Fort Gates Ferry

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The Fort Gates Ferry is an auto ferry that crosses the St. Johns River in Florida, downstream of Lake George and just upstream of Little Lake George, at Fruitland Cove. The oldest operating ferry in Florida, it acts as part of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway.Location and historyThe Fort Gates Ferry, also known as the Gateway Ferry, connects Fort Gates Ferry Road near Pomona Park on the east bank of the St. Johns River with Forest Service Road 43, leading to Salt Springs in the Ocala National Forest, on the west bank. The ferry first entered service in the 1850s and is the oldest ferry service still operating in Florida. It was operated as a military ferry by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.The current ferry began operation in 1914, and is one of four still operating in the state of Florida. The ferry, part of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway, consists of a barge pushed by a tugboat converted from a 1910 Sharpie sailboat. It has a weight limit of. The tugboat, named Too Wendy, is long and is powered by a diesel engine. Hurricane Gladys sunk the ferry's tugboat in 1968; service was suspended until it could be raised.

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