Ramp Up The Fun

Spring in Florida is the perfect time to hit the water. Fortunately for boaters, there is an array of waterways to choose from.

“We’re blessed here in Marion County to have so many ramps and opportunities to get out on the water. Any time you can have a boat ramp that makes a public body of water accessible, it’s a win-win. We love seeing folks out there, whether it’s fishing or just enjoying themselves,” says Greg Workman, public information officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Northwest Region.

Making your outing as safe and pleasant as possible requires a little planning. Workman always recommends telling someone where you’re headed and when you expect to return. That way authorities at least have a general idea and starting point just in case they have to start a search.

“Things happen. Cell phone batteries die,” he notes. “You just want to be prepared for the ‘what ifs.’”

When you go to a public ramp, use the staging area to prep your boat before backing down the ramp. Load everything you need into the boat—bait, tackle, skis, floats, food, etc.—at this time so all you need to do is launch the boat. This way you won’t block the ramp and slow down the process for fellow boaters waiting to use it.

Workman reminds boat operators to double check that they have all required safety equipment on board, such as wearable personal flotation devices for everyone on board, a throwable flotation device, a sound-producing device and a “diver down” flag if anyone will be spending time in the water.

Before backing down the ramp to launch, do a quick walk around the entire boat to be sure the motor is trimmed up so it won’t hit the ramp, the plug is in and tie-down lines are untied.

“Once the boat is launched, if at all possible, move it so you’re not blocking the ramp from others waiting to use it,” says Workman. “Things will go more smoothly and quickly if you have someone to help you. Use common courtesy and get on and off the ramp quickly.”

The FWC has a crew that travels around the state to help keep ramps safe and functional. The following is not a complete listing of Marion County ramps, as there are others that cater to smaller crafts, such as kayaks and canoes. To locate ramps across the state by county, visit public.myfwc.com/le/boatramp/public/default.aspx.


Click here for a downloadable PDF that you can print and save.

Buck Lake Recreation Area

National Forest Road 595-2, Altoona

Buck Lake | $5 fee

  • Concrete ramp
  • Picnic area

Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area

13275 SE 115th Avenue, Ocklawaha

Lake Weir | $7 fee | Park hours:  Apr-Oct 7am-8pm, Nov-Mar 7am-5pm | Ramp open 24 hours, concession stand open on seasonal weekends and holidays

  • Concrete ramp
  • Asphalt parking area
  • Staging and launching docks
  • Flush ADA Compliant Toilets
  • Ramp open 24 hours
  • Picnic grounds
  • Picnic pavilions
  • Playground
  • Swimming beach

Dunnellon Public Boat Ramp

12189 S Williams Street (Highway 41), Dunnellon

  • Withlacoochee River
  • Concrete ramp
  • Asphalt parking area
  • Staging and launching docks
  • Flush ADA Compliant Toilets
  • Open 24 hours

Eureka East Public Boat Ramp

Highway 316 and Ocklawaha River, Eureka

Ocklawaha River

Eureka West Public Boat Ramp

5399 NE 152nd Place, Fort McCoy

Ocklawaha River-Rodman Reservoir

Gores Landing Campground and Boat Ramp

13750 NE 98th Street, Fort McCoy

Ocklawaha River | Best for smaller boats

  • Porta-potty
  • Open sunrise to sunset

Halfmoon Lake-Ocala National Forest

Forest Road 79-2, Ocklawaha

Halfmoon Lake

  • Concrete ramp

Heagy Burry-Orange Lake Boat Ramp Park

5040 NW 191st Place, Orange Lake

Orange Lake

  • Concrete ramp
  • Porta-potty

Hog Valley Public Boat Ramp

NE 160th Avenue Road, Fort McCoy

Ocklawaha River-Rodman Reservoir

  • Concrete ramp
  • Open 24 hours

KP Hole Marion County Park

9435 SW 190th Avenue, Dunnellon

Rainbow River | $20 launch fee | Open 8am-5pm | Outdoor rinse showers | Canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals available

  • Concrete ramp
  • Asphalt parking area
  • Flush ADA Compliant Toilets
  • Swimming areas
  • Picnicking area

Lake Bryant Public Boat Ramp

5000 Levy Hammock Road (NE 183rd Avenue Road), Ocklawaha

Lake Bryant

Privately owned but refurbished by the FWC and open to the general public | Small general store on property with limited bait and food

Mike’s Fish Camp

NW 40th E off NW 219th Street, Boardman

Orange Lake | $2 fee

If water levels are low, may be inaccessible except for airboats

  • Open 24 hours

Mill Dam Recreation Area

NE 196th Terrace, Silver Springs

Mill Dam Lake | $2 fee

  • Concrete ramp
  • Asphalt parking area
  • Porta-potty
  • Picnic area
  • Open 24 hours

Moorehead Park Public Boat Ramp

20740 NE 140th Street, Ft. McCoy

Lake Kerr

  • Concrete ramp
  • Launch and staging docks
  • Flush ADA Compliant Toilets
  • Open sunrise to sunset

Moss Bluff North Public Boat Ramp

County Road 464C, Ocklawaha

Ocklawaha River | $3 fee

  • Concrete ramp
  • Flush ADA Compliant Toilets
  • Open 24 hours

Moss Bluff South Public Boat Ramp

County Road 464C, Ocklawaha

Ocklawaha River | $3 fee

  • Concrete ramp
  • Asphalt parking area
  • Flush ADA Compliant Toilets
  • Open 24 hours

M-Port Marina and Boat Ramp

30600 NE 96th Place, Salt Springs

St. Johns River (Marion County), Lake George | $10 fee

  • Concrete ramp
  • Open daylight hours

Orange Springs Public Boat Ramp

14620 NE 245th Street Road (River Road), Orange Springs

Ocklawaha River-Rodman Reservoir

Temporary ramp available if water levels are low

  • Concrete ramp
  • Asphalt parking area
  • Open 24 hours

Ray Wayside Park (Ocala Boat Basin)

9560 NE 28th Lane (State Road 40), Silver Springs

Silver and Ocklawaha Rivers | $5 fee

  • Concrete ramp
  • Staging docks
  • Flush ADA Compliant Toilets
  • Open 24 Hours

Salt Springs Run Marina and Landing

25711 NE 134th Place, Salt Springs

St. Johns River (Marion County) Salt Springs Run | $10 fee | Marina also rents pontoon boats, skiffs, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, best to call ahead and reserve

  • Concrete ramp
  • Ramp open 24 hours

(All information was up to date as of press time, but the publisher cannot be responsible for possible changes due to water levels, etc. For additional information, use the FWC website or contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (352) 671-8560.)

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