Approximately 20 miles west of The Villages® community is nearly 50,000 acres of wildlife area for hiking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, camping, and offroad 4x4 trails.
This is a special place in the offroad community because it’s one of the few places in Florida that offers notable elevation change.
If you look closely, you can find remnants of past time from a raised railroad bed from the late 1800s, cattle vats and wells from old homesteads, the lost town of Mansfield, small cemeteries of former settlers, and even caves.
Dames Cave, Peace Cave, and Jeep Cave are two popular attractions and rare sites in Florida. As for your Jeep, there are miles of 4x4 trails that offer adventure and bypasses where you don’t want to risk it.
Visit the website for more information.
If you have a built-up rig of any kind and want to test its ability, then Florida has a place for you. About 20 miles south of Florida’s Turnpike and Wildwood is a combined 165,000+ acres between Richloam and the Green Swamp.
The southern end is a network of beautiful, winding nature trails of groomed roads that is the Green Swamp.
Once you enter Richloam be prepared for rugged terrain and deep mud. It is highly recommended to go with another vehicle for potential recovery.
During the rainy season, be mindful Richloam will generously offer you water holes that can swallow a car. This is not a place to be taken lightly, but it can offer some extreme fun to test the limits of your vehicle.
If you have a stock vehicle or maybe a car, don’t worry Richloam has a place for you—the general store. The Richloam General Store has its original 1922 vintage and is accessible by gravel roads traversable with almost any vehicle. It’s like taking a step back in time.
If you’re lucky, you will find a local musician playing good-ole’ country music while you enjoy an ice cream on the rocking chairs. This store is a true gem.
Roughly 27 miles southeast of The Villages® community on Lake Apopka’s northeast shore is the Apopka Wildlife Drive.
This is a great adventure for all ages. If you’ve seen a million alligators, you want to see one more. Here you can do it from the comfort of your air-conditioned vehicle or bring your bike and ride the trail.
The roads are well-groomed, and anything from a minivan to a lifted Jeep will conquer the trail. Along the way, listen to an audio tour that is full of information about wildlife, plant life, and the Lake Apopka restoration program.
On a hot sunny day, don’t be surprised if you see more than 100 alligators.
The park is free but only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. While it can be done faster, plan for approximately two hours to complete the trail system.
Visit their website for more information.