Lake Denton

USA East


Submitted By:
Michael Jarrells

Submitter Comments:
There is a SCUBA destination in Lake Denton, Florida. This is where my wife and I completed our open water dives for our certification. The visibility is good and there are a lot of fish to see. It is a favorite of the locals and is busy on Saturday, but Sunday it's less crowded. There are lines on the bottom to help navigate. There are also a couple of sunken dinghies.

 Lake Denton, Florida


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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

06/14/2013 Jeff Curtis (Avg: 3.45 Review) - Went here to dive while my children did their 1st open water dive during their scuba class. There is a camp near the first curve that gives you access to the lake. You will have to sign a waiver and pay $10.00 donation to the church that runs the camp. There are bathrooms and showers. They also provide a fresh water hose to rinse gear. Usually they sell chips and soda as well. The visibility is about 10-12 feet. Saw a few fish. There is also a cool navigation course you can do with the several items placed under water. Go early. The lake gets murky with all of the divers training there. You will also need a dive flag! The water was 81 degrees on 6/2/13.

10/20/2012 Mark Terrell (Avg: 3.56 Review) - I dove Lake Denton on October 12, 2012. The Florida east and west coasts were blown out that day. The Lake is somewhat wind protected, at least from north and east winds. Water temp was 79 F. See this link: . This is an excellent location for practice, equipment checks, or classes. The $10 fee supports the camp, and hamburger sales are for a building to house changing rooms for divers. There were 30 divers there that day, plus or minus. They said that was a slow day.

10/18/2011 Northportdiver (Avg: 2.77 Review) - Good for certification dives. Camp was a dump.

03/12/2011 KLCelticScuba (Avg: 4.45 Review) - I did my check out dives at Denton and it was a great experience. We have taken the classes out there many times and had very few problems.
1) We divers do bring business to the area. We always stop at a local place after dives to chat about what happened.
2) As divers we care a lot about the area we dive in, the area we gear up in, and the area in general. We always...ALWAYS police up our stuff and take our trash with us if we can find a trash can.
3) We change either in a restroom, in our cars...or we wear our stuff up and just get into our wetsuits. So no nudity from that quarter.
4) We are grateful to the Christian Camp for allowing us to use their facilities and we insist that each and Every member we take brings money to donate to the camp.
5) We could go elsewhere to do check outs, but we like Denton. It offers good vis and a fairly controlled environment for students.
Thanks to the folks in the area for opening their lake to us and allowing us the enter the scuba world in their back yard. If you see someone littering, or running around nude….say something. This is a great site and it would be a shame to see it close to us because of a few misguided folks.

03/10/2011 Patrick from Groveland (Avg: 4.05 Review) - Really nice site. It has a lot of lines and objects strung out with a little buoyancy coarse. About 45-47 feet MAX depth. in the middle of the lake. A lot of fish, we had several (15+) brim following us like we were god, LOL. Nice Viz for a lake about 20+ ft.

04/19/2010 Anonymous (Avg: 3.21 Review) - The boat ramp on the east shore is open until 4:30 pm. You can unload at the ramp and then park across the street.

08/29/2007 Jeff from Palmetto (Avg: 3.55 Review) - We are writing regarding the recent decision by the Highland County Commissioners to close Lake Denton. We are scuba instructors who have been teaching there for the past six years. Our question is: Have any of the three who voted to close the lake actually been there on a weekend? Here are our comments:
1. Yes, parking was a problem for residents until the parking lot was created - now divers park only on the lot. We drive down the boat ramp only to unload our gear.
2. Noise - we are a quiet bunch - we spend most of our time underwater or on shore briefing the next dive. When we're done, we leave. The noise comes from non-divers who park on the boat ramp and play music so loud that our windows are shaking.
3. Trash - not only do we pick up our own trash, we know many divers who pick up trash that other people have left behind - even though there is a dumpster at the road. The divers are NOT leaving beer bottles, dirty diapers, or used condoms.
4. Someone mentioned a case where a boat was launching with small children in the water. The minimum age for a scuba class is 10 years, and there are very few children there with the divers. I have seen boats launch while children of non-divers were in the water and there was no problem. If there is a safety issue, talk to the parents of the small children.
5. Nudity - we guess a lot of lake dwellers are out there with their binoculars, because without them the only people who can see divers change clothes are at the Christian camp. I am curious about their definition of nudity - we take off our wetsuits, are wearing bathing suits, then put on regular clothing over our suits. Everyone else changes in the Port-o-lets.
6. There is no need for a full-time security guard - all that is needed is for the police person who is on that beat to drive down the boat ramp a couple of times after noon and tell the non-divers who are parked there partying to move. Once people know that police check the area, the abuse will decrease.
7. We divers bring business to Avon Park - we buy gas, food, drinks, and have even gone to Wal-Mart for equipment purchases such as ropes and clips.
The bottom line is, please don't take away our means of support. Did anyone stop to think that teaching scuba is how we make our living? Are you going to put us out of work because you think you own a public lake? Let's get some sanity back in the debate.

08/12/2007 Mike Walsh (Avg: 2.67 Review) - From I 95 exit RT.60 to Vero. West on 60 for 50 Miles. Take left on 630 to RT.27. Take a left [that’s south] for 8 miles. Second light take a right on Main ST. There is a Walgreens on corner. Proceed to Highland ST. Go through a 4 way stop 1.7 miles. You well see signs for Lake Denton.

02/20/2007 Walt K. (Avg: 3.27 Review) - Lake Denton is reopened for divers and boaters except that you must park across the street, which they designated as parking. This is a great place to do Open Water, Navigation, and Rescue courses. The lake is a great place to try out new gear. If everyone keeps the area clean the lake will stay open. The lake goers are on probation to see if they can keep it clean. There are 2 portolets and a dumpster for everyone's use. Please keep the area clean. To get there take rt. 27 south (if you are coming from Lake Wales area) and go about 30 miles to the town of Avon Park. A mile or so through town you will see South Florida Community College on the left. Make a left at that light. Take this road to the end and make a right. Go about 2/10ths of a mile and make a left onto Lake Denton rd. Follow around the bend and the entrance is on the right. You can pull in to unload but remember you can not park on the dirt road to the lake...You will get towed.

02/02/2007 Dave K (Avg: 2.90 Review) - Good ol' Lake Denton. This popular beginners training site is often made fun of, but it's not bad if you live in Central Florida and need someplace to grab a quick dip. Often pretty crowded with OW classes, they have a navigation course that could be handy. Not sure if the locals are really fond of all the traffic, but it is off the beaten path.

09/18/2005 Anonymous (Avg: 3.26 Review) - I thought this was a great place to begin diving. I did my checkout dives here, and I have been back. I hear they are trying to close all access to the lake, mainly due to people not respecting the area. There is a soft shell turtle here that likes to come around for food. It may nip at your fins, but it's not too aggressive.

08/26/2005 Michael Jarrells (Avg: 3.33 Review) - This is where I did my check dives. The Blue Gill and Largemouth Bass are very friendly. It is crowded on Saturday, but not as much on Sunday. There is a sunken dinghy and anchored ropes for easy underwater navigation. The lake isn't a spring, so visibility isn't perfect but is pretty good. I have been to 35 feet, however there may be deeper sections. There are no restrooms or showers, so make a pit stop in Avon Park.

Dive Site Pictures:
   (If you have pictures for Lake Denton, please send them here.)

Special thanks to Jeff (center)!
My students and I at Lake Denton.
Submitted by Jeff (center)

Special thanks to Jeff Curtis!
Lake Denton.
Submitted by Jeff Curtis

Special thanks to Jeff Curtis!
Lake Denton.
Submitted by Jeff Curtis

Special thanks to Jeff Curtis!
Lake Denton.
Submitted by Jeff Curtis


Diver Averages for  Lake Denton  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.67
Bottom Conditions:  3.92
Reef Conditions:  2.67
Animal Life:  3.50
Plant Life:  3.00
Facilities:  2.33
Solitude 3.08
Roads:  3.50
*Site Average:  3.37

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.17
Beginner Scuba:  4.17
Intermediate Scuba:  3.58
Advanced Scuba:  3.00
Night diving Scuba:  3.00

Number of reviews for this site: 12


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