Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue. On-going operational updates will be posted here (https://www.fs.fed.us/shutdown) as we are able to provide them.


Outdoor Safety & Ethics

Our commitment is to provide a safe environment for forest users. We want you to have a positive experience while enjoying the recreational opportunities of the Ocala National Forest.

Our rules and regulations, orders and other important information posted in or near recreation sites, trail heads and forest boundaries are for your safety and protection. We ask that you take the time to read the information and abide by the rules to make your visit a pleasant one.

Ocala National Forest Rules | For camping | For day use

Be prepared!

In this section of our website, we provide information on the various types of hazards that you might encounter in the woods and how to handle them. Consider it a primer worth browsing before you head outdoors - especially into our wilderness areas - for the first time.

Safety Hazards

Alligators Florida Black Bear Snakes
Ticks Forest Fire Tornado


Bear Safety

Bear raiding campsite

The Ocala National Forest is home to Florida's largest population of Florida black bears, and interactions at campgrounds are on the increase. Know the food storage rules and be bear aware!


Wildlife Encounters

Thieving raccoon at Juniper Springs

When you encounter wildlife in the Ocala National Forest - especially bears - keep your distance! Here's how to stay safe.