Monday, June 20, 2011

REVIEW Ocala National Forest Boondocking Site

Ocala National Forest is one of very few National Forests in Florida, and therefore one of the few boondocking areas in Florida. We made a point of driving through here to see what we could find. To get to the spot we stayed at head North from Altoona on #19. Turn Left (West) on 316 until just before the big bridge to Eurika. Here you will turn Right (north again) and continue while looking for a spot on your right. This forest road was not well marked. We drove by and had to go up and turn around. Make sure you stay on the right side of the road and in the Ocala forest as the Left side of this road is private property.

Value 5/5

Site Quality 3.5/5
Very sandy and lumpy ground. Had to level it up quite abit but still weren't level. This site was just off of the paved road and had a fair amount of traffic on it but not enough to be disruptive.

Facility Fun 2/5
This was just a free place to stay. You could wander further down the forest road if you wanted...not sure what we might have discovered if we did. There were other sites we saw that had a lake and one that had trails but we continued on until it started to cool off and ended up here.

Natural Surroundings 3/5
We were at the entrance to a forest service road but we were parked near an open area with trees on one side of us and parked close to the road. On the other side of the road were houses and private property.

Bathrooms N/A

Staff N/A

Location 2/5
This area we stopped at was a bit out of the way. Even though we got to it on all paved roads the road we left on to continue North turned dirt when we turned east to get back to #19 and it was very rough. The worst washboard driving we have ever driven on. The beaches would be about an hour away under good driving conditions.

Overall 3/5
There aren't many free places to stay in Florida and wasn't much around where we stayed. Other sites we saw would have been nicer but we were trying to drive further in hopes of the sun getting closer to setting and the temperature therefore dropping. This was a stop over for the night only for us so it disn't matter that there wasn't much nearby. We were happy with this free night of sleep! Within this forest there are many trails for hiking, trails for quadding, lakes for fishing etc we just happened to not stop by any of them.

Another site we saw...see next older post for more details

Site at Buck lake that we could have stayed at but continued on

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