Little Help Picking ONF Campsite [Archive] - : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

: Little Help Picking ONF Campsite

04-22-2009, 08:30 PM

Thinking of heading down to the Ocala National Forest Friday for a one-night primitive camp then some light wheeling Saturday. Looking for suggestions for a campsite, preferably in the northern part of the forest. Also best trails to run the jeeps on. Any favorite sites? Maybe lake or pondside?

04-22-2009, 09:38 PM
If youre going to primitive camp - and I assume you mean you are going to backpack your supplies out - Hidden Pond is the best campsite in Ocala. It is smack dab in the middle of the Juniper Wilderness and is 5-6 miles from anything civilized or powered by electricity. It is on a beautiful, crystal clear pond.

Highly recommended.

edit: when are you thinking bout going? I might meet you for a ride saturday.

edit again: you can buy maps of the forest at the ranger's stations. I know they have one on the north side of teh forest on SR 19, south side on SR 19 and I think the west side of the forest on SR 40. The detailed maps (make sure you ge the expensive map ~$9 as i recall) have all the roads on them as well as all the campsites.

04-23-2009, 05:33 AM

Good tip, but I guess not quite that primitive. Were hoping to drive up to a site and camp, but still be off the radar a bit. Probably can't get down there until just before dark, so getting to the ranger station probably won't work. I can get basic maps off the website.

As for Saturday, we should be around most of the day. Come on up. Odds are you know the forest a lot better than we do. Could use a good guide!

04-23-2009, 08:08 AM

Thinking of heading down to the Ocala National Forest Friday for a one-night primitive camp then some light wheeling Saturday. Looking for suggestions for a campsite, preferably in the northern part of the forest. Also best trails to run the jeeps on. Any favorite sites? Maybe lake or pondside?

I am sure the Rainbow people would be happy to take you in for the night, for a small contribution I'm sure :smokin:

04-23-2009, 10:10 AM
The rainbows would be cool....But the DRAINBOWS would rob him blind lol. Sorry - Im a deadhead - it's funny to me cuz I know the difference.

Well if you just wanna camp sort of primitive - but where you can drive up - I suggest Hopkins Prarie. It is in the north end of the forest just north of the Juniper Wilderness. They have ****ters - but no electric or water hook up. I think it's like $7/night to camp there. Cheap.

I do suggest the good map though - ONF is huge and it's easy to get twisted around out there. You're going THIS saturday? Hmmmm....I could probably be up there by 2pm. Is that too late?

edit: ocala is famous for how narrow the trails get - expect a few pinstripes.

04-23-2009, 08:16 PM
Plans are . . . evolving. Probably will make it down in time to pick up a map, but will contact the ranger by phone to confirm a few things in case not. Now probably headed to some place with power.

Will probably wheel Saturday morning, but not much past 2:00 or 3:00. If you can make it up earlier PM me. We'll hang out and wait you out.

Already have a few pinstripes from the last time we hit the forest. Kind of surprised I didn't put a new window in the top. Some of those trails are tight.

04-23-2009, 10:22 PM
FWIW - I ripped my top out there last spring. Luckily I conned the stealership into replacing it. Since then, I either put the bikini top on or pull the other down.

I doubt I can get up there early enough to wheel - would love to - but dont see it happening. I gotta work til at least noon here. Have fun. Oh yeah, they probably have electricity at Juniper Springs, Salt Springs, or Alexander Springs campgrounds. I would try there.

04-24-2009, 12:21 PM
Check out the Davenport campground,it overlooks the Ocklawaha.Its on NFR 77,near the intersection of NFR 75c.No power or water but the last time I was there back in February there was a porta potty.

04-25-2009, 05:04 PM
Appreciate the input, and Davenport sounds interesting. Will have to check that one out next trip. Ended up at Fore Lake, which was not very crowded. Up early and rode trails in the mid forest area. Stumbled into an open area full of deep sand and hills where others had been testing their 4 wheeling capabilities. Of course, we did not do so as this would be against forest rules!

Then stopped by Hard Rock on the way home and watched some very strange people driving some very expensive equipment proceed to roll their machines, or break axles, u-joints, etc., which brought cheers from the crowd. Occasionally one would actually make it around the track without breaking something, which also brought cheers from the crowd. Once in a while a spotter would slip and fall, and that also brought cheers from the crowd.

Crowd was pretty easy to please.

04-26-2009, 12:52 AM
Sounds like an awesome day. I forgot all about the rock crawling competition @ hardrock.

Forest rules eh? I heard about those!

04-26-2009, 07:27 PM
I would LOVE to know where you found anything interesting to wheel through in the forest... the only place we found was right at the rodman dam entrance, but it's stubbed off with markers pretty thoroughly so we were, um, nervous. Turn off 19, cross damn, go through parking lot and turn left at the loop, it'll be immediately on your right with a place to sneak in when you see trees on the right just past the posts. We did get in but only spent about a half hour before our nerves got the best of us. We'd only had our Jeep for two or three weeks and weren't quite ready for a fish & game impound, and besides it's clearly marked "no fun here". Had fun learning how to turn off the ESP junk and spin in the sand though. Everywhere else we've been in the forest is flat brush that challenges the paint job more than it does the suspension. There is one scratchy but amusing section of trail if you follow exactly the directions above but after parking lot at the loop go straight instead of left. I think it's a four wheeler trail but our JK did it just fine, and it pops you back out on dirt road before too long.

04-27-2009, 12:34 PM
Unfortunately I didn't firmly mark the location as I didn't have a good enough map. Only after I left did I realize I could have marked coordinates on the MyGig. I did record the trail, but have since erased it.

However, from Salt Springs if you're headed south on 19, it's road # 13. That's what I wrote down on the map. Probably 4 or 5 miles north of Juniper Springs Bridge. Turn right, head west. It was at an intersection where both roads showed up on MyGig. It's west of Juniper Wilderness, somewhere between 65 and 97. The area was maybe 3/4's of an acre, hilly, deep sand, some sand hills that would be impossible in two wheel and would take a running start in four wheel.

I went back up 19 yesterday and didn't see it. Looking at the map just now, it might have been 10, not 13, though I wrote 13 on the map.

04-28-2009, 06:09 AM
Awesome thanks for the help I'll poke around down there and see if I can find it maybe one evening this week.