Originally Posted by CPRJeeper
1.What's the whole deal with the permits and stuff?
2. We plan on spending 4-6 days out there. I've read about a lot of designated campsites that cost $$$, but are there like little miscellaneous spots where we can set up camp off of the trail?
3. Probably the most important, where the hell to go?
1) I've never bought a permit or have been told I needed one. I stop in the visitor centers often to donate or buy updated maps. I've told the attendant we were out there to wheel... no one has ever said anything about a permit.
My map does say one-three day passes are available at trailheads but I've never seen anything like this. I am sure you will be fine without one as long as you're not out there messing up the land.
2) Dispersed camping is allowed throughout the forest except for november-january, which is gun hunting season. There are also primitive and developed camping areas.
Stop by a visitor center, grab a map (10$) or make a donation... Talk to the attendant... you'll get all the information you need.
3) I'm not sure where you are coming from, but if heading north into the forest on 19, here are some stops I'd make:
- turn left off 19 onto 30. not too far on your left will be 73 and or 76 (not exactly sure, but they are both in the 70's) They connect to each other at a lake beachhead. Really cool spot, especially to take a few jeeps, line them up, and take a photo. Sometimes the fighter jets will buzz you there
- Head back out to 30 and head west. There are lots of spots to get buried in the sand on this road.
- Circle the bombing range... You can't enter, but it's cool to get a photo of your jeep with a sign behind it reading "danger, unexploded bombs"
- Blue Sink is cool, but it's soooo trashy there
- Wanna get muddy? Just west of Farles Lake (you grabbed a map right?) is a road headed south, 14-9.8. If it's rained recently, all the water has gone there... follow that to 14.
- Like to shoot? There is a rifle range off 40. (you grabbed a map right?) It's fun to wheel a bit, then go scope the rifle in.
- these are all service roads. There are plenty of other paths to take, just make sure you don't get on a motorcycle trail. If you do, not biggie, just get off as soon as you realize you're on the wrong trail. No trails are monitored except for the bombing range, which is clearly marked and gated.
Don't expect rocks and hills to climb, this is a sub tropical sand marsh... a different kind of challenge.
Ok, so that's the southwest quadrant of the forest. I'm most familiar with that area. Anyone have any suggestions for other cool things to see in other parts of the forest?
For more information, see Ocala National Forest - Home