Ocala National Forest OHV Gallery

Taking a UTV deep into untouched central Florida.

Ocala National Forest is a beautiful spread of pines, pine scrub, and hardwood smack in the middle of Florida. While the rest of the state has grown into a concrete-and-stucco miasma around it, the forest has stayed fairly close to what it was before people showed up. It’s a sneakily beautiful forest that deserves to be seen and experienced as much as it deserves to occupy more of the state than it does.

If it weren’t for the heat, insects, and snakes, you could forget that Ocala National Forest is in Florida.Zach Bowman
Wide-open two-track dotted with serious mud puddles is a hallmark of Ocala National Forest. The wide paths inevitably give way to closed-in, sandy washes.Aaron Richardson
With a slew of new Can-Am catalog accessories, including a bed rack that let us bring our cooler and cameras along, and 35-inch BFGoodrich tires, our 2020 Can-Am Maverick X3 X RS Turbo RR was right at home.Zach Bowman
Gaia GPS on an iPhone got us around the trail network reliably, though it couldn’t tell us how overgrown the trails were. In Florida, that’s a big deal.Zach Bowman
An anhinga dries off in the noontime heat after a morning of fishing.Zach Bowman
The closeness of the pine scrub gives way every so often to beautiful, tiny lakes that look much as they were before people showed up.Zach Bowman
The farther away from the truck you get, the closer the shrubs and trees close in.Zach Bowman
Banana spiders are everywhere in this part of the world. Despite their braggadocious appearance, they’re harmless to humans, but their tough golden webs are almost impossible to brush off if you walk into one.Zach Bowman
Views like this are increasingly uncommon in Florida.Zach Bowman
Don’t mind the sweat; it was 96 degrees with nearly equal humidity.Zach Bowman
Banana spiders are absolutely terrifying to look at, but are actually harmless.Zach Bowman
A decent nav app like Gaia GPS is a great tool in Ocala National Forest, but it still can’t tell you where the downed trees are.Zach Bowman
The trails are narrow, snaky affairs through prickly underbrush, but don’t let the seemingly smooth surface fool you: Sugar sand takes a practiced hand to navigate successfully.Zach Bowman
The sand looks flat, but it’s soft and light enough that even a little wind or weather can turn it into a natural whoops section in a heartbeat.Zach Bowman
Our newly installed Can-Am accessory windshield more than earned its keep right out of the box, keeping plants, insects, mud, and sand out of our faces.Zach Bowman
The Can-Am’s new 35-inch BFG Mud Terrains were a revelation in wet sand.Aaron Richardson
Ocala National Forest is well worth your time.Zach Bowman

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