Florida Trail: Ocala National Forest

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Ocala National Forest

Florida Trail: Ocala National Forest is a 67.1 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Fort Mc Coy, Florida that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from October until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length67.1 miElevation gain1,807 ftRoute typePoint to point
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingRunningForestLakeViewsWildlife
Description
Waypoints (3)

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (25)
Photos (114)
Recordings (33)
Completed (26)
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Rob Kruppa
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Hiking
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Mary Fiore
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HikingGreat!

We day hiked sections of the Florida Trail through the Ocala National Forest. Know that you can park for free where a road intersects the trail. It is an easy trail with few tree roots and other obstacles on the trail. We did not need our hiking sticks. It gently rolls in a few sections, so no significant altitude changes. There are many sandy sections. We enjoyed sections going north out out Juniper Springs and south from 314 the most as it was mostly forest with some shade. Hopkins Prairie north of 50 is pretty but sandy and sunny. We went in January, so the temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. No bugs nor mud. Do not attempt to hike here or most places in Florida in the summer other than at dawn or dusk. Here it will be swampy, in the 90s, buggy and too humid.

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Wayne Carney
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Hiking
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Noah Collins
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Hiking

Great trail and very fulfilling for Florida Hiking. However, AllTrails has some very incorrect and misleading information on here. If you go from South to North and cross FR22 to come up to Farles Lake. The map leads you to believe you would head west to meet up with the FL trail there. Instead you really head to the East side of the lake and the trail hugs the east side of the lake and goes all around every body of water until you eventually get to Juniper Springs recreational area. Keep in mind, once you pass FR22 then you will not be on the designated trail that this map provides and the distance is greatly than what is advertised. Another issue is that the map is just flat out wrong when it comes to getting to Shanty Pond Campground. The map has you pass the intersection of the FL Trail for Salt Springs but realistically you need to take that. Once you take the trail, easiest thing to do is hop onto that first dirt road then take FR33 and then make the left to get to Shanty Pond Campground. Additionally, they did not have potable water there. Luckily there was a nice camp host who was kind enough to share some at the time. At this point I kind of just stopped looking at the AllTrails map but the last leg heading North was again longer than anticipated. at the end the trail does split and you hug the south end Lake Ocklawaha instead of taking the most direct path. I did this portion at night and end up getting lost but just keep in mind that it does split for other hikers that may end up taking longer than expected and have to hike at night. Overall fun hike but it would be great if it was portrayed as an 80(ish) mile hike which is what it ended up actually being.

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Ilan Kottler
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OHV/Off-road drivingOver grown

2 days of Longleaf Trail. Easy driving with our 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition. No major issues except for some overgrown vegetation areas. If you have an SUV, stay on the Yellow Trail. The other trails are overgrown.

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Jason Crane
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HikingBlowdownBugsOff trail
First to Review

I've hiked 3 out & back segments of the FNST trail from the SR-19 TH & 2x from Farles Prairie Recreation Area (8 miles, 6 miles & 8.5 miles.) The Florida Trail through the Ocala National Forest is my favorite hiking trail in Florida. I'm looking forward for many more hikes & aspiring to section hike the entire trail through the Ocala National Forest. Thus far, I've seen an alligator, snake, scorpion, bear & an array of species of spiders. My only objections are the infestation of ticks & I've been bitten at least once by a Lone Star tick; also the number of blow downs that require circumventing off trail. I also experienced a serious incident with hooligans firing off guns unknowingly in my vicinity & with no cell coverage to call 911. I would highly recommend hiking with a partner & safety in numbers.

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Jim Clifton
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Jason Crane
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Chris Badger
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OHV/Off-road driving
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Eddie O’Neill
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Hiking
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Jason Crane
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Hiking
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Joshua Aaron
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Hiking
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William Dueease
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Hiking
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Michael Geddes
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Hiking
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Martin Jelenc
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Brad Beall
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Melissa Redon
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Zachary Ridenbaugh
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Dave Bookman
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Jose Lugo
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Lisa Mangum-Countryman
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Wes Walker
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James Gilbert
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James Gilbert
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Hiking
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Chris Buano
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Hiking
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