Over the years, many Loopers have suggested a trip into Silver Glen Springs, off the St. Johns River. That was one of the main reasons we are taking this side trip on the St. Johns River. Once we worked our way in there this week we ended up waiting for TowBoat US for several hours when we ran aground and couldn’t work our way off. We are a power catamaran and draw less than 3 feet. Apparently the water is very low now. Following the channel in was no problem and depths were showing 7 feet or more. But once we got into the “pool” there were many locals already there, on a weekday. We decided we did not want to stay so tried to continue in the markers for the channel heading back out. (They have it marked for an incoming and outgoing channel, as they are so narrow boats can’t pass). OOPS! Once we hit bottom (hard packed sand) we could not get off, and we were right between two markers….could reach out and touch them they were so close.
Our recommendation would be to not go into this spot that has been so
popular in the past. Lesson learned was to be sure to have your tow company (TowBoat US for us this time) paid up. The fact that there was a large TowBoat US banner on one of the abandoned boats in the pool should have
told us something!
We recommend that all Loopers have both TowBoat US and SeaTow (we do), because you never know when you might need them and having both covers you in all areas of the Loop.
A final note: if you do choose to go into Silver Glen Springs, be sure to clean your strainers the minute you are out, or even before. The undergrowth is pervasive!
Rick ‘n Roll
currently lying Hontoon Landing State Park on the St. John’s River
The markers in the glen are not navigation markers, [even though] they look like nav markers. They are for traffic control. During the summer weekends there may be as many as 2,000 boats day tripping and the LEO need these to patrol and prevent anchoring in the “channel”. There is plenty of depth 6+ on the southside. If you can cross the shallow entrance there is plenty of water in the spring run. 25+ boating into the “Glenn”
We did Silver Glen Springs in 2010 but anchored out in Lake George, about 1/2 mile from the spring entrance, and took the dingy into the spring. It is well worth seeing the crystal clear water, Alligators lounging and other
Ray & Linda
We anchored way out from Silver Glen Springs and took the dinghy into the springs. We found the way in to be far too shallow for our 5 ft draft. We enjoyed the springs and found it well worth the effort. A local volunteered to take the women aboard our dinghy back to our boat as he thought the Lake George waters were rough and we would all be wet. We appreciated his concern and enjoyed meeting another boater.
Great side trip!!!
While it is a beautiful side trip, avoid the “weekend warriors” at all cost. Expect heavy traffic from Sanford to the springs! Several hundred boats packed in with FWC and three county Marine Patrol Units keeping them sorted out isn’t worth it. BTW- it’s designated as a “NO Alcohol Area” once you enter the channel and you’re not allowed to go ashore to the park. Monday ~ Thursday is the most enjoyable.
Frank M Howell
We so enjoyed our sojourn on the St. Johns. We actually turned back to visit Silver Glen Springs along with our friends Beth and Dean on Kismet. We too were worried about the clearance and chose to anchor out in the lake and dinghy in. We almost ran aground in the dinghy but when we reached the springs area there was a huge cruiser anchored in there. We could not figure how it got in but there it was. Apparently the locals knew something we did not.
Swimming in those springs was a real highlight of our Loop. There were large silver fish down in the spring and when the sun hit just right you could see how the springs got their name. We had hiked up to the ranger station to pay an admission fee and were told as long as we came by boat and stayed around the edge of the spring there was no fee.
If I had to do the Loop all over, and we may, I would take the time to swim in every spring.
Rusty and Jan Carlisle
I cruised to Silver Glen Springs twice during the week days during winter/2012, drawing 3 feet in my 24 cabin cruiser with an I/O. I had no problem navigating the water depths, however there is a lot of kelp-like underwater growth near the entrance of the spring, reaching to the surface, probably due to the effects of the warm water. Near the beginning of the stream’s entrance on the left, there is a large, private fishing club. There were three boats present both times near the terminus of the waterway in about six feet of water; two were pontoon houseboat rentals, and the third was a 34’ Mainship with it’s bow on the beach sand. It was unoccupied (possibly except for weekends.) The first trip I launched at Ed Stone Park at Deland, FL(overnight excursions are permitted, but it’s a somewhat long trip through what is similar to the scenic Great Dismal Swamp.) On my second trip, the park ranger suggested a private launch site only a few miles north of the national forest at Moodys rivate ramp ($10 per day, private ramp.) The ranger said the FWC and the local police were `actively enforcing’ alcohol/drugs and absence of clothing issues by those rafting up on the weekends and acting `wild’ which disturbed the national park visitors family atmosphere. The park even has an ice cooler inspection for their guests. I encountered no inspection issues during my mid-week stayovers of two and three days. The park is has a bouyed line of floats separating it from the area accessible to boaters. The National Forest website for this part is
Regarding Silver Glen Springs, I agree that no boat over 25 feet should attempt to enter it. However, there is great anchoring just off the mouth of the river running into the springs, so drop the hook and dinghy in.
Bill & Kathleen Root
MV BUFFALO GAL
Lisa and I did the ST Johns a couple years ago, spent almost a month exploring. The water was a little higher then and we were able to get into Silver Glen Springs with our (at that time) 4 1/2′ draft but it was touch and go even then. If you’re thinking of cruising the St Johns and want to view photo’s you can check out the following posts on our blog.
Ranger Tug R27
Silver Glen Springs is one that shallower draft boats may be able to get in to depending on Lake water levels. Local knowledge will help a lot. We anchored out and took out dink in there. There are some pretty large boats in the shallows there and lots of bottom scars near the entrance to prove it. Probably busiest on weekends. It’s our understanding that you can visit the springs without charge as long as you don’t touch land. You can get a short term pass for using the bathroom. No alcohol and don’t dare tie to the trees! We talked with a NF ranger about this place and the rules.
Jim & Vaughn Quince
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Silver Glen Spring Run