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Outdoor Fitness & Adventure
Columbia County Florida
The first Florida county for travelers arriving on I-75, Columbia County offers pleasant swimming in clear spring water, plus hiking trails through the North Florida scrub pine and wetlands.
Founded in 1832, Columbia County covers 801 square miles. Lake City is the county seat. Other county towns are Fort White, Five Points and Watertown. Lake City was an early railroad junction in North Florida, and still is a busy one. Travelers entering Florida provide Lake City with it's main source of revenue, although farming is still important.
Parks amp; Recreation
Adjacent to Lake City is the Alligator Lake Recreation Area, covering over 1,000 acres. Twelve miles of hiking and bicycling trails plus canoe trails make this a popular place. Visitors can do some fishing, use the playgrounds and relax at the picnic pavilions.
Just a few miles from the town of Fort White, Ichetucknee Springs State Park is a popular place to ride an inner tube along the Ichetucknee River, which runs for six miles before flowing into the Santa Fe River. The park covers over 2,000 acres of wetlands and hammocks, a haven for lots of Florida Wildlife. The clear water rising from the springs is ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Falling Creek Park in northwestern Columbia County offers a boardwalk to the falls, plus a walking trail and picnic pavilions. Its 200 acres of pine and flatwoods is home to varied wildlife and part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.
Interstate highway I-10 runs east-west, and Interstate I-75 runs north-south. They intersect near Lake City, the northernmost Florida town on I-75.
US highway 27 runs through the southwest side of the county. US highway 41 and US highway 441 run together south to north until splitting at Lake City, US41 then heads northwest and US441 continues straight north. US highway 90 runs east-west, connecting with US41 at Lake City.
Private aircraft are served by the Lake City Gateway Airport, which is also used for training and repairs by the military. There is no airline service, the closest is at Jacksonville. Greyhound Bus Lines stops in Lake City.