Turtle Reef | Boca Raton / Deerfield Beach Dive Site

Dive Site: Turtle Reef aka County Line Reef MAP IT!
Boca Raton / Deerfield Beach, Florida
Type of Dive:
South Florida Beach Dive
13-18 Feet
Metered: $2/hr weekdays $3/hr weekends. Garage: $3/hr weekdays $4/hr weekends
Local Beach Cam: Deerfield Beach Pier
Last Updated: 6/9/2019

**As of 4/19/2018, Turtle Reef has been UNCOVERED by Hurricane Irma!

The Turtle Reef Beach Dive:

The Boca Raton / Deerfield Beach Turtle Reef, also known as County Line Reef,  is an artificial reef constructed of giant boulders.  This dive site is a 5-minute walk north of the pier, in front of the Whitehall South condo building. To spot the condo from the beach, look for three similar white/off white high-rises which are next to each other. Entering the water in front of the north edge of the center building is recommended. The reef is about 600 feet out, nearly parallel to the end of the Deerfield Beach Pier.

From April to August, countless turtles come here!

The reef is a busy boating area and you MUST use a dive flag when scuba diving and snorkeling.

Directions to Turtle Reef In Boca Raton / Deerfield Beach:

Deerfield Beach Boca Raton Turtle Reef MapFor Scuba Diving: From I-95, take Hillsboro Blvd. (exit 42A) east. Make a left onto NE 20th Ave. Follow the road to the right and then make a left onto NE 21st Ave. / A1A / N. Ocean Blvd. Take this road north for 1/3 of a mile and drop your scuba diving gear and buddy off at the bus stop bench, which will be on the right. The beach walkway/entrance is footsteps away from the drop off spot  (view above link to map). Park your car in one of the designated parking areas and walk back to where you dropped off your buddy and gear.

For Snorkeling: From I-95, take Hillsboro Blvd. (42A) east. Make a left onto NE 20th Ave. for two blocks. Making a left when you see Island Water Sports will bring you to a parking garage which will be on your left. Making a right will bring you closer to the pier and to metered parking. Typically for snorkeling, metered parking is the cheaper route.

What You May See At Turtle Reef:

Turtles, Yellow Rays, Southern Stingrays, Eels, Nurse Sharks,  Sergeant Majors, Sand Divers, Stonefish, Porcupine Fish, Grunts, Octopus.

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Explore The Amazing Turtle Reef In Boca Raton / Deerfield Beach

  1. Fantastic dive. Dove it 3-4 times. Went out again two days ago and could not find anything. We looked hard and long. Heard some rumors that it got damaged during beach restoration. Could anyone confirm?

    • Hi Alex,

      Turtle Reef was a great reef. One of our favorites spots to snorkel. Unfortunately the rumors you heard are true. One of people we dive with told us, “winter storms or the combination of them with the beach reclamation efforts have totally buried turtle reef. Apparently, there is some growth on the ancient reef that was exposed last year but, not much. The turtle patch still exists to the north.”

      South Inlet Park is about 1/3 mile north and has a similar reef structure.

      We hope Turtle Reef will return for 2015.

  2. Yup, turtle reef is totally gone. You said South Inlet Park is similar. Is it the same distance to swim out to? Where do you park? Any other suggestions for beach snorkeling near Deerfield Beach?

    • Hi Jane,

      We’re still bummed that Turtle Reef is covered. It was our favorite snorkel spot!

      South Inlet Park is a little north of Turtle Reef. It has the same formation and is closer to the beach…..shorter surface swim! (the web page has a video on the bottom)

      South Inlet Park has a parking lot for visitors to use. You pay at the machine near the bathrooms.

      DO NOT swim into the inlet….


      For snorkeling in Deerfield, much of the DB ledges are covered. there are FEW sections that aren’t. I’m hoping to do some exploring after work to map where the good sections of the ledges are.

  3. I can snorkel really good but the reef is 600 ft out. Is it hard to swim that far out, or should I boat there?

    • Hello,

      Turtle Reef was a great reef. Tons of beginners visited this reef. 600ft out is not far at all, no need for a boar. It was about a 5-10 minute surface swim. Last season it was confirmed that this reef was covered in sand due to the winter storms and the beach re-nourishment project. South Inlet Park is about a 1/3 of a mile north and is very similar.

  4. I went to Turtle reef a few weeks ago and there was a lot of sea life and sting rays but I didnt spot any turtles. Is it still worth diving or should I just head to South Inlet Park. Where do divers enter the park? I have a group of 12 snorkelers and 3 divers

    • Hi Brandon,

      We feel you would see more marine life at South Inlet Park. There’s parking at the park and the beach is a short walk east.

      If you’re able to head to Palm Beach, there’s Blue Heron Bridge and Peanut Island there. Both are excellent.

  5. I am just starting to get into diving. I went to turtle reef last weekend. I normally rent a paddle board to go out far. I was wondering how far is the South Inlet park from the Turtle reef. Can I paddle there easily?

    • Hey Carolina, South Inlet Park is about 3/4 of a mile north of Turtle Reef. While we’ve never done it, snorkeling from one to the other should be doable aslong as there’s no current or you are going with the current.

  6. Is the Turtle Reef back or still missing in action?

  7. Hi, any recent updates on the Deerfield Beach artificial reefs / ledges? Google Sat maps still show something in the water both north and south of the Pier’s end, like a mile long in either direction.

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