Gas tank get-a-way: The back roads lead to Salt Springs

Richard’s idea of paradise is only a 90-minute drive away

Sunset on the River
Sunset on the River

I love this time of year. Sunny skies, drier air and, my favorite, open window weather.

A crisp start to a day as a campfire slowly comes to flame while coffee percolates in a well-used, well-traveled pot is my idea of heaven on earth. Add a kayak and a fishing pole, and I may never come home.

We are fortunate to have so many of these gems a tank of gas away. A local favorite for water recreation, camping and hiking is Salt Springs, Florida. Salt Springs is an unincorporated community in Marion County, located between Lake Kerr and Lake George in the Ocala National Forest.

Salt Springs offers plenty of activities for families including some of the Forest’s best fishing, camping, biking and hiking. Between a campfire breakfast and s’mores, there is time to explore the lakeside hamlet and enjoy some local grub. One of my favorites is a walk-up taco shack located in the heart of the city. If you are looking for a sit-down restaurant without the fuss, check out Bass Champions. There you will find lots of locals enjoy seafood and country cooking.

The main attraction, of course, is the Salt Springs recreation and camping areas. Salt Springs is 72°F year-round. The springs are full of bass, turtles and blue crabs. Although alligators inhabit the area, the swimming hole is safe and free from these predators during the daytime. The springs boast four boils which you can swim into, the deepest being 6 fathoms (36 feet deep). This spring feeds into Lake George.

The relaxation starts with a nice back road drive. The main roads through Salt Springs are State Road 19, as well as County Road 314 and County Road 316, both of which terminate at SR 19.

Avoiding the interstate and traveling the scenic local roads will take about 90 minutes. There is a grocery store as well as a convenience store in the city for any items you might’ve forgotten at home.

If you need to rent a kayak or a boat, check out Salt Springs Run Marina. For more information and rental rates from Salt Run Marina, visit the website or call 352-685-2255.

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