|Water Places Ichetucknee Springs River | Santa Fe River | Ocean Pond | Parks | Swimming Pools|
|In it, on it, under it - if it has to do with water, Lake City is where you want to be. Lake City and Columbia County are the hub for the nation's most outstanding canoeing, tubing and diving venues. Being the best has earned this area the title "Freshwater Recreation Capital of America".|
|Here's why Florida's Gateway
City can make this claim: More than 100 springs are located within a 50 mile radius of
Lake City, including world-famous Ichetucknee Springs and the cave diving mecca of Ginnie
Columbia County is bordered by the scenic Santa Fe River on the south and the legendary Suwannee River on the northern border. Further establishing the area as a freshwater haven are dozens of lakes within the borders of Lake City, along with Olustee Beach at Ocean Pond, and inside the Osceola National Forest.
In addition to canoeing, tubing and diving, the area's rivers and lakes provide excellent opportunities for fishing, recreational boating, skiing, jet skiing, bird watching and camping.
The seven-mile long Ichetucknee Springs River is the nation's most pristine waterway with depths reaching up to 40 feet. The river is fed by nine named springs. Ichetucknee is a first magnitude spring discharging more than 240 million gallons of crystal clear water into the river daily at a constant 72 degrees. The river is a favorite for tubing enthusiasts with more than 200,000 visitors annually.
The Santa Fe River, which covers a total distance of 60 miles, is an idyllic setting for a large variety of water adventures, including fishing, recreational boating and canoeing.
On the northern boundary of Columbia County, the Suwannee River has the only Class 3 shoals in Florida .
Ocean Pond hosts more than 100,000 visitors annually. The two-mile wide lake has a shallow, sandy beach and has facilities for fishing, picnicking, hiking, restrooms, grills and sheltered tables. Ocean Pond is a favorite for boaters and for skiing enthusiasts. A public boat launch and a 50-site campground is also available. Ocean Pond is located within the Osceola National Forest and is just two miles away from the Olustee Battlefield Park, site of Florida's most important Civil War battle in 1864. The Olustee Battle Festival and Re-enactment is held annually in Lake City. The 1999 festival and re-enactment will be held the weekend of Feb. 12-14.
|In addition to the vast array of water adventures available near Lake City and Columbia County, the area also provides great opportunities to visit historic homes and museums, along with dozens of exciting antique shops.|
|Ichetucknee Springs State Park||386-497-2511|
|OLeno State Park||386-454-1853|
|Peacock Springs Rec. Area||386-776-2194|
|River Rise Preserve||386-454-2009|
|Osecola National Forest||386-752-2577|
|Family Aquatic Center||602 West St. Johns St. 755-8195|
|Recreational swimming pool. Swimming instruction available. Annual memberships and daily swim fees.|
|© Columbia County Tourism Development Council
This site is funded in part by a grant from Visit Florida, Inc.