Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area offers large area of over 6200 acres. I added the parking area to the map to help get you there. From 314A (SE 160th Ave in Ocala, Florida) it’s just 7/10 of a mile down SE 137th Avenue Road to see the sign, and there is plenty of room to park your car or horse trailer. In fact, this seems a popular destination for horseback riding in Ocala.
The trail biking is also very good, with woods and small hills leading to Old Celery Farm Road, the bulk of Levee Trail. This trail road offers hard earth, no motor vehicle access, and great views of the Ocklawaha prairie. No doubt, the Saint Johns River Management District is doing good work here, restoring wetlands to a previous state.
Recommended for Hiking? A Morning of Wandering, Perhaps…
I just can’t fully recommend it for a hike unless you are already in the neighborhood. I enjoyed my 6 miles, heard plenty of sandhill cranes in February. A nice bridge over the Kyle Young Canal (mislabeled on Google Maps as the Ocklawaha River) led to a view of the prairie. But the trails meander aimlessly without destination. They tend to just end either at a neighborhood, private property, or simply stop at some random spot.
These aren’t complaints. The restoration efforts serve greater purposes. There are just more interesting place nearby to hike such as the Chernobyl Memorial Forest Loop – also part of the Ocklawaha Preservation system and highly recommended.
Here: bring your off-road bike or a horse, and have an enjoyable ride!