Farles Prairie Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

Set along the shores of Farles Lake, this recreation area is a launch point for outdoor adventures, including boating, birding and fishing along the lake and prairie system.


  • Launch your boat, canoe or kayak, and explore this long, north-south lake nestled in the heart of the Big Scrub. Or hang out in the shallows and just drop a line. $5 boat ramp fee.


  • Cast a line from your boat or wade out into the grassy shallows for a chance to catch the big one. Fishing is permitted both on the banks of Farles Lake and from your boat. 


  • Enjoy a stroll along long, linear Farles Prairie by heading northbound on the Florida Trail from this recreation area, or head south into the sand pine scrub for a walk to Buck Lake.

OHV Trail Riding

  • Farles Prairie Recreation Area provides an OHV corral for riders stopping here while exploring the Ocala Centennial Trail.


  • Picnic tables provide a nice view of Farles Lake framed by tall longleaf pines and surrounded by sand pine scrub.

Viewing Wildlife

  • Farles Prairie is an excellent spot for birding, especially during the winter months when sandhill cranes arrive in large numbers. A walk along the prairie rim and the lakeshore will yield high counts of songbird and wading bird species.


At a Glance

Current Conditions: Expect full recreation sites during weekends. Have backup plans. Sites may close when capacity is reached.
Operational Hours: Dawn to dusk. Day-use only. 
Reservations: Farles Prairie Recreation Area Pass in Florida - Recreation.gov IMPORTANT RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENT NOTICE: As of Oct. 1, 2023 -- Payment operations at this recreation site will be "Cashless." This means traditional cash fee-tube payment process will not be available. Download the Free Mobile App - Recreation.gov to Android or Apple device in area with cellular service (before traveling to forest). For more guidance on using this App, and a the list of other affected Florida recreation sites, please read this Florida National Forests News Notice.    
Fees: $5 day-use fee. $5 boat ramp fee.
Usage: Light-Medium
Closest Towns: Altoona is to the south along SR 19. Astor is northeast along SR 19 and CR 445-A.

General Information

General Notes:


  • Boat ramp
  • Parking
  • Picnic tables
  • Vault toilets

Licenses and Passes


  • Boating in the National Forests in Florida is regulated by the state of Florida. Please visit our boating web page before you grab your personal floatation device and head out onto the water.  


OHV Riding

  • To ride our OHV trails, you’ll need a pass and safety gear. Riders under 16 must pass an online course. Our OHV web page has all the information you need for a safe, enjoyable trip. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking


Viewing Wildlife

OHV Trail Riding


Boating - Motorized

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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