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 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, Juniper Springs to Hopkins Prairie- 10.6 miles. One of the few designated wilderness areas that the Florida Trail traverses, the Juniper Prairie Wilderness in the Ocala National Forest is a wildlife-rich mosaic of ancient scrub forests, pine islands, and broad open prairies.
- Florida Trail, Ocala National Forest- 72.2 miles. Of all of the sections of the Florida Trail statewide, the Ocala National Forest is both the oldest section of the trail and the most compelling for backpackers.
- 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 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.
- Salt Springs Recreation Area- One of the most famed first magnitude springs in Florida, Salt Springs was first written about in 1774 by botanist William Bartram.