Five Nature Parks to Visit in Ocala

One of the best points of Ocala (besides Tasty-O’s) is its natural beauty. And while there may be some trees or even forest in your neighborhood, nothing beats going out into it and taking a hike! Here are some nature parks for you to enjoy.

Ocala National Forest

Ocala National Forest is in Florida, north of Orlando. It’s known for its large areas of sand pine scrub forest. The Juniper Springs, Alexander Springs and Salt Springs recreation areas have natural pools and canoe runs. Hundreds of lakes and ponds include Lake Kerr and the enormous Lake George. One of many trails, the Yearling Trail winds past a sinkhole and the remains of 19th-century homesteads.

Sholom Park

Sholom Park is a non-profit privately owned, 44-acre botanical garden in Ocala, Florida. Opened in 2004, the park features over 2 miles of paved trails and more than 250 species of plants and trees.

Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park, formerly known as Silver River State Park, is a Florida state park located on the Silver River in Marion County. The park contains Silver Springs, Florida’s first tourist attraction. The Silver Springs attraction dates to the 1870s.

Jervey Gantt Park

This park offers children play area with equipment, Dog Park, Geocaching, Tennis courts, Volleyball, Baseball and Football Fields. It is a paved Loop trail with many entrances and starting points. Along the trail is moderate workout equipment and little seating. The rear of the trail offers a great trek in the woods with a decrease in elevation.

Baseline Road Trailhead Park

The Baseline Road Trailhead features a 5-mile, paved multi-use trail situated along former pastures that are being restored to the original longleaf pine, sandhill community. This trailhead, managed by Marion County Parks and Recreation, offers parking and amenities and, thanks to the generosity of the Felburn Foundation, a barrier-free Boundless Playground, designed to enable children of all abilities to learn and play freely together.