Turtles on logs…egrets flying over head… and otters swimming alongside you… all the while, you slowly drift by at the mercy of the river flow. That’s what if feels like tubing down the Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Florida. It’s an absolutely amazing experience & something that we would consider a “MUST DO” when you’re in the Rainbow River area.
What Do I Need To Know About Rainbow River Tubing?
Before you leave the house, there’s a few Rainbow River Rules you’ll want to be aware of! They’re strict on the river & fines can be pretty steep for not adhering to them.
- Under No Circumstances Are Alcoholic Beverages Permitted On The River – So, if getting piss drunk and baking in the hot Florida sun is on your bucket list for the summer… well.. you better either become a master of concealing OR be sure to get drunk before you launch your tube. Something to keep in mind: I’ve seen police officers checking coolers on busy summer days. Hiding it in one of those floating coolers isn’t going to cut it.
- Disposable Containers Are Not Permitted On The River – If it can be thrown away, it’s not allowed on the river. This is something they’re very strict about. I was quite surprised when a local Dunnellon police officer stopped me for carrying a Gatorade bottle in my cooler. He explained that acceptable containers include Tupperware, Rubbermaid or a thermos. If you’re in a jam, you can purchase a thermos from at the KP Hole Gift shop for about 2 bucks.
- Bring An Additional Float If You Have A Cooler – Coolers are not allowed in the rental tubes & if they catch you with
one, they’ll make you purchase your own tube for the cooler.
Where Do I Launch My Tube?!?
Most tubers start out their 4 hour journey at “KP Hole” and drift their way down to the tube “take-out point” at State Road 484 Bridge. Now, if you’re like me & feel like 4 hours in a tube is just a bit crazy, don’t fret… There is a secret entrance down river that will cut your trip time in half & you’ll only be floating for a little under two hours.
Four Hour Trek
The K.P. Hole (4 hour Trek) is located at 9435 SW 190th Avenue Road Dunnellon, FL 34432
This is a 4.5 mile journey that will twist and turn, flowing all the way to the end of the Rainbow River.
Two Hour Trek
(2 hour Trek) is located at
What To Do On My Rainbow River Tube Ride?
Well, the beauty of tubing down the Rainbow River is that you won’t have to anything at all. You’ll be gently pushed along by the same natural springs that pump 500 million gallons of water down river each day! There will be no need to paddle or tread. You can take a moment to sit back & relax.
On your Rainbow River tubing journey, you’ll come across some amazing wildlife above & underwater. The really cool thing is that everything underwater is completely visible thanks to the crystal clear waters.
It seems like most of the new travelers to the Rainbow River are a bit fearful of alligators on the Rainbow River. They do occasionally pop up on the river, but they’re quite small & don’t cause any problems for tubers. If you try and swim close to them, they’ll usually take off in absolute terror. Now, I wouldn’t suggest tubing or swimming in the nearby Withlacoochee River as this is where you would find alligators that will give you a problem.
Some of the most common wildlife that you can expect to see on your Rainbow River tubing journey are huge schools of many different kinds of fish, turtles, many different birds and adorable little River otters.