Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway
Providing more than 60 miles of exploration by car, the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway - a National Scenic Byway- is a network of scenic roads between Silver Springs and Ormond Beach, including SR 40 through the heart of the Ocala National Forest.
The Byway traverses some of Florida's most pristine ecosystems. Included within the corridor are many public lands such as Juniper Springs Wilderness Area, Silver River State Park, the Cross Florida Greenway, Florida National Scenic Trail and the Tiger Bay State Forest. The route also crosses several waterways, which have received special designation because of their uniqueness, including the St. Johns River, an American Heritage River and the Ocklawaha River, an Outstanding Florida Waterway.
For more information visit the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway website at www.floridablackbearscenicbyway.org.
At a Glance
|Closest Towns:||The byway connects Silver Springs and Ormond Beach, running through the communities of Forest Corners, Mill Dam, and Astor along SR 40, and Salt Springs and Altoona along SR 19.|
The route is primarily along SR 40. However, it also includes include SR 19 to the Fort Gates Ferry and south to CR 445 to Altoona and Alexander Springs. The byway connects most of the major recreation areas and springs in the Ocala National Forest.
The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway received its official state Scenic Byway designation on February 20, 2008 by the Florida Scenic Highways Program’s Scenic Highways Advisory Committee (SHAC). The Byway extends approximately 60 miles along State Road 40 from Silver Springs in Marion County east through the Ocala National Forest to I-95 at the City of Ormond Beach in Volusia County. The designation also includes portions of State Road 19 North from Putnam County to South State Road 19 in Lake County.
The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway Corridor Management Entity’s (CME) action plan is eligible for state funding. Plans include the development of the CME bylaws and incorporation as a 501 (c) 3 organization, installation of wildlife crossings, construction of informational kiosks and interpretative areas and applying for status as a National Scenic Highway. The group’s goals include reducing wildlife roadkill and improving habitat connectivity; building and maintaining community support; promoting and encouraging sustainable economic development and providing economic opportunities for local and regional residents; while supporting the community plans within the corridor.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information