DescriptionIn central Florida, the 383,573-acre forest contains numerous plant species of vegetation and clear lakes, springs and streams. The forest is said to have the world's largest stand of sand pine. Other predominant trees types include longleaf and slash pine, cypress and hardwood. In addition to several shorter trails, a well-traveled section of the Florida National Scenic Trail winds through the forest and is popular with hikers. Hunting is allowed by permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Developed recreation sites include Alexander Springs, Juniper Springs, Lake Dorr, Fore Lake, Mill Dam, Clearwater Lake, Salt Springs and Silver Glen Springs. Juniper Prairie Wilderness is home to Pat's Island, where parts of the 1946 movie “The Yearling” were filmed. Juniper Springs was constructed in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Brochures and information on forest recreational opportunities are available at Ocklawaha Visitor Center on SR 40 at 3199 N.E. CR 315, between Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha River. The center is open daily 9-4 (based on staff availability); phone (352) 236-0288.