Ask a Black Bear

Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus)

Ask a Black Bear

Riding Into Bear Country

Riding Into Bear Country

by Tom Rose

When I heard that the portion of State Road 40 that runs East from Silver Springs, through The Ocala National Forest to Ormond Beach, FL had been officially designated The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway I knew that there would have to be a ride. Read More…

Exploring the Black Bear Scenic Byway

Exploring the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway

By Chris Kincaid

I am frequently asked, “What is there to do around here?”… While Florida often brings visions of white beaches and blue ocean water, central Florida offers vast forest lands, and extensive freshwater rivers, lakes and wetland areas. It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but here are a few suggestions. Read More…

Tracking the Black Bear

Tracking the Black Bear

by Cathy Connolly

Where are you most likely to see a Black Bear in Florida? The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway runs right through the middle of the Ocala National Forest. The Ocala National Forest is home to more bears than any other area in the state of Florida. The Forest has approximately 1200 bears living in and around it. I have been fortunate with my job to encounter a great number of bears over the years. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to find where the bears are. Read More…

Touring the St. Johns River

Touring the St. Johns River

by Captain Ernie Brundage

As a resident and river tour operator on the Black Bear Scenic Byway, it would only go without saying that I think the St. Johns River is the jewel of the area. Steeped in Florida’s history, the river played an important role in the early development of Florida, and was the home to a large community of pre- Columbian Indians. Read More…

Barberville Pioneer Settlement

The Barberville Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts

by Tony & Beth Erlich

This facility, known to locals as “The Settlement,” is one of our favorite spots along the extraordinary Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway. The Settlement embodies recreation and history, two of the seven intrinsic resources which every Florida scenic byway must have. Shortly after moving to Florida in the 80’s, we attended a festival there and fell in love with the place, became members and volunteers, and have enjoyed many good times since then. Read More…

Fort Gates Ferry

Hidden Gem: The Fort Gates Ferry

by Tom Rose

There are so many great options for exploration of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway that it is difficult to zero in on just one. However, I do have a favorite that for me stands out. That would be just about any Byway motorcycle ride that includes a crossing of the St. Johns River on the historic Ft. Gates Ferry. Read More…

Kayaking the Byway Waterways

Kayaking on the FBBSB Waterways

by Kristee Booth

Starting in the Silver River State Park- they can be accommodating if one needs assistance as there is a looooong dirt path to hike to the put in spot for kayaks. The Park has a great, very informative Museum that is a “must see” stop. For the energetic paddler you can paddle up to the springs attraction and won’t be disappointed. You can see manatees, all kinds of fish species, a variety of birds and possibly some raccoons as well as some of the movie props used on location at Silver Springs. Read More…

The Smell of Hot Sand

by Rick Tonyan

What does hot sand smell like? It’s a sweet, somewhat musky, odor that radiates off sand after its baked in 90-degree-plus heat for a few days.

It’s hard to describe, but I know it when I smell it. To me, it smells like home.
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