11 January 16  |  Living   |  

Discovering Some Winter Activities in Ocala

The brilliantly cool brush of winter races across so many of the New Year’s early months. It is snow, bluster, chill and short, sharp days. But in Florida, the Sunshine State, winter really isn’t the beastly season it is in so many northern states.

Here in Central Florida’s Ocala, the weather is always fine, outdoor activities abundant, and life rich.

camp this winter in ocala

We at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club know all about the good life. Here are some winter activities in Ocala to explore:

More than a century old, Silver Springs State Park is a combination nature park and theme park. The park, which is open 9 a.m. to sunset every day, has one of the largest artesian springs. Visitors celebrate the park for its rich environmental beauty. It also has hiking trails, equestrian trails, a museum and “Florida Cracker” village. For more information, call 352-236-2121.

Visitors to the Crystal River Preserve State Park can ride on biking trails, go canoeing or explore wildlife. Packed with undisturbed islands, inlets, backwaters and forests, this park is truly fit for nature lovers. Call 352-563-0450 for more information.

Fort Cooper State Park allows visitors to rent paddleboats, hold picnics or stay at the park’s primitive campground. Call 352-726-0315 for more information.

Ocala’s Discovery Science Center  promises fun with interactive programs that gives young explorers the opportunity to discover nature’s hidden secrets. Operated by the city since 1997, the center hosts camps, workshops and outreach programs catering to the intellectual needs of the whole family. History, astronomy, environmental sciences: You name it. Call 352-401-3900 for more information.

The Fort King National Historic Landmark in Ocala was originally called Camp King. As a fort during the Second Seminole War, its construction in 1823 followed the signing of the Treaty of Moultrie Creek and Seminole leaders. The Seminoles were required to move to a large reservation in what is now known as Central Florida. The treaty also prohibited white people from entering or moving onto Seminole lands. Fort King (which is Ocala) was built to enforce both sides of the treaty. The site at 3925 East Fort King Street, Ocala includes a visitor center, trail, picnic area and monuments. For more information, call 352-368-5535.

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