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Ocala Area Horseback Riding Trails

Horseback Trail Riding

Ocala area horseback riding trails including all of Marion County. Enjoy equestrian horse trails in the pristine Ocala National Forest and experience the famous Florida Greenway horse riding trails. National and state forests and parks provide hundreds of miles of gorgeous horse riding trails throughout north central Florida including Palatka.

ocala horseback trail ridingGuided Horseback Trail Rides

The areas described below offer horse trail riding facilities for experienced riders with their own horses. To find guided horse trail rides with horses supplied, horse rentals or for beach horse riding, click here.

Marion, Alachua, Levy, Suwannee, Sumter County Horseback Riding

Ocala Area Horseback Riding Trails

Ocala National Forest

Horseback trail riding in the Ocala National Forest is one of the finest equestrian horse rides in the country. The 100 mile horse trail consists of three sections: the 40 mile Flatwoods Trail, the 40 mile Prairie Trail, and the 20 mile Baptist Lake Trail. There are multiple trail heads. Most are in the area of the intersection of Route 19 and 42 east of Ocala. All trails are located in the southern third of the forest.

Ocala National Forest is the southernmost forest in the United States and incorporates the world's largest sand pine scrub forest. Forests such as these are critical to maintaining the oxygen that we breath and should be protected at all costs.

When horseback riding in the Ocala National Forest it is your responsibility to leave the forest in pristine condition by carrying out any trash you generate. Also, do not damage any of the trees (flora) or harm any of the wildlife (fauna.)

All riders must have proof of a negative Coggins test for their horse. Check with the Forrest Ranger office regarding hunting season. 352-625-2520.

Ocala National Forest Horse Camping

Tent camping with horses in permitted in most areas within the Ocala National Forest except during hunting season. Conventiently, the Swim Pond horse trailer parking area is the main trailhead for all equestrian trails in the Ocala National Forest.

Florida Horse Trail Directory (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)
There are currently 18 state forests and 26 state parks in Florida offering horse riding trails.

Florida Greenways and Trails
Explore recreational maps and descriptions of equestrian greenways and horse riding trails throughout the state. The Florida Greenway offers some interesting riding through a variety of hammocks and open fields. This trailhead/campground is just east of the land bridge over I-75. It's always fun to ride over the interstate. The horses seem to care less that there are thousands of cars and 18 wheelers passing under them. There is a nice day ride going east of the camp. Take your lunch and enjoy the picnic tables at the Santos trail head just off US 27/301/441 (all routes use the same road here.

Florida State Parks
Listing of all Florida State Parks and those featuring equestrian horse trails.

Ross Prairie State Forest

Just 10 miles southwest of Ocala, Ross Prairie State Forest is the ideal place to take your horse for a ride in horse country. There are 15 miles of equestrian trails in this State Forest in addition to the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway property that borders the forest on the north.

Santos Trailhead

The trailhead and campground are located just west off U.S. 441 on Southeast 80th Street between Ocala and Belleview, across from the Marion County Sheriff’s Santos Station. Available at the Santos Trailhead is access to the Cross Florida Greenway’s extensive equestrian trail network, with 60-plus miles of horse trails, including varying levels of difficulty and wagon/carriage opportunities.

Newmans Lake Conservation Area (North Tract)
Horse riding trails in the St. Johns River Management District near Palatka, Florida.

Bayard Conservation Area

Bayard WMA is comprised of 9,702 acres in southeastern Clay County, south of Green Cove Springs extending nearly seven miles along the western bank of the St. Johns River. Horseback riding trails. Bank fishing, hiking, bicycling, horse riding, primitive camping at designated sites and wildlife viewing.

Black Creek Ravines Conservation Area

Check out this 4.4-mile loop trail near Middleburg, Florida. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1 h 21 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, horseback riding, and running, so you'll likely encounter other people. Horse trails. hiking, horseback riding, fishing, primitive camping at designated sites, wildlife viewing and nature study.

Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area

Horseback riding trails. Seasonal hunting, fishing, hiking, bicycling, horse riding, camping at designated sites, canoeing and wildlife viewing.

Caravelle Ranch Wildlife Management Area

Hiking, horse riding, bicycling, primitive camping at designated sites and wildlife viewing are available, but are restricted during hunt dates.

Clark Bay Conservation Area

Hiking, wildlife viewing, equestrian horse riding activity and seasonal hunting.

Crescent Lake Conservation Area

Horseback riding is allowed on many conservation areas on trails in designated areas and established roads and fire lines, except where restricted by signs. Check area maps for horse riding opportunities.

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