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“Fore Lake Campground and Recreation Area”

Ocala National Forest
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Umatilla
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: National parkland consisting of 383,220 acres of various landscapes, including highlands, coastal lowlands, swamps, springs, lakes and ponds.
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Located on SR 314 just outside of the greater Ocala area... Very peaceful and serene... Provides for a primative or RV camping experience with necessary facilities... RV and Tent sites have picnic tables on concrete slabs, free standing barbeque grills (charcoal) and metal fire rings/pits at each site... Lots of trees and brush between sites for semi-seclusion... Plenty of tree cover to provide shade and a variety of wild life to round out the experience... There is also a recreation area with a lake, beach and parking area and nature trails for use during the day... The only deficit for this experience was the showers within the restroom, The water for the shower is ALMOST too hot so for me was a little uncomfortable... Also, the water control for the shower is of the automatic type so you have no control on the length of time that it runs for OR the temperature of the water... The shower heads left a lot to be desired in that they were mostly clogged with little to no flow or little to no spray pattern so getting completely wet was a challenge... Enjoyable experience that could be easily improved with a little attention to the shower stalls... Cost is $12 per night... There is also dump facilities provided for use by RV owners... Overall nice location and place to stay...

9  Thank JLoukota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"recreation area"
in 8 reviews
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in 21 reviews
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"black beans"
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in 3 reviews
"canoe trip"
in 3 reviews
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in 4 reviews
"bbq grill"
in 2 reviews
"picnic tables"
in 5 reviews
"worst part"
in 2 reviews
"fire ring"
in 2 reviews
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in 3 reviews
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80 - 84 of 132 reviews

Reviewed 14 April 2014

This was our second trip to Ocala National Park. For this trip we stuck with the southern end. We pitched our tent at Clearwater Lake Recreation Area. There are no electric hookups but that was fine with us. Our site, like all the others consisted of a nice level spot, a lantern pole, a nice metal picnic table, a barbecue grill, and a fire pit.
They provide bear proof trash receptacles within a short walk of all sites, but not on the site. That's perfect. Showers with warm water, flush toilets, a dish cleaning station, and some faucets outside with potable h2o. Bathhouse was clean.

Our site was number 18 and it had a short trail, conveniently short to the lake. There are benches along the shoreline but watch for gators. We didn't see any, but this is Florida.

There is a sandy beach, which we didn't use, but it is also available for day use. Our campsite was very reasonably priced. At half the full price with our National Park Pass it came to $9.25 per night.

There were plenty of curious and gregarious squirrels, lots of birds, such as cardinals, woodpeckers, catbirds, etc. We also saw a deer down by the lake.

During the week it was low key and quiet. On Friday a large youth group arrived, and occupied several sites. They were a bit noisy but really no more than would be expected. They were having fun.

The noise that did bother us, was the traffic on the highway nearby. I suppose if you're used to it it won't bother you, but we are used to a much quieter area, where we live.

The camp host, Jeffrey was nice. Firewood is a little pricey at $6.50 per small bundle, but it is cut and split. We were free to gather wood, but we really didn't want to during this short trip.

We took a day trip to Juniper Springs. It was gorgeous, and we loved it. I was disappointed that we had to pay to get in. Most national parks honor the pass we have. We would go back. It's very picturesque.

Oh upon our entrance to Juniper we met a couple of employees guiding a pygmy rattle snake away from where people would encounter it. That was a fun thing.

Outside the gift shop is a patio area with picnic tables and flowering vines. We saw a darling little hummingbird feasting. I also spotted two types of skinks. The first is the beautiful Five-lined skink, and the other was a broad-headed skink. Both are delightful.

Along the nature trail I encountered wildflowers and birds, and butterflies and dragonflies. I loved it.

The day we left to drive south to our home we stopped at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. I am so glad we did. The road in brought us right through a gorgeous cypress swamp. I photographed beautiful wildflowers.

Next we walked the 1/2 mile wooded loop trail. Mosquitoes were right on cue! ugh. Bring repellent. I make my own of clove and cinnamon and it was effective. None landed on me. There are informative placards along the trail, and it is easy walking.

Finally we strolled into the wetlands area. Unfortunately we were out of time and only got to spend about an hour on that trail. Being a photographer, I tend to mosey, so I didn't get very far. I DID get lots of pictures. I was trailing behind photographing "stuff" when hubby called me to come to where he was. He had spotted a snake. Sadly, I missed it, since snakey wasted no time crossing the path.

Returning to Lake Woodruff will be high on my priority list, and I hope to spend an entire day there, exploring.

Nearby Deland, Florida seems like a nice town to explore and stop for lunch, but we were already behind schedule and had to head home.

7  Thank itsbygrayce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

Sept 12, 2013 Tent camped for 3 nights at the Primitive Fern Loop site. We set up camp and then went for a swim in the beautiful and 72 degree spring water to cool off. Upon our return to our site, the work camper couple came by in a golf cart and informed us that we had to relocate our camp site due to us being too close to a diseased tree and it was dangerous for us to be there! We thought we were hearing things, it was the LAST thing on our agenda that day, to move the entire site; tent, gazebo, chairs, lanterns, coolers, etc. Their response was that they would help us move, and staying put was not an option. We reluctantly complied and moved for the next hour. Very upset about it but we were at their mercy. Needless to say, when we left 3 days later, the diseased tree was still standing, in all its glory. But that was the only inconvenience of our trip. We saw wild turkeys in the camp site area, large tortoises in the springs; a plethora of wild life. The sun coming thru the 80-100' pine and oak trees in the morning made the dense forest look enchanted. Bear scat was seen on the guide walk but we never saw any. Make sure you don't feed the wildlife and keep your food and coolers in your vehicle when leaving unattended; the raccoons are very crafty and could ruin your trip. This is a great park to cool off in the summer but is very busy on the weekends with the locals; still lots of room to swim and everyone is nice and having a good time. The only way my wife could get in the water was to jump off the deck! Also don't bring any alcohol to the Springs as there is a strict Cooler Check guy at the entrance. But very fun. All the employees were very pleasant and informative. We didn't do the canoe run but went down to the start and watched people go down; its not for novices as we found out.

8  Thank Stevetentcamper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2013 via mobile

Great Park. Very Clean, Terrific Staff And Awesome Springs. it was an inconvenience that you had to pay for each spring individually (Silver Springs And Juniper Springs).

3  Thank tragaller2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 May 2013

We bought a half acre with National Forest all around us. Love living out here. We see deer, bear, raccons, rabbits, turtles, and once an alligator moving from one lake to another. Lake Dorr is walking diistance behind my home. No matter what time a year there is always some wild flower blooming. Great place to live. birds singing in the mornings. Wood peckers thumping on dead trees. Peace and quiet.

11  Thank Pineneedlegranny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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