Fort Gates Ferry

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Ferry approaching the dock

Although not managed by the Forest Service, the Fort Gates Ferry is a site of historic importance and is reached via forest roads east from Salt Springs. This site is a narrows in the St. Johns River north of Drayton Island and has been home to a ferry crossing for nearly two centuries. The current ferry is a 1910 Sharpie sailboat piloting a 1930s barge that can hold two cars. The crossing is part of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed Tuesdays. Operates 7-5:30 all other days.
Operational Hours: Operates 7 AM to 5:30 PM, Wed-Mon. Closed Tuesdays. Crosses on demand. If the ferry is not on your side of the river, pull up on the loading ramp and turn on your headlights.
Rentals & Guides: The ferryboat is managed by Gateway Fish Camp, 229 Fort Gates Ferry Road Crescent City, FL 32112-4611.  (386) 467-2411
Fees $10 per car each way, paid to Gateway Fish Camp on the eastern shore
Permit Info:
Restrictions: Weight limit 15 tons.
Closest Towns: Salt Springs is to the southwest of the crossing, and Pomona Park to the east.
Water: None
Restroom: None
Operated By: Gateway Fish Camp
Information Center:

General Information


From the junction of CR 314 and SR 19 in Salt Springs, turn east at the sign for the Fort Gates Ferry. Follow FR 29 northeast until it ends at the ferry dock, passing a junction on the left with FR 62 along the way. These are unimproved roads and may become very rutted at times.

Recreation Map

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Fire Danger Level: Low
Areas & Activities


  • Visitor Centers
    Stop in at a visitor center to pick up maps, get recreation suggestions, and more!
  • Wilderness Areas
    There are four designated wilderness areas in the Ocala National Forest, two of which are popular recreation destinations.
  • Black Bear Scenic Byway
    Hit the high points of the Ocala National Forest along our own National Scenic Highway.


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