Blue Hole Spring at Ichetucknee Springs - Fort White, Florida
Blue Hole Spring at Ichetucknee
The largest of the seven springs at Ichetucknee
Springs State Park, Blue Hole Spring is a major
source of the beautiful Ichetucknee River.
Blue Hole Spring
One of seven springs that
feed the Florida's Ichetucknee
River, Blue Hole Spring is
strikingly beautiful.
A First Magnitude Spring
Blue Hole Spring is a first
magnitude spring. It flows
from a limestone shaft that
opens into a large cave
system.
Interpretive Panel
A sign along the 1/3 mile trail
leading to Blue Hole Spring
provides information on the
significance of the spring.
Blue Hole Spring at Ichetucknee Springs SP - Florida
Largest Spring at Ichetucknee
Copyright 2011 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: March 2
6, 2014
Dock at Blue Hole Spring
A walkway and dock provide
access to Blue Hole Spring, a
favorite with sightseers and
scuba divers.
The largest of the springs at Ichetucknee
Springs State Park is often overlooked by
visitors. Called Blue Hole Spring, it is
reached by a 1/3 mile long boardwalk and
nature trail.

One of seven springs that feed the crystal
clear Ichetucknee River, a study of Blue Hole
Spring indicates that it pours out 26,668
gallons of water per minute.

That averages out to more than 38 million
gallons of water per day, although a sign
near the spring puts this number at 67
million gallons per day.  Even using the
small number, this averages out to 1.4 billion
gallons per year. The amount of water
pouring from the seven springs combined is
an amazing 85 billion gallons per year.

The numbers are as staggering as Blue
Hole Spring is beautiful. Located in a
beautifully wooded area, it forms a round
pool that is crystal clear and shines blue in
the sunlight. The opening of the spring is
clearly visible, even from the shore, and the
scenery is spectacular.

The spring was called "The Jug" by residents
of the area long before the state park was
established in 1970.  This name comes from
the unique shape of the cone or entrance to
the spring.  

Roughly 40 feet deep, The Jug opens into an
aquatic or flooded cave that is popular with
scuba divers. You must be certified to scuba
dive in the spring and it is the only one of the
Ichetucknee Springs where scuba is allowed.

Divers have mapped about 500 feet of the
cave at the bottom of the jug.  It winds
through a series of passages  to the Blue,
Gray and Loft rooms.
Please click here to
see a map of the cave.

The area around Blue Hole Spring is rich in
history. Prehistoric Native American hunters
frequented the area and archaeologists have
found artifacts left behind by Paleo Indians
who lived here thousands of years ago.

Two Weedon Island Indian mounds are
located nearby and a significant Weedon
Island village site is located just downstream
from the spring. These sites date from 200
A.D. - 900 A.D.

The Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto
passed somewhere nearby in 1539. An
interpretive panel near the entrance of the
boardwalk leading to Blue Hole Spring tells
the story of his passage through the area.

According to the chroniclers that survived his
expedition, De Soto reached the area on
August 17, 1539.  His scouts, moving ahead
on horseback, found the Timucua Indian
village of Caliquen and the main Spanish
force moved forward.

As they approached, however, the inhabitants
of the village fled before them. De Soto and
his men were able to capture 17, among
them the daughter of the village chief,
Aguacalequen. When he came to try to
negotiate his daughter's release, they took
him captive as well.
De Soto and his man passed on, taking with
them slaves and much of the food the people
of Caliquen had harvested for their winter
survival.

In 1608 the Spanish mission of San Martin
de Timucua was established a less than one
mile away and Blue Hole Spring was
certainly a popular place for fishing,
swimming and hunting.  That mission was
destroyed when the Timucua rose up against
the Spanish in 1656.

The famed
Bellamy Road, part of the first
wagon road to link St. Augustine on the
Atlantic with Pensacola on the Gulf, was built
nearby in 1825.

The cultural history of Blue Hole Spring
simply adds to its natural history to make it
one of the most unique places in Florida.

To reach Blue Hole Spring from nearby Fort
White, travel north on SR 41 for roughly 2
miles to SR 238. Turn left on 238 and follow it
for roughly 3 miles into Ichetucknee Springs
State Park. The north entrance to the park will
be on your left.

The walking trail leading to Blue Hole Spring
begins with a marked boardwalk near the
parking lot. An interpretive panel along the
trail provides information on the spring,
access to which is provided by a boardwalk
and dock.  

Blue Hole Spring is open for swimming year
round and for scuba diving from October
through March.

Please click here to visit the park's official
website.
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Video of Blue Hole Spring!