located in Suwanee County in the Suwannee River Water Management District, is designated as an Outstanding Florida Spring. Ichetucknee Springs State Park, one of the crown jewels of the Florida State Park System, covers over 2,500 acres, eight major springs, and three and a half miles of the Ichetucknee River. The Ichetucknee River is dominated by native submerged aquatic vegetation and provides excellent habitat for a variety of fish, turtles, mammals, birds, and tourists. These remarkable features have earned the park a designation as a National Natural Landmark. The Ichetucknee River starts at the Ichetucknee and Cedar Head Springs, gaining strength as it passes the first-magnitude Blue Hole spring. The Blue Hole vent dives straight down into the limestone. At over 10 feet wide and 30 feet deep, it exemplifies the impressive diversity of features that form in karst geology. Most visitors come for the park’s main attractions – tubing or paddling down the river. With a shuttle, put-in, and take-out points along the central river run, the Ichetucknee River is easily accessible to all visitors.

Ichetucknee River. Photo by John Moran.
Paddling Ichetucknee, 2016. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee River, 2017. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee River. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee Spring Run, 2017. Photo by John Moran
Blue Hole Spring. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee turtle. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee, 2017. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee River. Photo by John Moran
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Ichetucknee River. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee River, 2017. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee Spring Run, 2017. Photo by John Moran
Ichetucknee Headspring, 2019. Photo by John Moran.
Blue Hole Spring. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee River. Photo by john Moran.
Lucky turtle. Photo by John Moran.
Ichetucknee River. Photo by John Moran.
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In 2016, the Florida Legislature passed the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act

As part of that law, the state of Florida developed a list of 30 springs that are either historic first-magnitude springs, or of other importance. The term Outstanding Florida Spring (OFS) refers to this list of 30 springs or spring groups. If water quality is found impaired, these springs require a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) to achieve water quality standards within a 20-year time frame.
 

Ichetucknee Springs Group is currently one of the twenty four Outstanding Florida Springs or Springs Groups that is considered “impaired”.

Historic images

The following images were provided courtesy of the State Archives of Florida. This incredible photographic library provides a window into the historic spring landscape, documenting changing spring and surface water levels, as well as human use and development in this special location.

Swimmers at the Columbia County camp - Ichetucknee springs, Florida, 1920. Photo by R. W. Blacklock, courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Ichetucknee Spring, c. 20th century.
Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Ichetucknee headspring, 1974. Photo by Charles Robert Noegel, courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
View of visitors enjoying a day at Ichetucknee Springs State Park - Fort White, Florida, c. 20th century. Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Visitors on floats at Ichetucknee River, c. 20th century.
Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park visitors jumping from rope into the spring - Fort White, Florida, c. 20th century.
Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
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Columbia County camp at Ichetucknee springs,1920. Photo by R. W. Blacklock, courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Ichetucknee Spring, c. 20th century.
Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Ichetucknee headspring, 1974. Photo by Charles Robert Noegel, courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
View of visitors enjoying a day at Ichetucknee Springs State Park, c. 20th century. Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Visitors on floats at Ichetucknee River, c. 20th century.
Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park visitors jumping from rope into the spring, c. 20th century.
Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.
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Science Hub

This is the location for access to data related to this spring. Below, you will find links to reports, data, as well as maps and information from the Florida Springs Institute’s Blue Water Audit project about this particular spring or spring group. 

The Blue Water Audit is a tool developed by the Florida Springs Institute to estimate and visualize the impact of human activities on the Floridan Aquifer. Using existing data from a variety of sources, the Blue Water Audit estimates nitrogen loading and groundwater withdrawals for the Florida Springs Region. These estimates are used to assign Aquifer Footprints – a Floridan Aquifer Nitrogen Footprint (water quality) and a Floridan Aquifer Groundwater Footprint (water quantity). Below are maps of the Blue Water Audit Floridan Aquifer Nitrogen footprint for the Ichetucknee Spring Group springshed within the Suwannee River Water Management District, as well as a map of the land use within the Ichetucknee Spring Group springshed. To find out more about the Blue Water Audit project and to learn how this tool was developed, visit Blue Water Audit.

DATA AND REPORTS

The Interactive Florida Springs Atlas was produced with generous support from the Fish  & Wildlife Foundation of Florida. The Community Foundation of North Central Florida supported this project through generous support for our Blue Water Audit project.

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The Wacissa Spring Group lies at the northern end of the Aucilla Wildlife Management Area in Jefferson
County and forms the headwaters of the Wacissa River. Over twenty springs form a cluster that runs
along the river. A public boat ramp allows for easy access to the core of the spring cluster. This dense
core contains Log, Thomas, Wacissa #1-4, and Acuilla springs, which together form a large bowl of fast-
flowing water. Along the run, large patches of Coontail compete with beds of Hydrilla beneath the clear
water. The combined magnitude and isolation of the Wacissa springs make the location one of the most
pristine in the state, earning the system a spot on the list of OFSs despite none of the individual springs
flowing at the first magnitude.