Tubing in Florida State Parks: An Adventure You Can’t Miss!

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Are you looking for an adventure that is both fun and thrilling yet relaxing at the same time?

Look no further than tubing in Florida state parks.

Florida has some of the most beautiful state parks in the nation, and what better way to explore them than on a tube floating down a river?

Whether you’re an experienced tuber or a first-timer, this is an adventure you simply can’t miss.

Tubing in Florida State Parks

Why Tubing?

Before we dive into the best tubing spots, let’s understand why tubing in Florida’s state parks is a must-try activity.

Tubing combines the joys of relaxation and adventure, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the serene beauty of nature. Drift along gentle currents, take in the stunning scenery, and feel your worries melt away.

Tubing is suitable for individuals, families, and groups, making it an ideal bonding experience.

Florida has over 160 state parks, and many of them offer tubing opportunities during the summer and early fall months.

If you’re new to tubing, don’t worry! Many state parks offer tube rentals and shuttle services to make your experience as easy as possible.

Additionally, some parks offer guided tours, giving you the opportunity to learn about the natural and historical features of the park while floating down the river. So don’t be afraid to give tubing a try, it’s an adventure anyone can enjoy.

When planning your tubing adventure, be sure to arrive early in the day as some state parks have limits on the number of people allowed to tube per day.

Also, be sure to bring sunscreen, water, and snacks to fuel your journey down the river. Lastly, don’t forget a waterproof bag to keep your belongings dry!

Info about tubing in Florida: floridastateparks

🚵 Also read: Exploring the Scenic Withlacoochee Bike Trail

Best State Parks to Enjoy Tubing in Florida

Ichetucknee Springs State Park: A Natural Oasis for Tubing Enthusiasts

Ichetucknee Springs State Park Kayaking
Image credit: Image by Michael Rivera on Wikimedia Commons

Located in North Central Florida, Ichetucknee Springs State Park is a true gem for tubing enthusiasts.

The park’s main draw is the Ichetucknee River, a pristine waterway that meanders through a lush, shaded canopy of trees.

The river’s water maintains a refreshing temperature throughout the year, making it an ideal spot for tubing even in the summer months.

Tubing Routes and Tips

The park offers two main tubing routes: the shorter, 1.5-mile run and the longer, 3-mile run.

Many visitors opt for the longer route as it provides more time to immerse themselves in the serene beauty of the park.

Along the way, you’ll encounter various flora and fauna, including turtles, fish, and birds.

To make the most of your tubing experience at Ichetucknee Springs, consider these tips:

  • Arrive Early: The park has a limited number of tubes for rent, and it can get crowded during peak seasons. Arriving early ensures you secure a tube and allows you to enjoy a more peaceful float down the river.
  • Bring Snorkeling Gear: The waters of Ichetucknee Springs are exceptionally clear, offering excellent visibility for snorkeling. Bring your snorkeling gear to explore the underwater wonders of the river.
  • Respect the Environment: Remember that you’re tubing through a delicate ecosystem. Avoid littering and be mindful of wildlife and vegetation along the riverbanks.

🏖 Relevant post: 9 Best Springs in Florida to Kayak in 2023

Rainbow Springs State Park: Tubing in the Company of Rainbows

Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs State Park, located in Dunnellon, is another fantastic destination for tubing in Florida.

The park’s highlight is the Rainbow River, named for its vibrant array of colors caused by the reflection of sunlight off the river’s sandy bottom.

Tubing Routes and Tips

Rainbow Springs State Park offers a 2.5-mile tubing run that takes approximately two to four hours to complete.

As you tube along the river, you’ll pass by majestic cypress trees and may spot playful otters, turtles, and various fish species.

To ensure a pleasant tubing experience at Rainbow Springs, consider these tips:

  • Tube Rentals: The park offers tube rentals, eliminating the need to bring your equipment. However, you are welcome to bring your tube if you prefer.
  • Snacks and Hydration: While tubing, you may work up an appetite and feel thirsty. Pack some snacks and stay hydrated by bringing plenty of water along.
  • Sun Protection: Florida’s sun can be intense, even when you’re on the water. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.

🏖 Relevant post: 10 Best Natural Springs in Florida Panhandle You Must Visit!

Ginnie Springs: Crystal-Clear Adventures at Ginnie Springs

Ginnie Springs

Ginnie Springs, situated near High Springs, is renowned for its crystal-clear water and abundant aquatic life. This privately-owned park boasts seven freshwater springs, each with its unique charm.

Tubing Routes and Tips

While Ginnie Springs is more famous for diving and snorkeling, tubing is also a popular activity here. The Santa Fe River, which runs through the park, offers a picturesque tubing experience amidst limestone rocks and lush vegetation.

Some essential tips for tubing at Ginnie Springs include:

  • Tube Rentals: The park provides tube rentals for visitors, and you can rent them at the Ginnie Springs Outdoors store.
  • Explore Other Activities: Ginnie Springs offers an array of activities, including cave diving, snorkeling, and picnicking. Consider exploring these options to make the most of your visit.
  • Follow Safety Guidelines: Always follow the park’s safety guidelines for tubing and other water activities. Wear life jackets if needed and be aware of underwater hazards.

🐶 Relevant post: 10 Best Dog-Friendly Natural Springs in Florida (Updated)

Kelly Park/Rock Springs Run State Reserve: A Relaxing Tubing Adventure for All Ages

Kelly Park, also known as Rock Springs Run State Reserve, is a family-friendly destination for tubing enthusiasts. Located in Apopka, this park offers a refreshing escape from the heat of central Florida.

Tubing Routes and Tips

The main attraction at Kelly Park is Rock Springs Run, a gentle waterway that allows for a laid-back tubing experience suitable for all ages.

The 30-minute float along the crystal-clear waters is both relaxing and invigorating.

Here are some tips to enhance your tubing experience at Kelly Park:

  • Arrive Early: The park has a limited capacity, and it can reach its limit on weekends and holidays. Plan to arrive early to secure your spot.
  • Bring Your Gear: Kelly Park allows visitors to bring their tubes and floats. If you have a favorite tube, feel free to bring it along.
  • Enjoy Other Park Amenities: Take advantage of the park’s picnic areas, playgrounds, and nature trails for a well-rounded experience.

Weeki Wachee River: A Wonderland for Tubing

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Weeki Wachee River, with its stunning blue waters, offers an otherworldly experience for tubing enthusiasts.

The river is fed by the springs within the park, creating a constant flow of clear, refreshing water.

As you glide along the river, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of lush vegetation, limestone rocks, and the occasional sighting of aquatic wildlife.

Tubing Routes and Tips

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park offers two primary tubing options: a shorter, 1.5-mile run and a longer, 5.5-mile run.

The shorter run is perfect for families or those seeking a leisurely float, while the longer run is more suited to experienced tubers looking for an extended adventure.

To make the most of your tubing experience at Weeki Wachee Springs, consider these tips:

  • Reserve in Advance: Due to its immense popularity, it’s advisable to reserve your tubing spot in advance. This ensures you secure your desired tubing time and avoids disappointment upon arrival.
  • Follow Safety Guidelines: Always wear a life jacket, as safety is paramount during tubing. Additionally, be cautious of rocks and other submerged obstacles while navigating the river.
  • Bring a Waterproof Camera: The beauty of the Weeki Wachee River is a sight to behold, and you’ll want to capture those magical moments. Bring a waterproof camera or a camera with a waterproof case to preserve your memories.

Blue Springs State Park: Where Nature and Serenity Converge

Blue Springs State Park
Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park is centered around the remarkable Blue Spring, one of Florida’s largest freshwater springs.

The spring pumps out a staggering 104 million gallons of water daily, creating a magnificent pool of clear blue water.

Tubing Routes and Tips

Tubing at Blue Springs State Park is a seasonal activity, usually available from late spring to early fall when the water levels are ideal for tubing.

The tubing run spans approximately 1/3 of a mile, starting at the spring’s head and ending at the St. Johns River.

To make the most of your tubing experience at Blue Springs, consider these tips:

  • Rent Tubes on Site: The park offers tube rentals for a reasonable fee, making it easy for visitors to enjoy tubing without bringing their equipment.
  • Stay Informed: Before your visit, check the park’s website for any updates or restrictions related to tubing. Water conditions and manatee sightings can affect tubing availability.
  • Observe Wildlife Respectfully: Blue Springs is a crucial manatee refuge during the colder months. If you’re visiting during manatee season (November to March), admire these gentle giants from a distance and refrain from approaching or touching them.


Tubing in Florida state parks offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature, unwind, and create lasting memories with family and friends.

Whether you choose the serenity of Ichetucknee Springs, the colorful beauty of Rainbow Springs, the crystal-clear waters of Ginnie Springs, or the family-friendly atmosphere of Kelly Park, your tubing adventure in Florida is bound to be unforgettable.

Embrace the natural wonders of the Sunshine State and dive into an aquatic experience like no other.

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About the author
James Williams
Hey there! I'm James Williams, the guy behind floridatripguide.com. I'm a born-and-raised Floridian, and I'm stoked to share my travel adventures with you. On my website, you'll get a taste of Florida through my eyes – the places I love, the hidden gems, and the stories that make the Sunshine State special. Join me on this journey as I take you through the heart and soul of Florida, one post at a time!

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