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Last updated on June 27, 2022
Crystal clear water, huge schools of striped bass, and the occasional visit of manatee: Silver Glen Springs, in the Ocala National Forest, is one of Florida’s most outstanding springs. Its large, semicircular pool, filled with freshwater at a constant 72 degrees, makes it a great snorkeling location, that definitely worth the trip.
Silver Glen Springs is in the Ocala National Forest, on the western shore of Lake George. It is located 6 miles north of SR40 along SR19. Admission costs $8 per person on weekdays and $11 per person on weekends (2022). The recreation area has parking, toilets, picnic tables, and drinking water. Scuba diving and freediving are not allowed in the pool.
In the same area, two other springs can be snorkeled: Salt Springs, 10 miles north of Silver Glen Springs, and the amazing Alexander Springs, 17 miles south.
A ramp, equipped with a non-slip coating, allows entering the pool. It is located on the east side of the swimming pool (see map above, main water access).
You can snorkel the whole spring pool, which is about 60m wide. On the spring run side, it is delimited by a line of buoys. The swimming area is safe, as it doesn’t allow boats. Most of the spring pool is only 2 to 4ft deep, the deepest area being around the outflow holes, about 18ft deep.
The pool bottom is mostly sandy, interspersed with limestone, roots and algae. Several species of freshwater and saltwater fish can be seen here, such as mullet, sunfish, and shoals of hundreds of huge striped bass. Freshwater turtles also live in the pool, generally found close to the shore.
During the winter months, manatees occasionally enter the pool, where they enjoy the spring warm water. Don’t disturb them.
Silver Glen Spring is renowned for its gin-clear water, which provides amazing underwater visibility. The water temperature, at a constant 72°F, makes snorkeling pleasant year-round.
There is no restaurant nearby, but you can take your picnic with you.
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.
Salty spring with fish and blue crabs
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