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With its crystal-clear water, its unique underwaterscape of aquatic plants, and a nice diversity of freshwater fish, Alexander Springs is one of Florida’s most outstanding springs for snorkeling. The water flowing from the vent flows constantly at 72°F / 22°C, which allows for comfortable underwater exploration all year round.
Alexander Springs is located in the Ocala National Forest, just over an hour’s drive north of Orlando. Parking is available at the entrance to the site. Admission to Alexander Springs is $9 pp. per day on weekdays, and $12 pp. per day on weekends (2023).
Two concrete stairs, equipped with handrails, allow easy access to the water.
Snorkeling is only allowed in the swimming area, called “Alexander Pool”. It measures approximately 393ft/120m long and 229ft/70m wide.
The spring is mostly shallow (around 4-6ft/1.5-2m), except in a deeper area to the right of the basin, near the vent, where the depth is around 27ft/8m. The water coming out of the source is constantly around 72°F/22°C, which makes snorkeling pleasant all year round.
The bottom of the basin is mostly sandy, with some areas covered with moss and limestone rocks. The edges of the pool, particularly its northeastern corner (see map) host an abundance of water lilies and other aquatic plants, which in places forms some underwater “forests”.
Many species of freshwater fish can be spotted in the pool, particularly around the aquatic plants. Mullet, bluegill, redbreast sunfish are very common, as well as the spotted bass, generally seen lurking near the bottom. Encounters with turtles, water snakes, or small alligators are occasional possibilities in the basin.
Alexander Springs offers translucent water, where visibility usually reaches 90 to 100ft (30m). The superb aquatic landscapes of the spring, where the rich, green plants meet the crystalline blue water, make perfect conditions for underwater photography.
There’s a campground on-site. You can book through the official website.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Crystal-clear freshwater springs with fish and occasional visits of manatees
Salty spring with fish and blue crabs
Warm water springs with manatees
Free shore access
Snorkel trail with seahorses and colorful fish
Deep coral reef with colorful fish
Deep artificial reef with fish and turtles