Florida Guide > State Parks
Silver Park State Park is situated east of Ocala on the S. R. 35, i mile south of S. R. 40. This is in Marion County. This park covers 5000 acres.
The occupation of this area can be traced back 12000 years when it was lived in by the Native Americans known as the Paleo Indians.
Move forward to the 16th century and the first Europeans arrived. Another 200 years later it was known as a centre for the fishing industry and a holiday area.
It was not til 1985 that the land was aquired by the State and the first visitors were allowed in 1987. At this time there were no roads or camping; just an education centre.
A road WAS built in 1999 and in 2002 a playground and picnic area was added. The following year the addition of a caoe/kayak launchwas added and a shuttle service to this is in the planning. You can hire a canoe from the park but right now you need to carry it to the launch point.
There are 10 ecological communities here including sand hill and swamp. You may spot a fox, pocket gopher, bob cat or coyote. Ask for a list of the animals and birds at the ranger station.
There are 15 miles of trails to explore and you should check out the information kiosks at the start of most trails. It is hoped to add more kiosks in the future and these will be sponsored by businesses. If you have time for only one trail then do take the rather uninviting sounding swamp trail which takes you to the river. Here there is a good viewing deck. This trail is less than a mile.
The local school district runs the museum area which includes a Cracker Village and education centre. This is only open on weekends and bank holidays except in summer when it is open all days but mondays. There is a modest $2 per person charge for this . Normal entrance also applies.
When the local children are in the 7th and 8th grade they are required to attend the centre to learn about cultural and environmental issues.
If you happen to be in Florida in november then sometime in the second week they hold Ocali Day. All monies raised at this eveny go straight towards maintaining the museum.
There are lots of special events held here that range from walks for birders to story telling by the river to a cracker village tour. It will cost you only the normal entrance fee to attend most of these which is $4 per car and includes up to 8 people.
Near by parks include Rainbow Springs State Park, Lake Griffin State Park and Wekiwa Springs State Park; you may want to plan your day to visit 2 or even 3.
Silver River State Park
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34470
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