Ocala

Ocala is surrounded by more than 200 miles of hiking trails, including two large segments of the Florida Trail along the Cross Florida Greenway and through the Ocala National Forest.

It is one of the most ideal jumping-off-points for hikers looking to enjoy a flurry of day hikes or a week or more worth of backpacking. The Santos Bike Trails are renowned throughout the state for their diversity and difficulty, and there are some of the best paddling runs in the region nearby on the Silver, Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers and at Juniper Springs.

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Nearby Destinations


Related Articles

  • Submarine boat, April 1968 (Linda Friend) Chasing rainbows: Florida springs protection (4/3/2014) - April is Florida Springs Protection Month, according to our state agencies. A walk through Rainbow Springs State Park confirms that as beautiful as they look, the springs are not in good health.
  • Entrance to the Land Bridge from Land Bridge Trailhead Cross Florida Greenway -The Land Bridge (12/22/2012) - A landmark along Interstate 75 near Ocala, the Land Bridge remains one of the more popular destinations for hikers, bikers, and equestrians on the Cross Florida Greenway.
  • 49-diggings2006 Cross Florida Greenway – Finding a Route (12/17/2012) - After several years of working on trail crews in Western Pennsylvania, I returned home to Florida in 1999 looking to find an organization similar to the Keystone Trails Association, which coordinated volunteer efforts on hiking trails. I discovered the Florida Trail Association, and to my delight, an active trail-building effort going on very close to […]
  • Buffet on the beach (1/4/2012) - On New Years Eve day, I had the pleasure of leading 32 hikers through a trail system that none of them had ever explored before: Carney Island Park. One of Marion County’s finest parks, it preserves a peninsula jutting out into Lake Weir near Ocklawaha. I’ve been there several times before, rambling the trails both […]
  • Land Bridge Bridge to the Future: The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross-Florida Greenway (11/28/2011) - As we walk the mile and a quarter along the Florida Trail through deep woods to the west of Belleview, the low-hanging clouds that threatened the morning with rain now part. Emerging from the forest, we step into bright sun—and a crowd of more than a hundred people, gathered here in a clearing. Thousands of […]
  • Dengue fever reported in Ocala (8/12/2011) - Dengue fever, a dangerous mosquito-borne disease for which there is no vaccine or cure, was reported in an individual returning from a foreign country to the Ocala area with symptoms.  The disease is known to be a problem in Central America and the Caribbean. Since the disease is mosquito-borne,  if this person was bit by […]
  • vintage Rainbow Springs Remembering Rainbow Springs (5/28/2011) - Ready for some nostalgia? Here's a peek at what Rainbow Springs used to be like back in the 1960s, courtesy of Linda Friend. And yes, that's Sandy in the photos.
  • Jumper at HITS Jumper at HITS (2/9/2011) - Since the 1980s, Horses in the Sun (HITS) has been bringing expert riders and their horses to Ocala from around the world.
  • At Sholom Park Visiting Sholom Park (1/19/2010) - Walk the meditative garden paths at Sholom Park in Ocala, Florida's peace park, for quiet contemplation.
  • Paddling the Silver River Paddling the Silver River (8/30/2009) - What to do on a hot summer's day? Try the naturally air-conditioned Silver River for a paddling trip.
  • The Big Scrub (3/10/2006) - The Big Scrub The Ocala National Forest is one of my favorite places to hike, and Florida’s desert-like scrub is one of my favorite habitats along the trail. Coupled with a real need to get out and hike AND get some research done for my next book, this convergence led me to take a journey […]