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Salt Springs is one of the Ocala National Forest’s top destinations for snorkeling. In its shallow pool of slightly salty water, constantly at 74°F, snorkelers can spot several species of fish, as well as blue crabs.
Salt Springs is located in the Ocala National Forest, approximately 1.5 hours drive north of Orlando and 30 minutes drive south of Palatka. The entrance fee is $6.50pp./day, + parking fee.
Two concrete stairways on the north bank of the spring provide an easy water entrance.
The snorkeling area, which corresponds to the swimming area, is about 330ft/100m long by 165ft/50m wide.
It is delimited by a rope. In the pool, the depth is less than 6ft/2m almost everywhere, except near the vents, where it can reach 20ft/6m.
The presence of potassium, magnesium and sodium makes the spring water slightly salty, which has earned it its name “Salt Springs”. The water of the spring is constantly at 74°F (around 23°C), making snorkeling pleasant all year round.
The pool has quite varied beds, with areas of sand, rocks, and other covered with aquatic plants. Several species of fish, including mullets and Orinoco sailfin catfish, live here.
You will also encounter many blue crabs on the sand or around the rocks.
There’s a campsite about 1/3 of mile/500m on foot from the spring. Otherwise, there are several restaurants and accommodations around Lake Kerr, a short drive away.
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
Freshwater springs with crystal-clear water, plants and fish
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