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Trip report: February 2014

Salt Springs Run...

Paddling in the Ocala National Forest

Salt Springs is located in the Ocala National Forest. Releasing 54 million gallons of water a day, the springs form the head of a 4.5 mile run to Lake George (St. Johns River). The marina at the springs has a boat ramp and launch, plus rentals. Two side creeks along the run are scenic diversions.  (Detailed map and photos below.)

paddle Salt Springs Run, kayak, canoe

Distance: 4.5 miles one-way from Salt Springs to Lake George (St. Johns River)
Location: Marion County (in the Ocala National Forest at SR 19 and CR 314)
Difficulty: Easy
Tidal: No
Launch points: Salt Springs Marina (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park (Cross Creek), Ocala National Forest


Salt Springs Marina  (rentals, tours)

Salt Springs Run... Comments and Photos

Watch for motorboats which can launch at the marina or boat in from Lake George. Fishing is popular along the spring run, but not allowed in the spring pool.

Launch, marina and springs

The 72-degree spring gets its name from the potassium, magnesium and sodium salts in the water, and was a medicinal spa destination in the early 1900's. Salt Springs Recreation Area has parking, restrooms, picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, basketball court, plus swimming and snorkeling at the spring.

Paddling on Salt Springs Run

For the first 4 miles, the run is wide, with no shade or shelter from the wind, so plan accordingly. A short but nice paddle is a side creek that enters the run on the opposite side of the launch, about ½ mile downstream (easy to spot on Google Map).

Birds on Salt Springs Run

Wildlife include alligators, turtles, deer, otters, and birds such as herons, egrets, ibis, eagles, anhinga and many more. Fish include bass, mullet, blue gill, and shiners, plus blue crabs.


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