Ocala Florida

We made our way to Ocala Florida for a three night stay at Wilderness RV Resort. The purpose of the visit was to tour Silver Springs State Park and the Ocala National Forrest.

I’m not sure I can recommend staying at Wilderness RV Resort until after you have read the reviews and understand the spots for short-term stays can be hard to pull into due to the narrowness of the roads. We managed to get into a blind-side back-in with the help of the park manager who was an expert at giving directions. The park amenities were exceptional but as usual we did not have time to use them. Other than the wonderful, partially shaded dog yard. Nice to be in 70 degree weather for sure.

Our spot at Wilderness RV Resort. Street was narrow for a back-in. I had to use the neighbors driveway and came 4″ from his fifth wheel. Making things more complicated was having to hit the narrow concrete pad without running the tires off it into the wet soil. No way a 40′ rig could get in here. There is an easier section of the park for long-term stays. Read the reviews.

I had no idea Ocala Florida was so popular for horse ranches as we noticed a few on the way in. Silver Springs State Park is right out of town and a great place to spend the day. The park was the home to 20 movies to include six Tarzans, Creature from the Black Lagoon, James Bond movie Moonraker and episodes of TV show Sea Hunt. During the early years, the site was more of an amusement park. Monkeys were brought in but no one knew the breed could swim and now they live wild in the area. Later the state bought the park and converted it into more of a nature area. The Silver Spring is huge and creates a running river where you can kayak, although we did not have time to do so.

In 1872 a boy discovered people wanted to tour the river and spring so he cut out the bottom of his boat and used glass so they could see the bottom. The glass boat tours survived and are still the most popular attraction. Near this area in 1834 Seminole Indians met to discuss being removed to Indian territory out west. They decided not to go without a fight being lead by Chief Osceola. There are many towns named after him around the country. At the time, some Americans were upset with the treatment of Seminoles and other tribes. An army general had asked to meet with Osceola in peace. It was a trick and Osceola was taken captive and moved to a fort in South Carolina where he died. Apparently this was big news back then when towns were forming and looking for a name. There is an Osceola Missouri which sparked by interest in the origin of the name.

Glass Bottom Boat Tour. Worth the price for sure.
This bad boy stayed away from the boat. The boat guide claims you can tell the overall length of the gator based upon the distance from the midpoint between its eyes to the nostrils. In this case he guessed nine inches so the gator would be 9′ in total length.
Red arrow points at one of several springs that feed the river. As seen through glass in boat.
The day we were at Silver Springs State Park the Sheriff’s Office dive team was training. I sent their Sgt. this photo taken from under the glass bottom boat.

We sure did enjoy the beautiful walk through nature as well as the gardens along the river. Bring your canoe or kayak. There is an easy put-in point with the river winding through the Florida forrest. We did not get a chance to see the wild monkey’s which were reported to be about two miles from the park at the time.

We have moved on to a monthly stay in St. Augustine Florida at the Stagecoach RV Park. For the first time ever, we have pre-scheduled a second stop at a campground. We will be back to St. Augustine in late December of 2021. More on that in the next blog post.

7 thoughts on “Ocala Florida

    • I know we will regret not taking a trip down the river. Wyatt is too young to leave at home for long and, although he swims, we are waiting to take him out on a shallow lake shore for the first time in the boat. So many rivers we have seen in the past month.

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  1. Florida looks wonderful! We hope to check it out for a few weeks someday. We took out for Texas with the Bakers and Sextons for almost 4 weeks the first of February. We were in the lovely winter storm although we came through it much better than most folks. We were further north at Cagle Recreation Area near New Waverly. We had rolling electrical outages about every 30 min-1 hour, and had to acquire more propane twice, but other than that we came through it just fine. We were blessed to be where we were at the time. We purchased a heated water hose earlier this year and it was worth it’s weight in gold while we were there. No freezing but the others had to deal with it a bit – mostly just at the outside faucet. We weathered through it though and it will be something we’ll remember and laugh about — now that it’s over. We’ve had only a few really warm days, mostly 50-60, which is so much better than the low temps at home. Hope we meet up with you some time this year.

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    • Nice to have the heated hose. So far we just put water in the fresh tank to use if it is going to be freezing out.

      We should be in Carthage as usual in October 2021. I’ll keep an eye on your location and let you know when we are near in advance.

      Decided to come back to St. Augustine next year for another visit then probably head up the east coast. Got lucky this year having decided to move on from Gulf Shores Alabama where it never really got that warm. Arrived in Florida when you guys got the bad weather and the luck would be we were in the only warm state in the country 🙂

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  2. Pingback: Visiting Colonial Charleston South Carolina and Thoughts About Fulltime Travel | Our Future in an RV

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