Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

 

Chernobyl Memorial Forest at Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area

 

Location and Hiking Trail Maps with Nature Viewing Information and Photos

Marion County

Ocala, Florida

Entry Fee: None

Offical Website: Saint Johns River Water Management District

Traffic: Light

 

This portion of the Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area at the south entrance offers a 5 mile loop great for hiking and horseback riding with opportunities to deviate from the main trail. I've provided my hiking map below which plots once such deviation, and I found it very worthwhile with great birding opportunities and a diversity of plant life.

 

You will access this portion of the restoration area from the south entrance parking lot (Google map below to get you there) rather than the north entrance. I prefer this Chernobyl Memorial Forest entrance for hiking, but you can find information about the north entrance here if you prefer views of the prairie.

 

Dedicated in 1996 to victims of the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, the forest is a section of planted longleaf pine. You can read about the dedication at the Orlando Sentinel. After parking in the free open lot, you will enter and follow the clearly marked red blazes on the trees to follow the loop. You will always find the memorial pine to your right (assuming you follow the loop clockwise) and various local growth such as laurel and live oak to your right. If you follow my map and go off-trail at the way point, a wide grassy area reminiscent of a golf course, you'll get an extra mile of there-and-back hiking or riding with plenty of yellow Carolina jasmine, blackberry brush, turkey oak, and loblolly bay plus ample birding opportunities.

 

The trail is a mix of packed earth, short grass over packed earth, and some portions of sweet sand that may prove inhibitive to off-road biking unless you are up for a challenge.

 

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Loop Trail Map - PDF map of trail hike

 

Interactive Map of trail at AllTrails Web and Mobile App

 

Find below pictures and a Google Map.

 

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

 

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

 

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens
The restoration area provides home for this endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

 

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

 

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

 

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms - five pedaled yellow climbing wildflower in Florida

 

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Wild Raspberry Patch at Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area

 

Air Potato Vine Leaves

If you spot vines with a heart-shaped leaf, it may be Air Potato - Dioscorea bulbifera - an invasive species from Asia

 

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Wild Grape Leaves - Muscadine Grape

 

Morning along the hiking trail at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

 

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

 

 

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Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Live Florida Beauty - Outdoor Sites and Images

Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Live Florida Beauty - Outdoor Sites and Images

Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Live Florida Beauty - Outdoor Sites and Images

Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Live Florida Beauty - Outdoor Sites and Images

Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest
Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Bryan Lindenberger
Pine and live oak at Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Chernobyl Memorial Forest Trail Map

Entrance to Chernobyl Memorial Forest

Red blazing leads the way for your hiking and riding

Endangered Florida Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma coerulescens

Red-bellied woodpecker finding food with longleaf pine in the background

Yellow Carolina Jasmine climbing the trees

Yellow Carolina Jasmine Blossoms

Wild Raspberry Bushes

Air Potato Vine Leaves

Wild Grape Leave - Muscadine Grape

Live Florida Beauty - Outdoor Sites and Images