The Ocala National Forest is located north of
Orlando between the Ocklawaha and St. Johns Rivers. Encompassing approximately 383,000 acres,
it is the southernmost forest in the continental United States and protects the world's
largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest.
Although it is centered on high, dry, central
scrub ridges, the Ocala National Forest is rich in water resources with more than 600 lakes,
rivers, and springs, including three first-magnitude springs. Each an oasis surrounded by
subtropical growth, these springs are some of the finest and clearest in the United
Established in 1908 as one of the first
National Forests east of the Mississippi River, the Ocala National Forest protects many significant archaeological,
historic, geological, and botanical wonders.
The forest hosts a variety of recreation, scenic and historic
areas. The recreation activities are as diverse as
the environment, from canoeing in wilderness waterways to swimming in crystal clear constant 72° springs. Visitors can enjoy year-round camping, picnicking, fishing, birding, hiking, bicycling,
horseback riding and four-wheeling on designated Jeep and ATV trail systems.