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In a message dated 10/22/2001 1:27:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> I thought Juniper Springs and head north, camp, continue north a few miles,
> and then just turn around. According to the map, there is a primitive camp
> on a pond about 6 miles north of the parking. Anyone with more information
> on this part of the trail? Water sources? Any other recommendations?
First, I strongly recommend against parking at Juniper Springs. The fee two
years ago was $10 a day. Who knows what it is now? And what made it even
more obscene was when I retrieved my car two days early and was due a $20
refund, they gave me a refund request to fill out. Guess what? I'm still
out $20. I've applied in writing twice and complained in person several more
times with no response.
In my opinion, there is rarely a reason to pay to camp in the Ocala National
Forest. By all means use the facilities (water, rest rooms, picnic tables,
etc.) at Juniper Springs or any of the other organized campgrounds, but after
you've had dinner, just head out onto the Trail and camp along the Trail for
FREE. Of course this assumes you are a low impact, respectful camper,
otherwise stay in the organized campgrounds.
You refer I believe to Hidden Pond as a primitive campsite. It is the best
campsite in the Forest, in my opinion, because only backpackers can access
it. The pond in your water source. Treat or filter your water.
As to parking, there is a free parking lot on the west side of Hwy 19 a
couple of miles south of Hwy 40. A good alternative to Juniper Springs. I
hope this helps.