Overview
Salt Springs is a small community located in the Ocala National Forest near Lake George. It's about 30 minutes Northeast of Silver Springs, and a little over an hour West of St Augustine, so it's a good home base if you want to explore.

For local fun there is boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, diving (if you dare), off-roading, ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking, biking, and more.

"Salt Springs Run" marina provides boat ramp access to the spring for the general public. If you are camping in the Salt Springs Recreation Area campground, you can use their boat ramp. The water is crystal clear with the exception of the silt occasionally churned-up by the manatee tails. The water remains at 72 degrees year round, so the large gentle mammals love small lake formed by the springs. Be aware that the same warm water appeals to other wildlife too, such as alligators.

The campground at Salt Springs Recreation Area is very nice. Surprisingly, the sites are full hookup including sewer. They are mostly level and spacious, and include a fire ring, grill, and picnic table. The ground is thickly blanketed by long pine needles, and Spanish Moss hangs from the limbs.

Another camping/RV option is the Salt Springs RV Resort (Elite Resorts). The sites are much smaller as can be expected in an RV resort. The sites are privately owned, but many can be rented by contacting Elite Resorts. Some owners rent directly, and there are plenty of sites for sale. The lake access, two pools, cable, and club house with pool tables and Wii are major bonuses if you have kids.


Adventure Journal
Entry Date: December 2010
Santa brought the Richardson Tribe canoes this year, so we decided a Southbound trip was in order. The goal was to seek warmer weather, but a sudden cold front moved in and threatened to dampen our spirits. Sorry Mother Nature, it takes a lot more than snow and frigid weather to deter the Richardson Tribe. We came prepared to make the most of the Ocala National Forest, and we feel like we succeeded.

Our first impression of the Salt Springs Recreation area was the "Run", a marina located on the small lake formed by the spring. We used the salt Springs Run marina for two days because of convenient parking, easy water access, a nice picnic area, and convenient restrooms.

The first day was our maiden voyage for the canoes, and Rebecca and the kids were a little nervous. On one hand, we were comforted by the fact that the water was a balmy 72 degrees, on the other hand, we were also aware that alligators love the warmth of the springs too. It didn't take long for everyone to become a little more at ease, and we started spotting the wildlife. The water is crystal clear, so we could see the fish swimming beneath us. We could occasionally see the manatee surfacing across the still water.

It wasn't long before we spotted some manatee very nearby. A young pup, probably 800+ lbs, was curious about a pontoon boat very near to us. I used my new waterproof Pentax camera to snap a shot or two. He then swam over to me, slowly raised his massive head out of the water, and just sat there looking at me. I confess*, I reached down and touched his head, and he slowly slipped back under. He seemed curious about a rope dangling from the rear of Rebecca's canoe. He surfaced and began nudging it with his nose causing the rear of the canoe to slowly rise up. Rebecca excitedly said "Row! Row Lee Thomas"! We saw the manatee several more times that day, but I was never able to get a better picture above or below the water.

After a full day of paddling, we moved our camp from the RV Park across the street to the campground at the Recreation Area. The sites are much larger, much more like camping in a state park. Sure, there's no cable, but who needs cable when there's a fire ring. For a change of pace, we visited St .Augustine the next day.

The second full day at the spring was our last day in the area, so we packed-up the camper, checked out of he campground and moved everything to the Marina. There were a lot more people there on this day (New Years Eve), but there is plenty of parking, so we had room for the RV, Jeep, and trailer.

Once we had the canoes launched, we enjoyed another beautiful warm day searching for (and seeing) the manatee, fish, and innumerable birds that grace the lagoon. We paddled up into a little cove where large turtles were sunning themselves on logs. We were told that an alligator sometimes likes to sun himself on the shore there, but we never saw a single reptile the entire time we were there. There is a hawk that hangs-out at the marina, and we were able to watch it closely. Only the knowledge that I had to load and drive kept this from being a perfectly relaxing afternoon.

After about 3:30, we reluctantly loaded the canoes on the Jeep, then loaded the Jeep on the trailer for our journey North to Crooked River State Park near Saint Marys, Georgia. It was there that we would bring in the new year, just us, a family of six curious people in an RV we call Homer.

*Note- There are laws against "harassment" of manatees. These include swimming after (chasing), riding, poking, and feeding. The term "harass" is very subjective, and I'm sure some people would consider touching a manatee "harassment", even if the animal swims up to you and begs for attention. The rules posted at the marina say touching with one hand is acceptable, but not two. That would constitute "riding". Therefore, I think it must be ok to touch the head of a manatee that surfaces by your canoe. Between you and me, it was a very neat experience.

Other Destinations:
Up
Amicalola Falls State Park
Beaches of South Walton.
Berry College
Big Kahunas
Biltmore House
Blairsville, Georgia
Callaway Gardens
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cave Spring
Cedar Creek Park
Charlestown State Park
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Chattanooga Zoo
Chehaw Park
Cherry Hill Park
Chester Frost Park
Chieftains Museum
Cloudland Canyon
Cloudmont Ski and Golf
Consolidated Gold Mine
Cohutta Wilderness
Cumberland Island
Dauset Trails
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Desoto State Park
Doll Mountain Campground
Dollywood
Dunnaway Gap
Enota Mountain Retreat
Etowah Indian Mounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Florala State Park
Franklin D Roosevelt State Park
Fort Mountain State Park
Georgia Mountain Fairground
Georgia Veterans State Park
Gold n Gem Grubbin'
Helen Georgia
Hillcrest Orchards
James H Floyd State park
James Island Park
Jellystone Park- Cave City, KY
John Tanner Park
Lake Allatoona
Lake Sidney Lanier
Lake Winnepesaukah
Little River Canyon Center
Live Oak Landing
Lula Lake Land Trust
Mammoth Cave National Park
McIntosh Reserve
McKinney Campground
Moto Mountain Powersports
New Echota - Cherokee Capitol
Noccalula Falls Park details and pictures
Old Stone Fort Archaeology State Park
Pine Moutain RV
Red Top Mountain State Park
Ridge Ferry Park
Rocky Mountain Recreation Area
Rock Town - Pigeon Mountain
Rome GA
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Silver Springs
Stone Mountain Park
Tanglewood Farm
Tannehill State Park
Tellus Science Museum
The Southern Museum
Topsail Hill Preserve
Townsend KOA
Townsend Tennessee
Twinbrook Resort
Up The Creek RV Camp - Park Details - Pictures
US Space and Rocket Center - Details and Pictures
Vogel State Park
Wild Animal Safari
World of Coke

Features

Rating (1-10)

Description

Official website 8 The website is vague, but making reservations is a breeze!
Campground - Reserve

9.5

163 Tent, Trailer, RV Campsites (**$26)  Unlike most municipal campgrounds, this one has FULL HOOKUP, including sewer! This is a wonderful campground for people who like to camp. Across the road is the Salt Springs RV resort with all the comforts of home if that's what you prefer.
Playground

N/A

There is no playground- but if you choose to stay at the Elite Salt Springs RV Park across the street, they have a playground, pools, and a recreation room. Frankly, considering where you are, you really don't need that stuff. There's plenty to keep everyone busy.
Swimming 9 The spring outlet pool has been made into a swimming area. The water is 72 degrees year round which is great in the Winter, but a little chilly in the Summer.
Hiking/Mountain Biking 10 It's the Ocala National National Forest. There are abundant hiking and biking opportunities as well as hundreds of miles of ATV and Jeep trails..
Geocaching

*

Geocaching is available, but we didn't have a chance.
Rockhounding

*

We didn't spend any time dedicated to rockhounding on this trip. I bet there are some fossils around, and certainly some shark teeth.
Local Attractions

10

Salt Springs RV (Elite), Silver Springs, Juniper Springs, Lake Kerr, Lake George, St. Augustine, and much much more...
*Note: We rate only the amenities we have personally reviewed.
** Based on 2011 http://recreation.gov website pricing.

No financial consideration or favor has been received for listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way affiliated with this facility or any other facility we review. Any paid advertising seen on this site was arranged after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the reviews to be unbiased.

Salt Springs via Salt Springs Run Marina.




The Campground at Salt Springs Recreation Area