This could be the most under-utilized and worthwhile park I've come across yet.
Miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding, and wildlife spotting near Ocala, Florida. Beautiful scenery, birding and other wildlife. In early morning hours I have spotted many deer and also a boar, so use sensible caution. The trails are ideal for either hiking or biking. I did both and could hardly believe I was the only person there on a Sunday. If you want a great outdoor opportunity not far from town, this is ideal.
While banana spiders are the bane of Florida hikers at most stops, here the Orb Spider (Arrowhead variety, Verrucosa arenata - picture below) is what might hang its web across a narrow trail and get in your face.
Find below pictures and a Google Map.
Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area main entrance and parking at FL 326 entrance, where the map below takes you. There is a rear entrance on Florida 315 as well, 29.229056, -82.010071
Golden Sunrise in Florida, Silver Springs Conservation Area near Ocala
An abundance of palms and pines
Spanish moss dangles from an arch of trees along the trail
Trails are great for biking though some get thick with grass
Into the mist at Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area
Female Arrowhead Orb Weaver Spider distinguished by colorful triangle on abdomen