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Old 01-20-2014, 09:02 AM   #1
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Need a beginner trail near Orlando FL

I have a 2013 Jeep Rubicon 2 door. I would like a trail near Orlando (within 2-4 hour drive if possible) that I can take the Jeep out for the day on. I need a beginner trail that doesn't have too much climbing or difficult stuff as I am new to the off-roading part of Jeeps. I would like a place I can camp out on the trail with my wife overnight. Anyone know of a place like this? Thanks!

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Old 01-20-2014, 09:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mac_3kuby View Post
I have a 2013 Jeep Rubicon 2 door. I would like a trail near Orlando (within 2-4 hour drive if possible) that I can take the Jeep out for the day on. I need a beginner trail that doesn't have too much climbing or difficult stuff as I am new to the off-roading part of Jeeps. I would like a place I can camp out on the trail with my wife overnight. Anyone know of a place like this? Thanks!
Google "Orlando Jeep Club".
They know the trails up by you and are probably willing to ride with you.
Oh, by the way, unless you have recovery equipment, don't wheel alone.

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Old 01-20-2014, 02:14 PM   #3
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Thanks. I looked at their site. Kinda pricey to join. $40 per year to be a club member? Sorry but no thanks. I can save that money for mods on the Jeep. I will be going alone, but I plan to tackle almost no obstacles. I really just want some decent Ranger trails that I can drive on with my wife and see some good scenery. I would never try to rock climb or go through a creek without a second vehicle and the right equipment.

After reading on here a bit, I found that Ocala National Forrest looks pretty good. Anyone been there lately? Recommend a nice easy beginner route?
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:20 PM   #4
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Ocala is another fun, but HUGE place. There is a lot of camping for the wife or, in the middle of the woods if that is your thing.
If you are going alone, be careful.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:24 PM   #5
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$40 a year is pricey?

What mods are you going to buy for about $3 a month?

You say you are new, don't you want someone to show and help you learn?
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:16 AM   #6
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$40 a year is pricey?

What mods are you going to buy for about $3 a month?

You say you are new, don't you want someone to show and help you learn?
I have been in clubs before and they are not my thing (I have actually run one, and I managed to do it for free). I honestly think that $40 is too much for membership. I am new, but I did not get on here and say I wanted to learn to rock climb and go crazy big with tires and mods. I just wanted an easy beginner's trail. I didn't think that was asking too much.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:20 AM   #7
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I too have been looking around for places to go and people to meet up with.

The $40 a year isn't a big deal to me but, not to thread jack here, but the one thing I see on the OJC (Orlando Jeep Club) site that I don't agree with is this (in red) -

Quote:
Mandatory Equipment - Required on First Ride

Tow points front and rear. Tow hooks to be bolted on with grade 8 hardware (not welded)
Full tank of gas
Health Information Sheet (Download)
First aid kit
Seat belts
Maybe I'm missing something here but...aren't welded recovery points stronger than bolted? My recovery points are welded to the bumper and the bumper is mounted with grade 8 hardware - would that be acceptable? I guess I don't understand the logic behind the statement of welded vs. bolted.

Can someone enlighten me on this?
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:10 PM   #8
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Not sure which is stronger, but wouldn't it just be good to have them at all? I am sure they have some reason to be picky. I have a Rubicon so I have tow hooks already installed so no issue for me. It is just a pet peeve of mine to pay to hang out with people. Shouldn't friendship be free? I get they have costs, but they should find ways around them. I ran a car club for about 2 years, including a website and monthly meetings and never spent a dime. It is possible if you are creative and are willing to do some work yourself.

I didn't want to bring that all up, but since several of you have posted about them, there's my 2 cents.

I am going to drive up to Ocala National Forrest and see if I can find some maps. Anyone know of a good place like a general store or trading post that sells good maps and information prior to my trip? I live on the south side of Ocala National Forrest in Sanford.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:04 PM   #9
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mac 3kuby, It`s good to see you are looking for advise, it`s wise to ask the experienced Off Roaders, it can save your Machine, perhaps you or your passengers from getting hurt. The best way to learn to off-road safely, is riding with experienced drivers and watch them do the tricks, and ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS !!! If you think that you can learn by yourself, you are asking for trouble.
There are No-No`s in any Sport.
Have you ever though how heavy is a Jeep, you don`t want it rolling on top of you.
Do you know what to do if you try climbing a hill and don`t make it to the Top ?
Have you realized the dangers of riding on rivers ?
A Jeep is not a Tank, and even Tanks roll over.
We all want you to be safe and enjoy the Sport and stick around here forever. You shall stick with a group, and most Clubs will let you stick around them for a day so you get to know them and try their manners. If you like the group, join them.
Anywho, stick around here and let the Pro`s give you hints, it will pay off by saving you broken parts on your Jeep and on yourself.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:41 PM   #10
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Well Mac if you find any info on the trails in Ocala, I would appreciate if you could give me a heads up. I live in a small town called Lake Asbury by Jacksonville and I like camping and kayaking. I'm pretty much looking for a nice place to take my jeep and do some off road camping with my son myself.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:37 PM   #11
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I have no idea why I randomly clicked on a thread about Florida, but nonetheless.

We have a big Jeep club out here. They do not "require" paid membership but I can tell you this-I suspect your club may use the money for other things. Believe it or not there are expenses. I just recently read a thread on our Arizona club about helping pay for fuel and supplies for a landowner that was willing to do the work and reopen a trail but needed the supplies. There is also money involved as at least our club is very involved with the governmental agencies who manage all the off-road trails and regulations and so on. None of those trails you ride on get maintained for free, and I suspect many Jeep clubs are very active in keeping them opened, signage posted and cleaned. So I would rethink before assuming it is a "bs fee". Of course your money so whatever you decide.

I agree with these folks here that going alone is a bad idea all around. At bare minimum fine if you do not want to join a club but tell SOMEONE where you are going and how long you think you will be - after which you instruct them to send help if they haven't heard back from you. Even a complete "noob" trail can become a life and death situation-do not kid yourself otherwise. (Heck, paved roads can too but at least odds are there is traffic driving by that you can flag for help there.) One nice muddy patch, a huge log or branch in the trail, or a single buried rock that you just didn't see - and you can be upside down, sideways (or worse) in a blink of an eye.

It is actions like that which give many off-roaders a bad name. The folks who do not do it responsibly. Please be responsible and start out the right way by learning from those who know their stuff!

Granted my terrain is a lot different here. But many things about off-road driving are actually counter-intuitive. If you react the same way you would on pavement, that may be the wrong answer. It all depends - and the folks in your area who are experienced KNOW how to wheel your area and all the "tricks" specific to that terrain. I would learn every bit of knowledge from them that you can.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:28 AM   #12
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Thanks for the advice. I will keep it in mind before my trip (in March sometime). I will try to find the trail maps and post on here if possible.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:32 AM   #13
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There's a jeep jamboree in april about 10 hr drive from mid FL I might be going they look like fun
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:02 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mac_3kuby View Post
Thanks for the advice. I will keep it in mind before my trip (in March sometime). I will try to find the trail maps and post on here if possible.
Good plan! And if you find a location maybe some more experienced folks in your area who are on WF would do a run with you. My first offroad was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. My guides were amazingly awesome and made all the difference-they got every rig home with nothing more than some minor rock rash and a few scratches basically-had we all (16 newbies, some had done milder trails before but nothing like this) gone on our own, guarantee someone wouldve rolled, been stuck or bashed their rig or been hurt or had to walk out. Our guides explained the lines they picked (ie "breakover angle is too steep for a JKU wheelbase here" or "thoze without lockers wont make this line" or whatever)-learned TONS! And made friends! Amd if you do happen to get stuck, a half dozen folks can push you out much easier than the wife could.

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There's a jeep jamboree in april about 10 hr drive from mid FL I might be going they look like fun
A Jeep Jamboree would be a lot of fun and you would have lots of experienced people around to guide you and help in a pinch. Also talk to some local dealers-a lot of them will do mini Jamborees. My dealer did in October, I just happened to oversleep and miss it lol.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:46 PM   #15
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Thanks for the input. I plan to do very BASIC trails. No climbing or rivers or anything of that nature. Just minor trails that will let me see some nature. I am honestly not interested in climbing or getting super muddy.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:12 AM   #16
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:28 PM   #17
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Thanks that's a pretty good map. I was looking for some new camping spots.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:30 PM   #18
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I've driven a few of the FR's there and they are on GPS. Last weekend the wife and I did the FR33 (just west of Juniper Springs) to what I thought was 10, and then East to hwy 19. We stopped at the marker for Pats Island ( by this map it shows Pats Island is South, we walked about 15 minutes North.....lol.....it started to rain and we headed back to the Jeep. No 4x4 needed.

In the past I did the FR just west of Alexander springs (NB) to 19. Just the dog and I, and needed 4x4 for several soft areas. I took a trail over to a lake, had lunch and let the dog run. I could see where people had made a fire and maybe camped there. Sad part was they left allot of trash and cans in the fire. Why people take the time to drive out into nature to trash it is beyond me! On that trip I only saw two guys on dirt bikes.

I plan to get back over there and to try and drive around the bombing range.

Thanks for posting the map.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:05 AM   #19
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Here's a good close one for you.
Get off at the Heathrow exit and go east. First light is the Primera entrance. Turn left there (by the tilted kilt pub)Follow that road past shops and businesses. When u see 3 tall office buildings on the left (I think they're grey with rust colored windows) start looking on the left for a road apron that dead ends. Go a short distance past that and you'll see another one that goes into the woods. Follow that trail and go toward a tall antenna, go past the antenna a few hundred yards and the trail splits at the hill. At that point you can go either left or right and start exploring. It's an old abandoned tangerine orchard that is several acres.
You'll have a blast in soft sand, some pretty decent size hills and trails. I would advise staying out of the mud though, since the area is right next to I-4 there's oils and solvents that have run off the road into that area and the big retention basin.
But the place is a blast and right in the middle of town. I used to go there often. And great tangerines in the spring.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:42 AM   #20
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Here's a good close one for you.
Get off at the Heathrow exit and go east. First light is the Primera entrance. Turn left there (by the tilted kilt pub)Follow that road past shops and businesses. When u see 3 tall office buildings on the left (I think they're grey with rust colored windows) start looking on the left for a road apron that dead ends. Go a short distance past that and you'll see another one that goes into the woods. Follow that trail and go toward a tall antenna, go past the antenna a few hundred yards and the trail splits at the hill. At that point you can go either left or right and start exploring. It's an old abandoned tangerine orchard that is several acres.
You'll have a blast in soft sand, some pretty decent size hills and trails. I would advise staying out of the mud though, since the area is right next to I-4 there's oils and solvents that have run off the road into that area and the big retention basin.
But the place is a blast and right in the middle of town. I used to go there often. And great tangerines in the spring.
Sounds like you're talking about Lake Mary. Is this the area?

Or is it easier to get to from this area?

It looks like you can get to the same area from Wallace Ct. or Primera Blvd.

Oh yeah...nevermind. LOL! You had posted about this area and I posted about it too. Never got any takers on meeting up and I generally don't like wheeling alone.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:56 AM   #21
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Yes basically the same area. You can see it from I-4.
It's a fun area. Stock jeeps can easily do most of it. But the mud can be deep especially in the drainage culvert. But I would stay out of the mud. Got my clear coat etched by the run off of chemicals from I-4 in the mud. There's a real sandy area that could trap a jeep with stock tires.
Any plans to get real adventurous there, should include another jeep or a winch for self rescue.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:18 AM   #22
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I know exactly where that entrance is. I never went back in there, but it sounds like fun.

Steeljag Thanks for the tips. That is exactly what I was looking for, easier roads that I won't get in too much trouble on. I appreciate the routes.

I did buy some good straps and a come along, just in case I get in a bad spot. I do not plan to do anything major though, so no worries. The trip isn't until March but I will post after to let you know what happens.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:45 AM   #23
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Went for a test run last Saturday. Stayed on paved roads and went for a drive to familiarize myself with the area. Started in Mount Dora on 19 and went up all the way to 314, left on 314 then left on 40 and ended up near Deland, took a right on 17 and that took me home. Nice afternoon road trip, plenty of roadside stands and shops to see and visit. A nice one in Barberville (Barberville Road Side Online). At the entrance to the forest on 19 I stopped and picked up a trail map for $4. Worth every penny. Not every road on it but most are. Saw plenty of trails off 19, 314, and 40 worth exploring.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:04 PM   #24
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Mac, outside of the ONF, on your trip E/B on 40 and about 4 miles west of 17, on the south side of the road is the Dexter Mary Wildlife management area. 14,000 acres with shell roads to drive and see the wildlife. Again, 4x4 not needed.....nice quite / remote drive.

If the gate is locked, call the # on the sign. They will provide you with the combo!
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:15 PM   #25
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Mac3 if your ever heading towards WV or NC let me know. We'll meet up and hit some mild trails we take every summer.. and we tend to end up doing those trail alone..
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:31 AM   #26
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Thanks Steeljag. I will check it out.

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