After receiving a number of emails from visitors to the Ocala National Forest who’ve been turned away at the gates of the recreation areas with their dogs, we contacted the National Forests in Florida and received a response from District Ranger Mike Herrin, who oversees the Ocala National Forest.
“We do have a closure order for dogs in Alexander Springs, Salt Springs, Silver Glen Springs, Juniper Springs, Clearwater Lake, Fore Lake, Lake Dorr and Mill Dam recreation areas, except for service dogs. No animals, other than service dogs, are allowed in the day use areas. Day use area include picnic area, swim areas, beach and trails that originate in the recreation facility.”
However, if you are camping at any of the above facilities, you may bring leashed dogs with you. The dogs are not permitted to leave the campground per the above closure order.
That’s the status on dogs in the Ocala National Forest, which are otherwise permitted on trails and in other campgrounds not affiliated with the above recreation areas.
To bring the fact that dogs are not allowed to your attention, we’ve updated all of our pages on this website related to those recreation areas. Our apologies to those who’ve been turned away at the gate after reading in any of our books (published prior to the closure order) that leashed dogs are welcome: we can’t make the same corrections to books already in print.