5 Notable Freshwater Dive Sites In the US

Often overlooked for the vast depths of the sea, freshwater dives sites across the U.S. offer plentiful opportunities for divers not living near the coast. In addition to hosting a unique array of aquatic life, conditions at freshwater dive sites can be superior to saltwater diving, most notably for improved visibility. Many freshwater dive sites also lead to underwater caves, which makes them attractive to cave divers from all over the world. There are some terrific freshwater dive sites in the US, and this selection features sites that are all definitely worth checking out.

 

Mermet Springs, IL

One of the easiest freshwater dive sites in the U.S. to explore, Mermet Springs in southern Illinois was the location of the plane crash scene in the movie “U.S. Marshalls,” with the 727 jet from the film still occupying the bottom of the lake. The tail of the plane sits at a depth of only 15 feet with the nose reaching approximately 50 feet. There are depths here for all levels of divers, from novice to tech, and the park has a sizable collection of sunken items. A full-service dive shop, restaurants, and hotels make this dive site a great weekend destination. Open year-round!

Pennyroyal Scuba, Hopkinsville, KY

Ranging in depths up to 120 feet and with visibility to over 50 feet, Pennyroyal Scuba Center Blue Springs Resort in Hopkinsville, Kentucky is open during the warmer months of April to October. A 22-acre spring-fed freshwater quarry, Pennyroyal offers divers over 40 sunken treasures to explore, including boats, a helicopter and RV.

Lake Michigan

The only one of the five Great Lakes located entirely within the Unites States, and perhaps the most extraordinary off all the freshwater dive sites in the U.S.; there are over 400 wrecks scattered across the bottom of Lake Michigan. With over 20 of the wrecks less than five miles from the Chicago, Illinois shoreline, divers have all the amenities of one of the world’s most famous cities to satisfy all their needs while exploring an underwater world full of sunken ships.

Lake Ouachita, Arkansas

The second cleanest lake in the U.S., according to the EPA, Lake Ouachita in Arkansas has an abundance of limestone caves, fauna and flora to discovery. With visibility up to 60 feet, and as one of the few states in the U.S. to allow spear fishing, divers with an Arkansas fishing license can catch their own dinner. Adjacent to Hot Springs, Arkansas, there are numerous amenities and three dive shops in the immediate area.

Clear Lake, Oregon

Eighty-five miles from Eugene, Oregon, Clear Lake is arguably one of the most unique freshwater dive sites in the U.S. — if not the world. Living up to its name, visibility in Clear Lake can reach to 200 feet on a good day and its caves and craters can be explored after dark with only the moon for lighting. Campsite, cabins and boat rentals are available with several dive shops in the area.

Photo via PMC 1stPix


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Comments

  1. Bob Lohr says:

    They look terrific and Arkansas and southern Illinois are both just 1 day drive from Where I Live.

    Need some please….I am 63 and have not been diving for 10 years. On top of that I have full military disability and not able to climb ladders or deep bend my knees. I want to dive again. Are there any good shore Diving, where you walk in and out. Even though I have dived in Hawaii, Thaisland, Gulf of Mexico and the keys, I still consider myself a novice……by the way, Maui was my best with Phuket Thaisland a close second…..any recommendations would be helpful. I am not dead, just have some limitations.

    Thank you

    Bob Lohr
    940 Mountain Branch Drive
    Vestavia Hills, Alabama
    Boblohr88@aol.com
    205-305-0205

    • Check out Mermet Springs in Southern Illinois. They help out with the Diveheart And Wounded Warrior. They have quite a few disability option and are willing to help out anyway they can. Mention. Jon Gordon also check out thediversedgescuba on facebook

  2. Bob Lohr says:

    For those who live near Birmingham Ala., there is a Rock Quarry, fresh water, has a few items on the bottom, probably 50 feet. It’s great to be able to get a quick dive in and have various platforms at different depths. Great place for Novices or anyone who wants to get some water time in.

    It’s called Blue Water Dive and it’s located in a subburb of Birmingham, Ala called Alabaster, located off highway 31……….it’s a great place to get some time in or for people who want to get into Diving. As it has a fully equipped Dive Shop on location……

  3. Sherkston Shores, the old quarrie in Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. It flooded overnight in 1910 I think it was and a lot of equipment was left behind. Plus there is plenty of new stuff too, it’s inside a campground/resort.

  4. Blue Grotto

  5. Blue Grotto

  6. the springs systems in florida

  7. the springs systems in florida

  8. I once dove antelope island in Lake Powell…not a lot of fish…but visibility was 20 ft and amazing….

  9. I once dove antelope island in Lake Powell…not a lot of fish…but visibility was 20 ft and amazing….

  10. Crystal River area FL

  11. Crystal River area FL

  12. manatee springs is nice if your new to diving.

  13. manatee springs is nice if your new to diving.

  14. Devil’s Den!

  15. Devil’s Den!

  16. Under roadrunner bar.weekends drop their sunglasses,wallets and other cool stuff there.lol

  17. Under roadrunner bar.weekends drop their sunglasses,wallets and other cool stuff there.lol

  18. Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe

  19. Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe

  20. so far, Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan

  21. so far, Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan

  22. Madison blue spring

  23. Madison blue spring

  24. The Elizabeth in Round Lake, Charlevoix, MI

  25. The Elizabeth in Round Lake, Charlevoix, MI

  26. Paradise spring ocala fl. Basically a sink in a guys front yard. Amazing! Dinosaur teeth in limestone and whale bones.

  27. Paradise spring ocala fl. Basically a sink in a guys front yard. Amazing! Dinosaur teeth in limestone and whale bones.

  28. Devils Den- Blue Springs – Morrison

  29. Devils Den- Blue Springs – Morrison

  30. Hey teri, miss ya!

  31. Hey teri, miss ya!

  32. Ginnie springs, Florida.

  33. Ginnie springs, Florida.

  34. Desert Tortoise… Lake Pleasant, Peoria, Arizona!

  35. Desert Tortoise… Lake Pleasant, Peoria, Arizona!

  36. Need to TRY this someday – Thanks & Appreciate your sharing !

  37. Need to TRY this someday – Thanks & Appreciate your sharing !

  38. jessica alba’s swimming pool

  39. jessica alba’s swimming pool

  40. Illinois River, Selma, OR. Warm, clear water & great recreation area :) also Smith River, near Jedediah Smith State Park. Crystal clear water, very cold but another great recreational area!

  41. Illinois River, Selma, OR. Warm, clear water & great recreation area :) also Smith River, near Jedediah Smith State Park. Crystal clear water, very cold but another great recreational area!

  42. Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, WI.

  43. Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, WI.

  44. Vortex and Morrison springs in Florida.

  45. Vortex and Morrison springs in Florida.

  46. Devil’s den!! Also enjoyed rainbow river in fl

  47. Devil’s den!! Also enjoyed rainbow river in fl

  48. Vortex and being in Little Rock….Lake Oaushita ..hot springs!

  49. Vortex and being in Little Rock….Lake Oaushita ..hot springs!

  50. St Lawrence River. Near Bolts Castle.

  51. St Lawrence River. Near Bolts Castle.

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