“Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, the sun and the seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of seed, and beyond all, to time.”
– Cross Creek, written by Marjorie Rawlings
The Cross Creek community was made famous by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, The Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Yearling”. In 1928 she settled there with her husband and began writing her impressions of this lush Florida community and her Cracker neighbors. Today you can visit her old Florida farmhouse that is now a State Historic Site operated by Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Division of Parks and Recreation. Cross Creek is 25 miles Northwest of the Griffin Ranch.
The Juniper Springs Recreational Area provides swimming, Canoeing and hiking. The springs are surrounded by the semi-tropical wooded setting of the Ocala National Forest. The “run” is one of the most preferred in the United States..
One of the oldest recreation areas in central Florida .. Located between Ocala and Ormond beach on State Road 40. Constructed in 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corp. The setting is unlike any other with large springs with a canopy of native palms outlining an old mill .. There is a canoe rental on location . The springs run east to the Saint Johns River passing under State Road 19 just north of 40 . This is perhaps my favorite river run in Florida as it offers a fast running water with many tight turns and low haging trees.. I recommend a Kayak over the canoe .. we also rent kayaks for the trip and will be glad to outfit you for your fun and adventure .. Plan on two and a half hours on the water .
Ocala National Forest
The Ocala National Forest is renowned for it’s unspoiled natural beauty and varied habitats supporting one of Florida’s richest concentrations of game and wildlife. It is the most visited National forest in the State. The Ocala National Forest us home to the largest continuous sand pine scrub ecosystem, offering a variety of plant, animal and bird life, plus clean and clear springs, numerous trails, canoe runs and other areas for a Variety of recreational activates and interests.
Central Florida is famous for its clear and clean, deep springs. There are 3 local springs conveniently located to The Griffin Ranch; the Blue Grotto, Devils Den and Forty Fathoms Grotto made famous by the Great Hal Watts . by the way let me know ahead and I may be able to have Hal and Jan stop by for one of our evening meals or just to say Hello .. Or maybe we will all head over to his house and drop in for a late snack .. He lives about 15 minutes from the ranch …
Silver Springs is perhaps one of my favorite areas in Florida .. The springs are one of the largest artesian spring formations in the world , The spring forms the headwaters of the Silver River , the largest tributary on the famed Ocklawaha River, which is part of the St. Johns water system. the springs were designated a Natural Landmark in 1971 .. The attraction features native animal exhibits and glass bottom boat tours of the springs . Downstream of the park is the Silver River State Park . In addition located next to the park , open in the summer times is Wild Waters ..The park is also famous for great films like Sea Hunt , The Creature From The Black Lagoon and the many Tarzan movies ..
Salt Springs Recreational area is one of the jewels of the Ocala National Forest . It was also one of William Bartrams favorites. The spring gets its name from the waters minerals deposits which consist of potassium , magnesium and sodium salts .. Salt Springs consists of several spring vents in a large shallow pool , which forms the head water of the 4 mile long Spring Run.. The park was just renovated over the last 2 years and allows easy access by patrons . The waters maintain a constant 74 degree temp. for swimming and snorkeling .. In addition there is a 1.5 mile Bear Swamp Trail that traverses the pine lands and river swamps within the spring basin.. located only 15 minutes from the front gates of the ranch .. What a wonderful way to cool off in the summer days .. We will run down around 10:30 in the morning have a picnic lunch while cooling off in the fresh clean waters ….
Home of the Florida Gators , so if you have game plans or just headed through, remember we are only 35 minutes south of Gainsville easy in and out to avoid those over crowded hotels and road ways .. or do as many have done stop in and meet your College student that may need a deserved break for the weekend with out spending all day in in the car ..
The Greenway Trail
The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway is 110 miles long .. It spans the distance from Yankeetown on the west coast to Palatka on the St. Johns River .. There are many user access points for the more than 244 miles of trails , which are used for hiking , biking , and horseback riding . As a side note the Florida National Scenic Trail merges with the Greenway for about 36 miles .. The ranch is just 4 minutes from the trail which crosses over state road 316 in Eureka …The ranch is a great place to stop over for the a rest and supplies ..
Thrilling Wildlife Activates
Explore the Ocala National Forest grassy pine territory area on morning and afternoon migration times during feeding and watering. By foot safari, 4×4 safari vehicles, interpretive bush walks and might game drives make for an unforgettable evening at an additional cost.
4 Wheel Travel
The new 4 wheel park is now open all week long for those of you hard core get out and feel the wind ,mud and sun in your face wheelers .. As you traverse the many trails that meander through the northern part of the forest .. located off 316 just a couple of miles east of the bridge and only 6 minutes from the ranch …
WE now offer horseback riding at the ranch for our guests as well as Tina and Corey at Making Tracks right down the road also do day long as well as over nights in the forest ..