Itchetucknee River is one of the most beautiful rivers in Florida. Its head spring is open only for swimming, but the launch point is just past it in the Itchetucknee State Park. The park limits the number of people on the river to 750 people a day now. In the summer both tubers and kayak/canoers must share the river so go early with your kayak before the tubers arrive. (Tubers have the right of way.) During the winter the upper area is closed to tubers, but kayaks and canoes are allowed all year round. (This is to protect the river bottom and grasses). You can launch from the lower take out point and paddle up to the spring area. You can then very easily paddle back to the pick up point. A small fee is required if you exit your craft in the state park. Less than 1000 feet west of the entrance to the state park is a campground that rents kayaks and tubes. They will deliver and pick you up for a reasonable fee.
There are a number of tube rental companies near the upper and lower launch points. Just west of the entrance to the state park is a campground with kayak and tube rentals. They have water, electric and sewer hookups and a number of small cabins (beds, table and air conditioner). I rented a 2 man Loon Kayak which they launched for me and picked me up on time. No camping is allowed on the river.
Parking in the State Park I believe was $5.00. Parking on the lower area was $3.00 or $4.00.
From I-75 go west on US-27 to Ft. White. Turn north on SR-47 to CR-238. Turn west and continue to the Itchetucknee State Park or continue west 1000 feet to the Itchetucknee Family Campground to rent kayaks or tubes.
Put-ins are at the State Park itself. Also at the exit point you can put in and paddle up stream then have a very easy return.
Florida's Fabulous Canoe and Kayak Trail Guide by Tim Ohr and Photographer Pete Carmichael. (About $20.00) Has photo's and descriptions for paddling trails all over and around Florida. This book also includes addresses and phone numbers to state parks, outfitters and land management groups where you can get maps and permits.