One of my favorite things about traveling is exploring national parks with their forests, trails, mountains, and lakes. Ocala National Forest isn’t too far from where my grandparents live in The Villages, Florida, and even though I went there last year with my parents and Charlotte, we didn’t have enough time to visit Ocala. Right down the road, though, was Silver Springs State Park, which is much, much smaller, but with limited time, we enjoyed it just as much.
I especially couldn’t pass it up when I heard rhesus monkeys swung wild throughout it. Of course, as the sign below indicates, they’re not the friendliest little guys, but I wasn’t afraid of that. If anything, I was more worried about the alligators, but it turned out that I should’ve been on the look out for snakes instead. As we were resting at a table, we heard a scream and turned to find a family running down the path we had just come from, and a long, thin snake followed, slithering through the grass away from us all.
For the rest of our short time there, I watched my every step instead of looking up at the tree for the monkeys, which we never found anyway. After wandering the trails for a while, we went back to the front by the Silver River to check out the gift shop where I bought a survival bracelet and hiking journal. Then, we all ordered ice cream at Paradise’s Treats and sat by the river, watching the glass bottom boats go by. I think I’d like to go on one when I visit next time, and I definitely plan on going down the street to Ocala, which will require at least one full day to explore.