What to do and see in Fort White, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 16, 2017 Jacquiline Delozier

Fort White is a town in Columbia County, Florida, United States, named after a military fort built in the 1830s. It is the closest town to Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Fort White High School and the Fort White Public School Historic District are located within the town's borders. The original school building was constructed in 1915.
Restaurants in Fort White

1. O'Leno State Park

410 SE Oleno Park Rd, High Springs, FL 32643-1119 +1 386-454-1853
Excellent
52%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 166 reviews

O'Leno State Park

Located along the banks of the scenic Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River, the park features sinkholes, hardwood hammocks, river swamps, and sandhills. As the river courses through the park, it disappears underground and reemerges over three miles away in the River Rise State Preserve. One of Florida's first state parks, O'Leno was first developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The suspension bridge built by the CCC still spans the river. Visitors can picnic at one of the pavilions or fish in the river for their dinner. Canoes and bicycles are available for rent. While hiking the nature trails, visitors can look for wildlife and enjoy the beauty of native plants. The shady, full-facility campground is the perfect place for a relaxing overnight stay. Located on U.S. 441, six miles north of High Springs.

Reviewed By SueFromWinnipeg - Winnipeg, Canada

We love historic sites and, if they have amazing scenery, even better. O'Leno State Park scores above average on both scales.

O'Leno State Park is located on the old town site of Leno, and previous to that, Keno. The history of this little town is surprising but, even more amazing is that disappearing Santa Fe River.

Our walk across the CCC swinging bridge gave us the chance to walk beside this dark, fast moving little river and enjoy the amazing flora and birdlife that abounds here. After a bit of a workout hiking beside the river, we found ourselves back at the townsite ....... but on the opposite side of the Santa Fe? We hadn't crossed any bridges (or so we thought) to get to the opposite side but here we were, definitely on the other bank.

Turns out that this is one of 3 Florida rivers that drop into sink holes and then pop up again as a spring. The Santa Fe choses to run underground about 4 1/2 miles before showing up again to be enjoyed by nature lovers. Our walk had actually taken us on "land bridge" over the river so got us to the other side without realizing it.

There is a small history building with displays about the town, the area, and the CCC work done in this park. Great information in a very neat little building.

Another neat little building is the Nature Center that displays the fascinating wildlife in the area. Part of the fascinating wildlife was the gentleman who seemed to know every historical fact about Florida in general and O'Leno in particular. Truly a wise and knowledgeable person who was eager to share the wonders of his home State with every interested person. Who knew that Florida once raised more cattle than Texas? Well he does and that was just the start of the much appreciated nature hour with him. All State Parks should be so lucky as to have such a gem available to mesmerize visitors.

The camping area is a bit rough. When the pavement stops, the gravel gets pretty sketchy. On our visit, holes had just been filled in with buckets of rough gravel that created hills where the valleys had been so no improvement until things get battered down again.

No Laundry, no wifi, no free pizza & beer but the gravelled sites offer some separation between neighbors. There is a kiddies playground at one end of the campground so choose your site accordingly.

2. Ichetucknee Springs State Park

12087 SW US Highway 27, Fort White, FL 32038-4820 +1 386-497-4690
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 512 reviews

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Reviewed By Paul S - Marion

I'm not sure of the correct pronunciation of this scenic state park. I'm guessing it's an old Seminole word meaning check this place out. We followed hwy 27 SE a short drive from Branford to the first sign for the north entrance. I should have turned there, but went on three miles or so to the south entrance. Entrance station was not manned and there was no one in that entire section of the park on the road, river, or picnic areas. I was a little disappointed because I had hoped to go to Coffee Spring but you can only see that on a trip down the river. Left the south section and droive a mile or so to the next sign for the norh entrance and headed that way, backtracking several miles. Wife and kids were starting to complain until we finally got to the north entrance station and road. Even when we go to the parking lot they were ready to bail as it doesn't look like much at first. A couiple people were changing in the parking lot! I don't know if the changing rooms were closed, they were exhibitionists, or thought no one else was around. A loud group was in the head spring so we took the boardwalk and trail to the blue hole which was quite scenic. We didn't see any wildlife though because it was also quite cold. Passed a PC display shaming us into conserving water along the way. At the impressive first magnitude spring, we had a hard time getting a good picture because a group of Brits- at least that was the shared accent- was scuba diving and acted like they owned the whole place. Would not let us get to the rail near the water at all and acted upset that we were even there. How dare we sightsee in a public park! Went back to the head spring and the group there had left so we had it to ourselves. Had a good time and got good pictures. Boardwalk is okay for strollers and wheelchairs. Remainder of trail is packed dirt which would be fine as long as it's not muddy.

3. Webb's Antique Mall

245 SW Webbs Gln, Lake City, FL 32024-0235 +1 386-758-5564
Excellent
61%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
4%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 69 reviews

Webb's Antique Mall

Florida's Premier Antique Mall Open 7 Days a Week, 9 am-5 pm. Housing 400 booths in 60,000 square feet air-conditioned building. Large Parking Lot. Free Entry. Free Parking.

Reviewed By RICART75 - Peru, Indiana

We stopped on our way to Orlando; to stretch our legs and once again enjoy the "hunt" in this treasure trove.
On the way home, we stopped again to pick up the Victorian chair which caught our attention on the earlier visit. Luckily, it was still there; and luckier still, the booth owners were there and we were able to negotiate a better price.
This is a very large mall, with a large variety of items through which to browse. We almost always find quality pieces at very reasonable prices. Some items are (what we would consider) overpriced; but many are not and that's what makes the search so addicting.
The staff were, as usual, friendly and helpful.
One note: it is clearly marked that purses & backpacks are to be put into free lockers.
Apparently some reviewers are offended by this policy; but it certainly is not the Mall's fault that this is now the world in which we live.
This is a great facility to enjoy for a few hours, or much longer.

4. Blue Springs Park

7450 NE 60th St, High Springs, FL 32643-5821 +1 386-454-1369
Excellent
54%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 169 reviews

Blue Springs Park

Explore 250 acres of the "Real Florida" and stroll along our 1/4 mile boardwalk as it follows the springs run to the Santa Fe River. Gaze into the crystal blue depths from the dock overlooking the spring's boil. Whether it's swimming, picnicking, tubing, canoeing, camping, hiking or just plain relaxing...make Blue Springs your adventure destination!

Reviewed By AineFlorida - Florida

The springs are beautiful. Kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals are reasonable. The campground should only be opened to tents or very small camping trailers. The dirt road into the park is deplorable. Potholes across the entire road and filled with water. We were afraid our vehicle would become stuck in the muddy pothole. It only got worse when we arrived at the site. Our camper is only 20 feet long so it is not large. We had to pull into the site across from our site (unoccupied) and back ours into our site. The utilities are located in the wrong place on the sites. They should be toward the middle or back on the left hand side. We had to park our camper in the middle of the site to reach the utilities. No place to park our truck so we had to park it in the road. The dirt roads are all being washed away and you really don't know where to drive. While we were setting up in the rain another camper came to set up on his site. He was unable to get into the site and ended up leaving. The bathhouse is not wheelchair accessible. I believe that is against the law. It does have a small wooden ramp that has sunk into the dirt but a gap from the ramp to the concrete makes it inaccessible. I had a difficult time getting my stroller onto the concrete. No dump station. If you have a tent and don't mind the road conditions it would be okay to camp here. This campground needs a lot of improvements.

5. Ichetucknee Tube Center

7354 SW Elim Church Rd, Fort White, FL 32038-4417 +1 386-497-2929
Excellent
96%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 51 reviews

Ichetucknee Tube Center

Reviewed By Mom0306 - Waycross, Georgia

This is where we rented out tubes to go down the Ichetucknee. The tubes were clean and the selection was good. The staff was very friendly as well.

6. Ginnie Springs

High Springs, FL +1 386-454-7188
Excellent
47%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
6%
Terrible
11%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 381 reviews

Ginnie Springs

This diver's paradise offers shallow spring, river and cave diving.

Reviewed By Rachel M

The springs are gorgeous! The water is kept very clean, I didn’t see any trash or bottle caps or anything in the springs or in the Santa Fe river. The snorkeling rentals and paddle boards were well priced and SO MUCH FUN! All primitive campsites were first come first serve, so we were able to take our pick. I don’t know when I’ll be coming back to Florida, but when I do, I will absolutely stay here again. (Also, it was super cool to see so many scuba divers!)

7. Lowe's Tubeland

4655 SW Elim Church Rd, Fort White, FL 32038-4189 +1 386-497-1115
Excellent
76%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 24 reviews

Lowe's Tubeland

All your floating needs at one stop! We honor ALL competitor's coupons! Tube Rentals: As low as $5! Other premium tubes, inflatable boats, couple's tubes, noodles and kid's tubes!!! Masks, Aqua Shoes, Underwater Cameras, Snorkels, Goggles, and our unique Tahiti Lounger! We offer coupons on Facebook and Student and Military Discounts! CLEAN RESTROOMS!

Reviewed By DivePro68 - Jacksonville, Florida

Conveniently located just down the road from the north entrance to the Ichetucknee. The staff is friendly and very helpful. They have a large variety of tubes to choose from at very reasonable prices. When you get the tubes to your vehicle, someone will meet you there to tie them to your vehicle for the short ride to the springs. When you're done for the day, they pick them up and return them for you. Just look for "Ancient Tube Tree" on the corner of Elim Church Rd and State Road 47 just south of Lake City, FL.

8. Ichtucknee Family Canoes and Cabins

8587 SW Elim Church Rd, Fort White, FL 32038-4439
Excellent
54%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
4%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 50 reviews

Ichtucknee Family Canoes and Cabins

Reviewed By Beverly152 - Chattanooga, TN

We used this service to shuttle our vehicle and trailer to the take out point from the state park north ramp. The people were great, very helpful with unloading and helping us launch our heavy tandem kayak. Would definitely use their services again for sure. We didn't camp or stay there so can't review those services.

9. BUFFALO Joe's Tube Center

9003 SW US Hwy # 27, Fort White, FL
Excellent
70%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 10 reviews

BUFFALO Joe's Tube Center

Reviewed By jehaye1 - San Diego, California

Lots of good equipment. Good prices. Clean nice restrooms. Helpful Staff. You will love tubing the river. There is a tram that picks you up at the end and takes you back to the beginning, you can tube the river as many times as you want. At Buffalo Joe's they tie the tubes on your car. When you are finished tubing the river, you leave your tubes and Buffalo Joe picks them up.

10. Poe Springs Park

28800 NW 182nd Ave, High Springs, FL 32643-2711 +1 386-454-1992
Excellent
43%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
12%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 56 reviews

Poe Springs Park

Reviewed By JupiterFLMom - Jupiter, Florida

We visited the park on Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. There were only a handful of cars when we arrived around noon. It was overcast, so possibly that accounted for it not being too busy. We used the bathrooms / changing facilities by the parking lot. Unlike other reviews, we found them clean and well maintained. It was nice having separate changing stalls from a bathroom stall, and showers to rinse off after enjoying the springs. We did not use the bathrooms by the springs, so we cannot comment on their cleanliness. The walk down to the springs was not too long on a nice boardwalk. We did have to walk fast, however, to avoid the mosquitoes which were prevalent. We have visited other springs in the area, so had some expectations. We were surprised by the green color of the springs rather than the beautiful blue we have found at other springs. There is a large shallow area where families were playing, and then a deeper area around the spring head. There was a lot of algae on the steps making them extremely slippery, but signs warned you of this hazard. The area around the springs seemed nice for picnicking. Some people ventured out to the mouth of the spring and were tree jumping into the river. Overall, we are glad we came and saw and spent a little bit of time here. It was quiet, clean and free.

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