Florida Keys Most Popular Dive & Snorkeling Sites

Upper Keys

French Reef

French Reef is located about 1 mile Northeast of the Molasses Reef tower. There is a black piling there and 17 mooring buoys with the letter "F".

This dive site is remembered by divers that have been here for its limestone cliffs and its many swim-throughs, caves and crevices. The caves lie at depths ranging from 25 to 35 feet and are named for their unique appearance. About 50 feet inshore at the F1 buoy , you'll find the "Hourglass Cave" which oddly enough, resembles an hourglass. Enormous groupers are often found around this cave.

At F3 there is the "Christmas Tree Cave". This cave is about 50 feet from the buoy and is about 4 feet high by about 20 feet long. It was named for the hundreds of beautiful Christmas tree worms that cover the cave.

There is a small swim-through at F6. At F7 there is an old anchor about 100 feet Northwest of the coral covered ledge under the buoy. It may be a little difficult to make out because it's overgrown by corals so look carefully.

At the center of French Reef is the largest of all the caves. This is called the "White Sand Bottom Cave".

At the South end of the reef there is a series of narrow swim-throughs that are called the "Five Caves".

Moray eels, lobsters, crabs and sting rays are often found on the reef. The shallow areas of the reef are covered with golden brown elkhorn coral. You'll see old mounds and boulders of brain coral and star coral a little deeper. There are a variety of colorful tropical fish that make this reef home.

The French Reef is in an SPA area. No fishing or lobstering allowed.

Beginner, intermediate and advanced divers will all enjoy this dive site. This is an excellent site for snorkeling as well. The depth ranges from 5 to 100 feet.

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