Fresh Water Snorkeling In Florida

by Jim
(Dryden, NY)

Do you know where to go fresh water snorkeling in Florida? I hope to be there next month but will probably not make it to the Keys. I will be in Tampa and heading north to the Crystal River area. I remember years ago there was some good fresh water snorkeling in that area. Any recommendations?

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Feb 14, 2012
Snorkeling Crystal Springs
by: Tim M.

I've snorkeled Crystal River in years past and it is worth doing. The water is not very crystal. I remember visibility at around 3 feet or so, but there are Manatee and they come up very close. The big ones are pretty impressive and since you can't see them until they're right on top of you, it's exciting.

The second part of the trip is spent in the springs where the visibility is in the hundreds of feet. I've never seen Manatee in the clear areas, but I'm told it happens. The water is much colder in the clear springs but wet-suit rental is part of the pricing of the trip. I've also never done this trip in the winter, so maybe the water is uniformly cold at that time.

And, as in all fresh water in Florida, keep an eye out for alligators.

Read a more detailed story about one Crystal River manatee snorkel experience I had.

Feb 14, 2012
Florida Fresh Water Snorkel Spots
by: Galen & Nicole

Hi Jim. We have not done any of the fresh water snorkel spots in Florida, although it is on our list of fun trips to do. But Brad Bertelli's book, Snorkeling Florida (at right) has a section in it for springs and rivers. Some of the interesting spots mentioned in the book are Weeki Wachi Springs, the above mentioned Crystal River, for which there are many companies offering manatee snorkel tours. Do a Google search for Crystal River Snorkeling and you will find lots of options. There are more Manatee snorkeling options at Homosassa Springs and at Manatee Springs State Park. Finally there are a couple more popular fresh water springs that are snorkeled at Rainbow Springs State Park, and at Ginnie Springs Outdoors.

Hopefully that helps some with your search. If you end up snorkeling any of these spots please share your experience and pictures on our site. We would love to learn more about it before we try it out.

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