Silver River State Park / GoodeG Home / Trip Index

Camping plans in September were put on hold because of storms and hurricanes. Then I spent almost two months getting cataracts removed so I could get my driver's license renewed. In November when Val, Larry, and Peri were visiting me in Ocala, my bad knee collapsed and I broke my arm, the same one broken 10 years ago while canoeing. The arthritic knee will now need some work done after arthroscopy in 1997 and the last of many cortisone shots wore off. We still were able to go to several Florida parks and took many pictures and another black bear sighting while driving through the Ocala National Forest.

Spending the Thanksgiving holiday with the family was very pleasant, but I could not spend Christmas at home without John. So I decided a weekend at Silver River State Park would be a chance to see if I could handle the Westy with a broken arm and a bad knee. The park is so close, I could return home any time I wanted to.

Silver River State Park is located in Ocala, Florida, just across the street from my subdivision, but I had to go through Reserve America to get a campsite for the Christmas weekend, December 24-26, 2005. The only sites available were in the Fort King section which was furtherest away from the trail heads. I could not use either the 3-speed bicycle or electric bike, and I finally removed them from the Westy where they had been ready for the previously planned trips.

Silver River at the boat ramp

Io caterpillar (Automeris io [Fabricius])
covered with venous spines

Trails The park has several hike/bike trails including one 5.8 miles long. Using a cane, I managed to hike the 1.2 mile River Trail 3 times, the 1.8 mile Swamp Trail twice, and part of the 2.1 mile Sinkhole Trail during the three days at the park, putting about 20,000 steps per day on my pedometer. The River Trail also has an extended loop following part of the river. There were several detours off the trail to bypass some of the swampy areas. I did this loop before the rain on Christmas morning.

Spiders - Although this area already had some cold weather, I found several spiders, including one I saw last summer and tried unsuccessfully to get photos of it. The only golden silk orb weaver was found on the sinkhole trail.

arrow-shaped micrathena

golden silk orb weaver

Mushrooms - There were many beautiful mushrooms along the trails. Between 3,000 and 5,000 kinds of mushrooms are said to occur in the South. More kinds are thought to occur in southeastern US than in any other region of similar size in North America due to the many varied habitats, long growing season, and wet warm climate. Florida must have a good number of species. The following names may be questionable.



Fluted White Helvella

Cortinariaceae Galerina

Blewit (Clitocybe nuda)


Shelf fungus (Ganoderma sp.)

I put a total of 6.3 miles on the Westy. I did more walking miles than driving miles.

Silver River State Park / GoodeG Home / Trip Index