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“Beautiful place to visit...or live in.”

Ocala National Forest
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Umatilla
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: National parkland consisting of 383,220 acres of various landscapes, including highlands, coastal lowlands, swamps, springs, lakes and ponds.
Reviewed 3 October 2017

We are snowbirds, we live in the Ocala National Forest in Salt Springs just under six months a year. The actual springs in the recreation area are lovely. The forest has bears, deer, osprey, sometomes feral hogs, and tons of birds. Lots of natural beauty for photogs. It is a wilderness in some areas, with gators, poisonous snakes and spitty cell reception. But we love it there.

2  Thank JoanMN1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"juniper springs"
in 22 reviews
"recreation area"
in 8 reviews
"alexander springs"
in 12 reviews
"national forest"
in 10 reviews
"black beans"
in 10 reviews
"silver glen"
in 8 reviews
"natural spring"
in 3 reviews
"canoe trip"
in 3 reviews
"deep sand"
in 2 reviews
"natural beauty"
in 4 reviews
"bbq grill"
in 2 reviews
"picnic tables"
in 5 reviews
"worst part"
in 2 reviews
"fire ring"
in 2 reviews
"turkey vultures"
in 2 reviews
"oak trees"
in 2 reviews
"ranger station"
in 3 reviews

14 - 18 of 135 reviews

Reviewed 13 September 2017

Ocala National Forest is a gem waiting to be explored! You can spend the afternoon, day, and weeks in this gorgeous, and huge, state park. It has it all in terms of real natural beauty, from hiking to canoeing, to bird watching, to biking, and swimming in incredible natural springs! We canoed for 4 hours in Alexander Springs which was beautiful beyond words. We saw all sorts of water fowl, large turtles all over the banks, and even a 6-foot gator. Just 10 minutes ahead of us they saw a black bear fishing in the water. After this gorgeous spring we drove to Silver Glen Springs and swam (& cooled off!) in this awesome natural spring! It was remarkable swimming with thousands of beautiful fish and I only wished I had brought my GoPro! Don't miss the mind-boggling beauty of the Ocala National Forest!

3  Thank Dave L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2017

We decided to take Hwy 19 thru Ocala Nat'l Forest from Eustis, FL up to Palatka on our way to Jacksonville headed back to Maryland. This road is scenic, takes you through the middle of the woods with hardly any traffic and is a refreshing break from the Interstates. At Palatka it runs into Hwy 17. All in all 50 - 60 miles of solitude.

2  Thank William K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2017

We went for birding and even during off season had a great time. We stayed in Silver Springs which was a fairly convenient location. You drive for hours on dirt roads and bird and look for wildlife. We saw bears on two different occasions which was great. We got the Florida Scrub Jay there which was a lifer for us. We did not get the red cockaded woodpecker, though, which was too bad. Lots of different habitat. Trails is recreation areas are nice. The recreation areas are also really nice. We hiked through one with a spring and it was a very nice facility. We went to the ranger station to get park maps and the bird list for the park. The staff there was nice but I was surprised a national forest didn't have an up to date bird list and a place for birders to list what they are currently seeing. We also had to pay for a map. Speaking of maps, watch out for navigating the roads through the forest. They go by different names and numbers than on the map and it can be very confusing trying to figure out where you are or how to get somewhere. We got lost one night on one of the dirt roads that are okay for cars and were really getting concerned when a nice guy in a truck came down the road and asked if we needed help. We were able to find out from him what road we were on and where it went which was extremely helpful. (We did see a great horned owl, though, that night.) I would definitely go back and plan to during migration.

Thank L M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 July 2017 via mobile

There is so much to do and see here. Choose trails that suit your ability and then find a Spring to jump in and cool off. We chose lake Eaton sinkhole and silver Glen Springs. Saw otters, woodpeckers, humming birds and snakes.

Thank ginalaura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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