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The Ocala National Forest is the world’s largest national forest, in case you didn’t know. More than 2.3 million acres of Central Florida are covered by it.

There are also lovely lakes, rivers, and forests in this huge area. Both Marion County and Lake County are home to the Ocala National Forest, an extremely popular destination for those who enjoy the great outdoors and the natural world.

Are you still on the fence about going to see it?

The Ocala National Forest is a must-visit location for the following 5 reasons:

1. Swimming In Lakes and Springs.

It’s difficult to think of water sports in the Ocala National Forest without also considering the breathtaking freshwater springs.  florida springs

In fact, most experts label this as the top Ocala activity.   

The springs have crystal-clear waters that are turquoise in hue and a constant temperature of 72 degrees, which may chill off even the hottest Florida days. Swimming and scuba diving are available at Alexander Springs, or you can stroll along the boardwalk route next to Juniper Run to the serene Juniper Springs and its stone-edged, CCC-built pool.

 Additional spring swimming options are available at Salt Springs and Silver Glen Springs.

Numerous lakes, such as Clearwater Lake and Fore Lake, have authorized swimming beaches and are well-liked fishing spots.

2. Diverse Ecosystem That Includes Upland Forest, Cypress Swamps, Water, And Pine Flatwoods.

The Ocala National Forest’s ecology includes pine flatwoods, water, marshes, cypress swamps, and upland forest. Visitors will see an astounding array of plants, trees, water features and terrains in a few hours.

3. Endangered Gopher Tortoises.

Some of the best chances to observe gopher tortoises, which are endangered, are in the Ocala National Forest.

These underground dwellers are difficult to see because they spend the majority of their time hidden from predators.

The Ocala National Forest is a great area to see them, though. The Tori Sinks Natural Area is a fantastic place to catch a glimpse.

Be cautious not to disturb them, though!

4. Wildlife Viewing.

The Ocala National Forest is a fantastic location to see animals. More than 225 different animal species can be found here, many of which are considered threatened or endangered. 

ocala national forest

Larger creatures like bobcats, Florida panthers, and black bears are actually quite common in the national forest. There’s also more than a strong possibility you’ll see otters and alligators.  It is an animal-lovers paradise.

5. Biking And Hiking Trails.

The Ocala National Forest has a ton of hiking and bike paths.

The ideal time of year to visit is during the migratory season, when the area is home to over 300 different bird species!

Hikers come from all over the country to explore the untamed wilderness that is The Ocala National Forest.


Camping, fishing, birding and hiking are just a few of the popular activities available in the Ocala National Forest.

Numerous lakes, rivers, and woodlands are just waiting to be explored here!

It has a long history that began in 1875 when President Ulysses S. Grant established the forest to prevent the land from being used for logging or cultivation.

This region is known for its wealth of natural beauty, including stunning lakes, rivers, and verdant woods, all of which are ideal for outdoor exploration and recreation.

The Ocala National Forest is the largest national forest in the world with more than 2 million acres.

There is not a better time than now to check it out!

If you live in the area, please check out our ocala metal buildings!