|WITHLACOOCHEE STATE FOREST|
|Equestrian Trail Information|
|Forest and Lake Views||
|Florida Trails Main|
Tucker Hill Fire Tower - Withlacoochee State Forest, Nobleton, Florida
Trailhead Coordinates: 28.593171, -82.297841
The World Wildlife Fund calls the Withlacoochee State Forest one of the “10 Coolest Places in North America.” One of the many “Cool” things about the Withlacoochee State Forest is the preponderance of equestrian access points across many areas of the forest that stretches across west central Florida. The Croom tract in particular is near the Cross Florida Greenway Trail and its “Land Bridge”, which is a fully landscaped trail that provides safe passage across Interstate 75 for horse riders.
Some of the more popular equine based areas of Withlacoochee are the Citrus, and Croom Tracts of the forest. Both of these areas traverse a 100,000 acre area known as Florida’s Sandhills. A region recognized by its towering forests of longleaf pines growing from an undulating green blanket on the forest floor.
The Citrus Tract with the well known, and well appointed, Tillis Hill Recreational Horse Camp is a popular riding spot for group gatherings and day use area so that everyone can enjoy the nearly 40 miles of trails located near Inverness. With 28 stalls and plenty of room for high lines, or portable corrals, and 37 designated camps sites, it’s little wonder why Tillis is a well regarded destination spot for Florida horse folk.
Situated about twenty miles southeast of Tillis is the Croom Equestrian Trail system in the appropriately named Croom Tract. Located near the town of Nobleton, northeast of Tampa, the Croom tract offers outstanding trail opportunities for day use riders within its 20,000 acres.
The main day use area, next to the Tucker Hill Fire Tower provides access to the 34 plus miles of the main equestrian trail system as well as an easy entry point to the Withlacoochee State Forest.
All of the horse trails that wind through Withlacoochee’s forests of longleaf pine and scrub oak hills are considered all weather trails that drain and dry easily while providing a smooth, sometimes sandy tread. Shoes are not considered mandatory here but are generally advised. Trails are also well marked with horse friendly trails identified by bands of blue paint. The Florida Chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen of America is heavily involved with trail maintenance throughout the entire Withlacoochee area and indeed throughout all of Florida. While these trails are open throughout the year, due to Florida’s tropic realm, best seasons for riding are winter and spring, fall riders have to contend with hunters and of course summer brings heat, humidity, and the heckling of bugs.
Horse Camp Directions:
Information on horse trails, horse camps and camping and hiking paths for horseback riders, and hikers at the Withlacoochee State Forest near Nobleton, Florida
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