In September, we started working on a project for the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau to identify and assess the top hiking and biking trails in the county.
For those of you who’ve followed us for years, you know that Sandra’s family moved to Ocala when she was a teenager, and she lived in the Ocala area for much of her adult life. It’s only been over the past few years that we’ve been camping, couchsurfing, or staying in hotels on our visits here, where her family still lives. Since in-depth research projects like this mean hiking and biking all day and spending all evening downloading and organizing digital media, we asked ahead about hotel stays during our weekly trips up to the region. Our first one was at the Holiday Inn Express Silver Springs.
This isn’t a new property, but it certainly looks and feels like one when you step inside. The hallways and common areas are decorated with outdoor recreation scenes from the region, the better to encourage you to play outside. All of the amenities you’d expect from a Holiday Inn Express are here, from the comfy beds to the expanded continental breakfast with hot foods and those delicious cinnamon buns.
Comfort and location make this a good choice when you’re not camping. Roll out the door and you’re right at the gate of Silver Springs State Park, and just a short drive from the Ocala National Forest. Part of our research in the area was to check on several newer parks and preserves within 15 minutes of the hotel, and they all made the list we’re presenting to the county after we wrap up the project. Thanks to thoughtful land purchases around the Silver Springs basin, there is so much more to explore here, including a preserve that just opened this summer. We’ll be adding these new trails to the Silver Springs section of the website soon!
Here’s where you’ll find great hikes near the Holiday Inn Express in Silver Springs.
Florida Trail hikers take note: this is the closest lodging to the Marshall Swamp trailhead.
Our thanks to the Holiday Inn Express Silver Springs for providing a complimentary stay while we researched hiking trails in the area.