Lake Denton Dive Plan
Lake Denton is a 66 acre freshwater lake in Highlands County, located between Avon Park and Sebring, Florida. Diving in Lake Denton is managed by Phil and Pam Elder, Directors of the Lake Denton Church Camp, which is located on its shore. This lake is very popular as a dive training site, and also with certified divers.
790 Lake Denton Road
Avon Park, FL 33825
Entry into Lake Denton is via the nearby church camp. The are open from 9am-6pm daily.
Driving directions from Dayo Scuba Dive Center: (Drive time: 2 hours)
1. Leave the dive center and turn left (south) on Executive Dr toward Gay Road.
2. Turn left at Gay Rd
3. Right onto N Orlando Ave/US 17-92.
4. Turn right at W Fairbanks Ave/FL-424A/FL-426, and continue to towards I-4, make a slight right to merge onto I-4 W.
5. Take exit 55 to merge onto US-27 Southbound.
6. Drive for 50 minutes (miles) until you reach Avon Park.
7. Drive through Avon Park for about 1 mile (passing the fast food restaurants) until you see a sign post for the SF Community College, and turn left here.
8. At the end of SFCC drive, take a right, and then a left onto Lake Denton Drive.
9. The church camp is about a quarter mile down on the right, marked with a dive flag.
For Dayo classes:
We usually meet at the Burger King at 9:00am. See Map for directions.
Admission is $10.00 per diver, this includes access to the lake and your parking fee.
If you are with an instructor they will ask you and each of your students to fill in the Lake Denton Liability Release Form, collect $10 from everybody, and pay for the group.
If you are not with an instructor, look for Phil Elder, fill in your liability form, and pay him (cash or check only).
Normal Arrival Time:
The lake tends to get busier as the day progresses. Get their early to ensure you have the better visibility!
Amenities available at Lake Denton:
- Rinse facilities
- Showers (Please do not rinse sandy gear in the showers or sinks, wash your gear out in the water!)
- Picnic tables
- Food, snacks and refreshments
Diving Lake Denton:
- Lake Denton is a 66 acre freshwater lake, with sandy beach access to the main diving area.
- The lake is regularly used by boaters, so it is essential that each diver team has a flag/marker buoy.
- There are three sunken boats which are quite interesting to check out, and recently more items have been added (hula hoops, lawnmowers, bicycle, navigation course etc).
To help divers navigate Lake Denton, there are two tips:
- Your compass.....west goes out, east back to entry point.
- Lines: there are a series of lines installed so you can travel these to see the interesting sights, and find your way back.
Pre-dive Safety Check:
Divers should gear up at their cars, or on the shore. Make sure to put down mats to assemble your gear on, as there is LOTS of sand that will get onto and into your gear. Take only the gear needed on the dive down to the lake. Lock all other gear and items in you car, as the camp is not responsible for anything lost or stolen.
All buddy pairs/teams should do a predive safety check in the shallows to make sure that your regulator and inflator is working, and there are no leaks. Also, make sure you go over your buddies gear, and have your buddy go over your gear to make sure you are both familiar with each others equipment. Remember to double check that your air is on, and that your regulator is in your mouth, not your snorkel as you set off.
Entry and Exit:
Entry into and out of Lake Denton is very easy, simply walk in to waist deep water to put your fins on. Reverse this for the exit.
Water temperature and condition:
The water temp varies from 65 degrees in the Winter months, to 89F in the Summer months.
Even during the summer months when the water is at its warmest, some type of exposure protection is recommended, to protect from the sun, as there is no shade in the area, a rash guard or T-shirt is appropriate.
After October, the water temperature drops rapidly to the mid to high sixties, so a 5mm-7mm full wetsuit or even a dry suit is recommended. Wearing a hood or a hooded vest and gloves during the winter also helps to maintain your heat.
Visibility ranges from 30 feet to next to zero, when the bottom is disturbed. Generally, as the water gets warmer in the summer months, the visibility decreases dramatically.
What you can expect to see:
Things you can expect to see when diving here are sunfish, catfish, bass and turtles. The three submerged boats attract lots of fish life.
Recently, items such as a bicycle, a ride on lawnmower and hula hoops have been added. The hula hoops are a great way to practice your buoyancy.
Bubba, our favorite resident Lake Denton turtle, by the Buoyancy Diamonds
Environmental Interaction Suggestions:
PLEASE RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND WILDLIFE. Do not harass, or feed, the fish or turtles!
Please keep your buoyancy and trim in check at all times. Not only will you make the dive site less enjoyable for yourself and your buddies if you silt up the bottom, but the poor visibility will also ruin the dives for others. There is negligible current here, so the silt stays in the water column for a LONG time.
Maintain visual contact with your buddy at all times. The deepest part on the lake is 45 feet and you have to maintain good buoyancy, as it is very easy to silt the muddy bottom. You should plan your exit to swim back the entire distance under the water, but if you need to surface, make sure to ascend slowly, and keep a close eye and ear out for boats. If in a group and you get separated, be sure to regroup and make sure that all divers are accounted for prior to exiting the lake.
Always use a dive flag when diving Lake Denton!!!!
In case of buddy separation, follow standard procedures: look for your buddy for one minute, and if you cannot find your buddy ascend slowly (listening and looking for boats), and regroup on the surface. Check your air supply, to ensure you have enough to continue the dive.
If anyone is low on air, signal your buddy with the appropriate hand signal and begin your ascent. In the rare and unusual case of an out of air situation, signal your buddy and commence sharing air. Maintain buoyancy and ascend slowly, remembering to breathe.
Emergency Contact Information:
911 - This will activate EMS in the Avon Park area
DAN – 1-919-684-4326
Always call DAN after 911 in the case of a dive emergency which may require medical attention. DAN should be called in the case of any diving medical emergency. They will refer you to the correct chamber, if necessary.
Emergency Oxygen should be made available at the dive site by the divers, as there is none on site.
Enjoy your dive, be safe and have fun!