Florida is full of state parks, national parks, and natural springs. Many who visit or even live here know how many beautiful and raw nature there is in Florida.
We recently took a trip out to Ocala National Forest this past week. I took some time to do some research and see what trails it has and how to get to the location. We decided on going to Juniper Springs as that seemed like a good starting point for seeing the area.
It was about a one hour drive from north Orlando. Depending on which way you go you’ll hit plenty of gas stations along the way before getting to the location. It’s not a long trail only about 1.5 miles. If you want you can rent a kayak which unfortunately we did not do this time around.
There are a few activities that can be done along the trail. Hiking for sure as it’s an amazing trail with most man-made paths, kayaking, swimming in the spring-fed pool, camping, and just enjoying nature while maybe catching a glimpse at a few of the Florida critters running around here.
The trail was easy to navigate while walking on a wooden bridge pathway. While hiking you can branch out and see where the river is running and where you can kayak. At the end of the trail is the most beautiful oasis I have ever seen while hiking. You cross over a bridge and you are surrounded by this beautiful turquoise colored translucent water.
Florida is known for its abundant wildlife everywhere. Unfortunately, we did not encounter anything spectacular on the hike but we did come across a few turkey hens running around.
The Ocala National Forest has a few popular trails that are well traveled. Some, small like Juniper and larger ones like the Florida trails going over 18 miles. I would highly recommend visiting the forest in your next visit to the Central Florida area. You can go for a day trip or spend a few days hiking and kayaking throughout the area. I would also recommend downloading the app All Trails to see what trails fit your skill level.