Florida is so blessed with amazing natural resources that state residents typically spend entire lifetimes without even seeing much of what is on offer! Generations of authorities responsible for economic development must get credit for all the jobs and revenue streams created in Florida, without losing the pristine values of rivers, forests, and eco-systems in the area. This state is an obvious winter vacation choice, not just for Americans, but for people seeking recreation throughout the world. Freedom from oppressive and heavy outer wear is something to which people that dislike severe winters can look forward at the latitude of Florida. However, it is not as though summers are unbearably hot in this sub-tropical area. Springs, lakes, rivers, and fresh water bodies of all shapes and sizes, blend harmoniously with rich and varied vegetation to provide cool and inviting habitats right until the first signs of autumn.
Any month is right for a Florida outdoor vacation, but choosing amongst the galaxy of sites available can be daunting. The term outdoor is important because it helps to set aside the world of theme parks, which are tempting and universal attractions of fame. The world of Walt Disney in Orlando includes ethereal gardens and extensive collections of plant and animal life forms as well. However, spending quality time in natural preserves has values which tended parks and vacation hotels cannot mimic. The deep blue waters of the Atlantic, blinding white sands, friendly manatees, and legendary marine turtles, are stars which beckon us to the myriad beaches of Florida, but the state’s thick and luxurious forests are determined suitors for the hands of vacationers! The forest service of the Department of Agriculture wields a heavy bat in favor of Florida’s inland reserves, for no beach can compete with the close encounters with nature that are integral to the garland of national forests in Florida. Ocala is an especially popular choice with adventure tourists, and this reserve has an abundance of assets to justify its global and avid following.
Canoes, other kinds of water craft including simple boats, fishing, and swimming opportunities jostle for attention, as soon as you approach the Ocala Forest. Picnics and hunting are superb terrestrial alternatives. However, hiking is the shared obsession of true blue Ocala aficionados. It is difficult to argue that covering trails on foot is significantly better than bicycles or horses, but consensus on the joys of savoring the kaleidoscopic beauty of Ocala at a leisurely pace, is an experience not to be denied. Ocala is as generous towards city slickers, as it demanding for those who take pride in their professional fitness levels. Hiking in Ocala can be rehabilitative or raw depending on your recreation preferences. A multitude of birds and virtually endless biodiversity can occupy all the vacation time you may have in hand most pleasurably. The trails have no obvious signs of modern civilization, but there is little danger of getting impossibly lost.
Ocala flirts with danger at every turn. Bears and alligators are the main threats for the unaware. Both these popular portrayals of ferocious beasts really prefer to be left alone, and tend to stay away from humans if they can. Incidental or accidental feeding is the most common reason for these magnificent specimens of wild life to pose dangers for vacationers. This is why every Ocala visitor must be diligent about learning about how to keep food and waste properly stored, and to follow park authority guidelines in this respect most fastidiously. Ocala has a tragic record of having to waste animals that have become unintentional hazards to people. It should be reassuring to know that it takes no more than discipline, neat personal habits, and respect for the privacy of wild animals, to enjoy the ethereal ambience of Ocala safely and in peace.
Accommodation should be a highlight of every refreshing holiday, and Ocala is simply superb in this area! Though Ocala has camping grounds with amenities such as showers, the true fragrances, sounds, and magic of the forest are best experienced in isolated tents with the smallest possible groups possible, if not entirely alone. The forest has areas where no amenities of any kind are available, where no motorized vehicles are allowed, and where it is reasonably safe to live under canvas or just the stars at night. There is a catch in going back to the times of unknown ancestors in this fashion: you have to be able to leave your site precisely as you found it. This goes beyond leaving no trash behind, and includes restoring the ground to its original state, and to using natural water resources responsibly. This is not an excessive price to pay for the primordial pleasures of a sojourn in the wild.
Ocala is certainly far from Florida’s only forest, but the plethora of top grade hiking trails is certain to leave you thirsting for further trips no later than you are back to work from a break here. Timeless trees, cheerful waters, and generations of wild life will endure you absence and await the pleasure of receiving you as an honored guest in the enveloping bosom of Ocala!