Campgrounds near Orange Lake, Florida

Campgrounds near Orange Lake, Florida
The town of Orange Lake--near Gainesville in central Florida--is literally surrounded by outdoor adventure opportunities. Beyond the namesake lake itself, within 30 miles of town there are several state parks and wildlife preservation areas, a national forest, and countless lakes, ponds and creeks. That makes the Orange Lake area a logical choice for a camper to pitch her tent and explore the area's rich pickings in hiking, canoeing, fishing, nature watching and other activities.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

The 21,000-acre Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is located only a few miles to the northwest of Orange Lake. Its forested campground sits on the shores of Lake Wauberg and offers a mix of tent and RV sites. Each site has a lantern post, fire ring, grill and picnic table, and has access to a shower house. There is also a primitive camping area on the Chacala Hiking Trail. This three-tent area has a pump with untreated water, two grills, a campfire circle and a picnic area with two tables. Collecting your own firewood in the park is prohibited, but it can be purchased from the park's ranger station.
The state park offers a range of outdoor activities opportunities, including several hiking trails, a horseback riding trail, canoeing and fishing on the lake, and plenty of bird and wildlife watching. The park accepts pets on a leash, but due to the likelihood of encountering an alligator, bison or snake, pets are banned from many trails.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
100 Savannah Blvd.
Micanopy, FL 32667
(352) 466-3397

Lake DeLancy Campgrounds

The Ocala Nationa Forest operates a pair of campgrounds on Lake DeLancy, about 20 miles east of Orange Lake. The west campground has 30 campsites, and is also an off-highway vehicle area. The east campground has 29 campsites, but is closed every year through most of the summer. Both campgrounds have picnic tables, restrooms, water taps and access to hiking trails.

Ocklawaha Visitor Center
3199 NE CR 315
Silver Springs, Florida 34488
(352) 236-0288

Silver River State Park

Silver River State Park is roughly 15 miles south of Orange Lake. It has a 59-site campground for both RVs and tents. Every site has a fire ring, barbecue grill and picnic table. There is a central shower house, as well as a canoe/kayak ramp. The campground is open to well-behaved pets, but these must remain leashed. The park has other accommodations in the form of rental cabins. For outdoor activities, the park offers over 15 miles of hiking and biking trails, a horse trail, canoeing and kayaking on the river, and wildlife watching.

Silver River State Park
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470
(352) 236-7148

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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