The Ocala National Forest encompasses over 383,000 acres of natural land between the St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers. The ONF offers visitors a view of the natural habitats of North Central Florida, including over 600 natural lakes, rivers and springs. While many visitors choose to camp either in one of dozens of campgrounds or camping areas dispersed throughout the forest, there are many activities perfect for those wishing to spend an afternoon in nature.
For a little exercise, one can backpack through nearly 100 miles of trails winding through the natural habitat, or take the mountain biking trail that runs from the Clearwater Lake Recreation Area with Alexander Springs Recreation Area. There are also trails designated specifically for horse riding and camping. And for those interested in a more motorized view of the forest, there are over 200 miles of ATV and motorcycle trails and 81 miles of off-road trails for Jeeps and four-wheel drive vehicles, making the ONF one of the most-sought after destinations for off-roading in the state.
What can be the most attractive to visitors during the hot summer months, however, are all the water-related activities the ONF boasts. Natural cold-water springs like Alexander Springs and Jupiter Springs draw in thousands of guests yearly with their sparkling clear, refreshingly cold water. While the major springs and lakes attract most visitors, there are hundreds of smaller waterways scattered throughout the forest just waiting to be discovered.