Ocala’s location in North Central Florida puts visitors in the perfect location to reach either the Atlantic coast of the state or the Gulf of Mexico within an hour. The St. Johns River, about a 40-minute drive east of Ocala provides a great day of boating. Rent a boat at Castaways On the River and soak in the sun while fishing, exploring nearby springs or skiing for a day of fun.

The Ocala National Forest provides numerous boat launch locations to access the Silver River, Ocklawaha River, and a litany of lakes.

Popular boat ramps:

Ray Wayside Park

Jefferson Field Boat Ramp

Mill Dam Boat Ramp

Carney Island Recreation & Conservation Area

Hope Boat Ramp

Head southwest of Ocala to Dunnellon and boat along the Rainbow River and Withlacoochee River. The quaint small town has a beautiful boat dock that allows visitors an up-close view of nature. Centennial Park & Boat Ramp is located behind Dunnellon City Hall on the shores of the Withlacoochee River.

KP Hole Park is also a popular boat launch in the region. Traffic can be quite busy during the spring and summer months so arrive early.

Be sure to make time for a glass-bottom boat tour at Silver Springs State Park.