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Timber on the Ocala is carefully managed by trained foresters.
Top. Juniper Prairie road. Bottom. Water hyacinths adorn the junction of Alexander Springs Creek and St.
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JOHN RODMAN GRANT
T. I S.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
OCALA NATIONAL FOREST
@ Hunting and Fishing
C Hunting and Picnicking
SHunting, Fishing, and Picnicking
Picnicking, Bathing, Boating, and Fishing
SHunting, Fishing, Picnicking, Bathing, and
u Organization Camp Booting
This sign at the south boundary of the Ocala, on State Highway 19, bids visitors welcome to the forest.
YOUR OCALA NATIONAL FOREST, located deep
in the heart of Florida, is the southernmost national
forest of about 150 administered by the Forest Service,
United States Department of Agriculture. Within
its boundaries are more than 359,000 acres of forest
land devoted to the public need for timber, forage,
water, wildlife, and recreation. The Ocala is unique
in that it is characterized by vast stands of sand pine,
a species capable of growing to useful sizes in deep
sandy soils. Within these stands are islands of long-
leaf pine, and throughout the forest commercial hard-
woods and pines grow along stream courses and lake
shores. Numerous springs, including several very
large ones, flow crystal-clear water that feeds Ocala's
many streams and lakes.
Through the centuries, sand and fine particles of
soil were washed down from the higher land of the
uchrcait'.rn States onto the fossilized limestone of
the Florida peninsula. Wave action of the Atlantic
Ocean, which once covered the Ocala, removed the
finer, more fertile silt and left loose, dry sand. If you
are driving in the forest, you will do well to regard
this sand with cautious respect. Keep your car on
the solid roadbeds and your trip will be a pleasant one.
The Ocala country was visited by the Spanish
explorer Hernando de Soto in 1539. Sections of the
Old Spanish Trail that began in St. Augustine and
ended in the Far West are still in evidence on the
forest and can be traveled for short distances. Ponce
de Leon, another Spanish explorer, may also have
visited Ocala country on his search for the Fountain
of Youth. And Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, well-
known American novelist, lived within the forest
boundary and wrote her charming story of The Year-
ling. The Yearling was later filmed here in its natural
Like all of the other national forests managed by
the United States Forest Service, the Ocala is operated
under a plan designed to obtain the greatest good
from each of its resources for the greatest number of
people. Accordingly, its timber, forage, wildlife,
water, and recreation values are developed, protected,
and made available for the use and enjoyment of the
people of the community, State, and Nation.
The Ocala's unique sand pine makes up the greater
part of its timber volume. Longleaf and slash pines
are found on areas containing better soil and, in
addition, the forest supports loblolly pine, live oak,
magnolia, cabbage palmetto, bays, scrub holly, and
several glossy shrubs called myrtle. The cutting of
timber on the Ocala National Forest is big business.
Each year 22 million board-feet of pulpwood and
sawtimber is sold and cut according to an approved
No timber is cut without provision being made for
its replacement. Except for sand pine, which is
clear-cut, the growing timber is thinned and harvested
conservatively in order to gradually build up the
quality and volume of the remaining stand. This
procedure paves the way for larger yields in forest
products, more local employment, and greater cash
returns to local and national governments.
Trees to be sold on the Ocala are selected and marked
for cutting by a trained forester, and sales vary from
a few trees to several million board-feet. When the
timber to be sold is valued at $2,000 or more, it is
advertised in local newspapers and sold to the highest
bidder. The harvesting, transportation, and process-
ing of such timber is done by the private individual
or company who buys it. Information concerning
the sale of timber can be obtained from the local
The annual income from the sale of forest products
on this forest is more than $147,000. Twenty-five
precent of the gross income obtained from forest
products and from other forest uses is paid to the
State to be used for schools and roads in the counties
in which the forest is located. An additional 10
percent is made available to the Forest Service for
improvement of the roads and trails in the forest.
Ocala National Forest is the home of one of the
largest deer herds in the South, and it is also the home
of bear, panther, bobcat, squirrel, quail, and turkey.
In addition to these game species, many interesting
nongame animals are often seen. Some of these are
the anhinga or snake bird, armadillo, otter, alligator,
and several species of turtle.
The Ocala Wildlife Management area which com-
prises more than 250,000 acres, maintains a large
population of game. For this area, as for the rest of
the forest, carefully prepared plans assure the wise
use of all the resources under a multiple-use program.
Game is harvested through regulated annual public
hunts conducted in cooperation with the Florida
Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission. From a
management standpoint, these hunts serve to remove
surplus animals and to maintain proper balance be-
tween food supply and game population. In addi-
tion, they afford hunters an opportunity for whole-
some outdoor recreation. Several public camping
areas are available to these sportsmen. If you plan
to hunt or fish on the forest, a State license is required.
The Ocala is a year-round fisherman's paradise.
Literally'millions of bass, bream, shellcrackers, and
related species are taken from its many lakes and
streams. There is no lack of places to fish. All one
needs to know is how to get them to bite.
Forest fires can be extremely dangerous on the
Ocala, because flames will spread at such a rapid rate
through the crowns of sand pine. The history-
making Hammock Fire of 1935 spread at the tremen-
dous rate of 3 acres per second. Often, every living
plant and animal in the path of a forest fire are killed;
even small fires are damaging to tree growth, wildlife,
and the other natural resources.
The development of special mechanical fire equip-
ment and the close cooperation of the State Forest
Service and adjacent landowners in fire activities has
kept fire losses at a reasonably low level. Your
cooperation is also invited. For your own safety
and the protection of your forest resources, please be
careful with fire in the forest.
Recreational opportunities on the forest include
picnicking, camping, swimming and boating, fishing,
and hunting in season. Even a motor trip through
the beautiful and interesting Ocala is a treat that the
casual visitor will long remember. Here, camera
enthusiasts will find a wealth of outdoor subject
matter and nature lovers a wonder world for observa-
The Forest Service invites and welcomes you to the
Ocala. It knows that you, as one of the forest
owners, will leave the areas you use in condition for
further enjoyment by your fellow owners. The fol-
lowing list of recreation areas, with distances and
directions, is keyed to the map on the reverse of this
Juniper Springs Recreation Area.--Twenty-six miles
east of Ocala on State Highway 40 in the heart of the
forest. This 420-acre area is centered about beautiful
Juniper Springs which flows about 8) million gallons
per day (water temperature, 720). A picturesque,
old-fashioned water wheel and millhouse are of par-
ticular interest. Camping, picnicking, and hiking
are popular and canoeing down scenic Juniper Springs
Run is a special attraction.
Facilities: Picnic tables and shelters, fireplaces,
trailer spaces, cabins, tent camping areas, bathhouse,
Juniper Springs Recreation Area lures many a camper.
This is a favored spot at the Juniper Springs Recreation Area.
The subtropical setting of Alexander Springs Recreation Area adds to the Ocala's beauty.
At Florida's Junior Conservation OrganiZation Camp, Lake Eaton.
swimming pool, and canoes. (A charge of 25 cents
per car party per day is collected for general use of this
area, and additional charges are made for shelters,
cabins and improved tent and trailer sites.)
Alexander Springs Recreation Area.-Sixteen miles
north of Eustis, cast of State Highway 19. A 320-
acre natural area centering about bubbling Alexander
Springs which flows 78 million gallons per day (water
temperature, 760). This rapidly developing sub-
tropical area is teeming with wildlife and presents an
enchanting picture of exotic beauty. Game fishing in
the clear waters of Spring Creek is excellent.
Facilities: Picnic tables and shelters, fireplaces,
trailer spaces,, tent camping area, bathhouse; swim-
ming and boats.
Mason Bay.-On State Highway 314, 20 miles
northeast of Ocala. Quiet picnic area with tables,
fireplaces, shelter, and well; camping and trailer space.
Halfmoon Camp.-Along State Highway 40, and 2
miles south on Forest Service Road 29, 22 miles east
of Ocala on quiet lake shore. Facilities similar to
those at Mason Bay; picnic area in oak setting; boat
Mill Dam.-Along State Highway 40 and one-half
mile north on Mill Dam Lake, 20 miles east of Ocala.
Shelter and well only.
Long Pond.-Sixteen miles northwest from Altoona
over State Highway 19, Forest Service Road 23 and
1% miles north on Forest Service Road 29A. On a
natural pond and in a stand of oak surrounded by
typical Florida prairie country. Tables, fireplaces,
Lake Delancy.--Sixteen miles northeast of Fort
McCoy over State Road 316 and Forest Service Road
18 and 20 in a stand of oak along lake shore. Shelter,
sanitation facilities, tables, fireplaces, well.
Beakmon.-Eleven miles north of Altoona on State
Highway 19 and one-half mile east on Forest Service
Road 9. Picnic shelter, toilets, well.
Lake Dorr.-Three miles north of Altoona off State
Highway 19. Undeveloped recreation area on west
side of lake; boat landing.
Sellers Lake.-Eleven miles north of Altoona on
west side of State Highway 19. Boat landing, swim-
ming and fishing on east side of lake.
Tomahawk and Shoe Sole Lakes.-Five miles south of
State Highway 40 on west side of State Highway
314A. Boat landing, swimming, fishing.
Lake Ker.-Two miles southwest of Salt Springs,
over Salt Springs Highway. Undeveloped recreation
area northwest corner of lake. Fishing, camping,
picnicking, boat landing,
Dry Camp.-On Fort McCoy-Salt Springs Highway
5 miles east of Fort McCoy and 4 miles north on
Forest Service Road 7. Public camp used primarily
by hunting parties during deer-hunt season.
Ryals Camp.-Northeast of Salt Springs. An un-
developed area used primarily by deer hunters; shallow
Old South Tower.-Five miles north of Altoona on
State Highway 19 and 7 miles west on Forest Service
Road 23. An undeveloped area used primarily by
deer hunters; shallow well pump.
Grassy Pond.-Eight miles cast of Fort McCoy on
Fort McCoy Road, and 1 mile north on Forest Service
Road 18. Used primarily by hunters; shallow well
pump; cleared area for camping and picnicking.
Bills Branch.-Ten miles north of State Highway 40
near Astor Park over State Road 19. Public camping
area on west bank of Lake George.
Hopkins Prairie.-Over State Highway 40 to inter-
section of State Highway 19, then north to Forest
Service Road 16 and west about 3 miles. Primarily a
hunting and fishing camp, with well.
Organization camps are located on Lake Eaton,
Deer Lake, Crooked Lake (Camp McQuarrie), Doe
Lake, Mill Dam Lake, and Farles Prairie (see map).
Lake Eaton is under permit to the Junior Conservation
League, Deer Lake to the Girl Scouts, Camp Mc-
Quarrie and Doe Lake to the 4-H Clubs, Mill Dam to
the Kiwanis Club of Ocala, and Farles Prairie to the
Rotary Club of Ocala Boy Scout Troop.
In addition, a limited number of sites are designated
for use by organizations and as recreation residences.
Recreation residence areas are at the following loca-
tions: Lake Dorr, on east side, 9 miles northeast of
Altoona; Sellers Lake, on east side, 11 miles north of
Altoona; Tomahawk Lake; Sunrise Lake; Round Lake;
Clear Lake; Shoe Sole Lake; Lake Ker, on southwest
Several undeveloped public landings are available
along the St. Johns and Oklawaha Rivers and the
more prominent lakes.
The Ocala is administered by a forest supervisor who
has headquarters in the Petroleum Building, 226 West
Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, Fla. He is assisted by
two district rangers who are located at Ocala and
Eustis. These forest officers consider it part of their
job to give information on the resources and attrac-
tions of the forest. Please feel free to ask them for
information or assistance at any time.
V. S. oOVNKRSEno PRmTaWO OWFiCm19 0 9
Always be careful with fre in the forest, but be especially careful with it when you are near sand pine.
You may with to posit a fire iiar Can8iso mg:rigdance ii Puecehari) e, pruest eke fore,: traite rjei oi i lem" 1 A Pbot
cowrees, Har/id R. Poll
A typical sand pine forest.
The Ocala has one of the largest deer herds in the South.
Each year, in reason, several thousand hunters frequent Ocala's prairie game country.
This young longleaf pine stand was~ thinned in order to produce the best pbossible quality in mnaturer tress.