Ocala, Florida, Biking- Atv -Horses- Get Off Road And Get Dirty!

ATV Trek Ocala National Forest

ATV Trek Ocala National Forest

We Love to play in the woods, the Dirtier the better!!

Okay, it ain't Colorado, but this area has a lot to offer-- Ocala, Florida--Ba-bee! ​
If you like to Bike,  Boat,  4-wheel,  Swim,  Hike, Wildlife,  Horses or Camping. This area has you covered!

READ ON...........It might just be your next stop in Florida.

We had a hankering for some rugged bike trails, pleeeze Florida, give us a bike trail where we're not sinking into sand! We finally found a playground!

This is our 4th trip down to Ocala/Silver Springs area, from Jax, Florida. Below is a interactive map, so you can get a perspective of where Ocala is located.

Basically, it's in the middle of the state, northwest of Orlando. Hope you like wildlife, because there's a good possibility you might see BEARS, in this area, and we did! TWICE! Once on a horseback trek, and the other along the FLORIDA BLACK BEAR SCENIC BYWAY.

Yep! Yep! It goes through the Ocala National Forest North, South, East and West. Here is the official link about the Black Bear Byway and you'll also find a great app you can download that will give you information about the entire recreational area. LINK

Ocala National Forest! Woo-hoo! 198 miles of Off Road Romping!
The Big Scrub areas in the Ocala National Forest are the largest continuous block of sand pine scrub ecosystem IN THE WORLD!
Grab the link for the Ocala National Forest and ALL the trails!  : PLAY HERE
Below is our video, a day of play on ATV's. We rented our ATV's from a great group of guys, just click on the link for info, rates etc., Here it is: ATV RENTAL TIP: If you pay cash, you get $10 bucks off!


Ocala, FL bike trails

Vortex Area

Getting Ready To ride

One of my Best Friends! My Gary Fisher Bike!

Vortex Jumps Florida

Bumps, Ramps and Jumps! 

Bike Ramp

Above is a great down hill ramp within the trail system!
One of many clay and wooden ramps throughout the trail system.

Okay, No excuses, if you're in the area and you love mountain biking, you need to check out these trails!
Santos Bike Trail! Here is your link for the location: TRAIL
I mean for Florida, this is as good as gets and it's a REAL HOOT!
If you need to rent, there's a bike shop directly across from the trailhead, here's the link for rentals HERE, PERFECT! Like I said, NO Excuses!
Below is a short video of the trail system and Vortex


  • First trip to Ocala, we stayed at the Marriots Residents Inn, in Ocala, about 18 minutes from the Santos Trail Head. Very Nice! 
  • The next two trips we had accumulated some hotel points and stayed at the Holiday Inn, in Silver Springs. Great hotel and staff!! It is next to the Silver Springs Park, pretty close Ocala National Forest AND Ocala's Historic District. 
  • This time we stayed at Airbnb. We just got hooked on Airbnb, so here's a link to Airbnb. Just "plug in" Silver Springs Or Ocala and your good to go!  


This area is the home of over 1,200 horse farms! In 2007, Ocala/Marion County was officially named the "Horse Capital Of The World".  World class champions including two Triple Crown winners were bred in this county. The farms are impressive!

You want to ride?
Here are two horsebacking riding tours that we have taken, both are gentle rides.
and very nice!

Our favorite ride is Makin'Tracks Trail Rides.

On this ride, you can swim with horses! It was too cold for my wimpy butt, but Jon got right in. You are not swimming beside them, you are taken gently though the small spring on their back. The horses love it too! It is a family owned business and they have also rescued many horses, who were starving or needed medical attention. Many of the those horses are now enjoying the trails too! Here is the link for them: MakinTracks

Another choice is Cactus Jacks, This also was a very nice ride, calm, and the horses are in wonderful condition, lots of love!  Here is the link for them: Cactus Jacks. We will be searching out more riding facilities next time, only because we are more experienced and looking for a more lively ride.

For more horseback rides, check out this link: HorseRides

Now for the GOLD, GYPSY GOLD

This magnificent horse is the Gypsy Vanner.
We finally made it to the GYPSY GOLD FARM! The tour is $20 and Worth Every Penny!
The Gypsies of Great Britain crossbred strong and mighty horses within their "tribe" to pull their colorful Caravans.
The owner, Dennis Thompson and his wife, imported this horse to the United States and a new breed was registered. Well, it wasn't that simple, and the story is fascinating!

Gypsy Gold Vanner Horse

Smile and laugh with Dennis, as he takes you on a magical journey back in time.
The discovery-the gypsy culture-the money- the love and respect of these lovely horses.
You can get up close to the horses; donkeys and parrots.
Here's the link to the Gypsy Gold Tour in Ocala, Florida. link: GYPSY

Gypsy Vanner Ocala, FL

Gypsy Vanner In Flight!

gypsy Gold


This the very best ​informational link for the entire Ocala/Marion County area!
Click HERE​

Hope you can stop by Ocala for more outdoor Florida Fun! If you want to see more Gypsy Vanner, you can head to our Ireland story by clicking HERE.  We also would love to hear from you, please comment below.... and share! 

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