Surrounded by the Ocala National Forest, the community of Salt Springs is a hub for outdoor recreation. With fish camps on Lake Kerr, campgrounds, and cabins, it’s a great destination from which to base explorations of the surrounding trails and waterways, including the Ocklawaha River and the St. Johns River. Trailheads provide direct access to both an extensive system of ATV trails and to the Florida Trail, which circles around the community to the south and west.
Trails and Parks in Salt Springs
- Bear Swamp Trail - Little known except to those who frequent Salt Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest, the Bear Swamp Trail provides a walk into an ancient forest
- Florida Trail, Delancy to The 88 Store - An immersion in both sandhills and scrub awaits on this 7.4 mile hike along the Florida Trail between Lake Delancy and Lake Kerr, an excellent section for fall wildflowers and wildlife watching
- Florida Trail, Eaton Creek North - Between Eaton Creek and Salt Springs, this 12 mile segment of the Florida Trail in Ocala West is high and dry, showcasing the life cycle of the sand pine scrub ecosystem.
- Florida Trail, Hopkins Prairie to Juniper Springs - For 10.5 miles through Juniper Prairie Wilderness in the Ocala National Forest, the Florida Trail traverses a mosaic of fire-dependent ancient scrub, pine islands, and open prairies
- Florida Trail, Hopkins Prairie to Salt Springs - A six-mile-long prairie, a vast marshland in the middle of the dry Big Scrub, Hopkins Prairie is a beauty spot along which the Florida Trail lingers on this 9.5 mile section.
- Florida Trail, Ocala - 72.2 miles. The birthplace of the Florida Trail, the Ocala section is Florida’s top backpacking destination, showcasing the world’s largest sand pine scrub forest and some of Florida’s largest springs in the Ocala National Forest. Despite its scorched earth, the Juniper Prairie Wilderness remains a popular destination for hikers. Beauty spots like Hopkins Prairie and Riverside Island above Lake Delancy should not be missed.
- Florida Trail, Ocala National Forest - The top destination for backpackers in Florida is the Florida Trail, Ocala National Forest. This 70-mile section is the oldest section of the trail, easy to follow.
- Florida Trail, Salt Springs to The 88 Store - Amid a patchwork of scrub ridges and longleaf pine islands, the Florida Trail makes its way northwest of Salt Springs around the vastness of Lake Kerr on this 10.1 mile section
- Lake Eaton Sinkhole Trail - In the heart of the Big Scrub of the Ocala National Forest, the Lake Eaton Sinkhole Trail loops 1.8 miles through scrub forest and drops down into the big sink
- Lake Eaton Trail - The 2.3-mile Lake Eaton Trail is loop trail providing a gentle descent through a variety of ecosystems from scrub to floodplain forest until you reach the lake itself
- Salt Springs - One of the most famed first magnitude springs in Florida, Salt Springs was first written about in 1774 by botanist William Bartram.
- Salt Springs Loop - An easy walk of 2 miles, the Salt Springs Loop in the Ocala National Forest is a popular hike, since it leads to an observation platform on Salt Springs Run.