Caravelle Ranch - Things to Do
Two rivers and a network of trails and unpaved roads provide easy access to a variety of habitats.
Caravelle is one of only a handful of wildlife management areas that offers special opportunity dove hunts. These popular hunts draw people from as far away as Tampa and Orlando. A supervised youth hunt is also available. The deer population is good, and the turkey, dove and gray squirrel populations are excellent. Check the regulations summary, area map and hunt calendar before you visit.
Largemouth bass, channel catfish, white catfish, and brown and yellow bullheads may be caught on the Ocklawaha River. Fishing is good in May and June between the Rodman Reservoir and St Johns River. Fishing is excellent on Camp Branch Creek, a small waterway that flows through a portion of the area. Carry appropriate licenses and permits.
Florida black bears are found year-round in the river swamps, and it is common to see turkeys in hammocks and fields. Sandhill cranes nest in the marshes and swallow-tailed kites are commonly spotted flying over pastures in summer. These are just a few of the species found at this Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail site. Visit the Wildlife page for more information about the area's wildlife.
Hiking and Biking
Enjoy hiking, bicycling and horseback riding on more than 20 miles of multi-use trails and unpaved roads that pass through many of the area’s habitats. Download the Caravelle Ranch trail guide for trail options on the east side of SR 19. The Florida National Scenic Trail crosses the area and provides long distance hiking options. Horses are welcome, and ample space is available for parking trailers.
Camping is allowed only in the designated primitive campsites located near the main entrance off of SR 19. Note that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails, administers a full-service campground with a boat launch that provides access to Rodman Reservoir. For more information, call (386) 326-2846.
Paddlers may put in at the Rodman Dam Road boat launch and paddle approximately seven miles down the Ocklawaha to the Highway 19 boat ramp. The river traverses extensive hardwood swamp. In the fall, look for the brilliant blooms of scarlet hibiscus along the shore. A historic landing on the Ocala National Forest on the river's south shore offers a scenic spot to picnic and hike.