Heading out on State Road 40, I had passed this park a few times going to various destinations (Silver Glen Springs, Alexander Springs and Juniper Springs) in the Ocala National Forest. Heading out to Salt Springs this past Veterans’ Day, I had finally taken a stop to check out Wildcat Lake Park. After parking, I had explored the boat launch area. There, I had an unobstructed view of the wide open body of water of Wildcat Lake from a wooden pier. In the distance, one fisherman, on his boat, had waited patiently for fish to bite. For being around 9 am in the morning, on a holiday, there was very little activity, less the one visitor. Wildcat Lake had embodied the serenity and peace of rural Florida.
After taking some photos and video off the pier, I had walked up past the on-premise restrooms to check out the swimming area. Moving to the waters’ edge, the swimming area had seemed shallow and fit only for small children. Though, I had wondered how wise that might be with an alligator sign up the hill. In these shallow waters, I had seen quite a few tiny fish darting around avoiding the camera’s gaze. With the uncooperative stars, I had decided to get back in my vehicle to complete an impromptu journey to another portion of Ocala National Forest.
If you had looked for a place to picnic or fish with a great open view, take a stop. It was a good pit stop for us before heading out to Salt Springs and Silver Glen Springs.
Park fee is $3. Hours: dusk to dawn. Wildcat Lake Park had lacked an address; however, is located up US 40. The physical location is Latitude : 29.1704370217539 Longitude : -81.6276197855908.
For reference, on Veteran’s day, most national parks had offered free admission (i.e. Wildcat, Salt Springs, Silver Glen, etc..)
Wildcat Lake Park (US Forest Service)