THINGS TO DO
The forest canopy that surrounds the house provides shelter for a variety of wildlife, including deer, wild turkey, piliated wood pecker and other.
ATVing: ATving is very popular in the Oceola National Forest. Be sure to pick up the rules & regulations booklet from the Florida Fish & Game office on Highway 90, or go online for info. See link below. ATV trails are marked with an ATV sign.
There are also many marked trails for 4-wheeling. Please abide by all ATV safety rules. No riding the ATVs on the property or on the road in front other that to go straight to the trails. I will have info at the cabin pertaining to the rules and regulations, as well as where you can ride. It is also available online at the US Forest website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/florida/passes-permits/?cid=stelprdb5269317. There is a group that rides regularly rides out and there and love to have folks join them, called "the Dirty Deeds." Look them up on Facebook.
Bike Riding: There are many trails through the forest for riding bikes. Just remember if we are in a wet season, it will be very muddy :=)
Kayaking and Swimming: There is a lake, called Bar Pit, about a half-mile from is us that is great for swimming and kayaking. It's crystal clear and easy and sandy entry. Keep in mind, there are gators in there and it's Florida, so the occasional snake. They usually stay on the backside if there's splashing and such .
Ocean Pond is a short driving distance from the cabin and offers water skiing, canoeing, swimming, fishing and such of a bigger nature. Linda can tell you how to get there.
Geocaching: If you like adventuring, Geocaching is popular in the area. There are over 100 caches hidden in the forest behind the cabin. Go to www.geocache.com or follow link on my website to get clues to go on a treasure hunt for them.
Also, if you like to go canoeing, the Suwanee River and the Stephen Foster Memorial is about 45 minutes from the cabin). There's also the Santa Fe, which is great canoeing.
You should also visit Itcheetucknee River which is great to tube or kayak. Crystal clear, spring fed. If you are good with a canoe, it's fun for that, too, but the rapid water is hard for the inexperienced paddlers. Many years ago my husband dumped us all in trying to figure how to paddle in a 4 knot current. I love to swim it in the winter as it is fed by underground springs all along it, keeping it at 72 degrees year round. In the summer heat it seems cold, but when it's 30 degrees, it seems warm and so so beautiful.
I love it best in the winter as you don't have the crowds. You'll see raccoon, egrets and other Florida wildlife, as well as beautiful floral life. In the winter, the mist rises off it like it's boiling, especially if you have a cold spell. That's when I love to swim it best, but, that's best done with someone that knows it. It runs about 4 knots and it's easy to bump your head on underground logs and stuff if you aren't watching... and... it has been known to have a gator or two.
Check and make sure that it's not hunting season. And, it is easy to get lost, so be sure and stay on the trail and mark your path. If you're into birding, there is a hawk that lives toward the back of the property in one of the tall trees on the right. There's also 2 huge pileated woodpeckers that are considered rare that frequently come to visit.
If you like early morning sunrises and want to see deer, I suggest getting up early, and going with your coffee out on the deck. I usually get up at 5, make coffee and sit there in the semi dark as the sun rises through the trees. Tons of birds, an occasional rabbit and depending on their mood, the deer. They are always in the yard at nigh-it's just you getting to see them that's the challenge.
Also if you come home around 11 at night, if you drive slow you'll frequently see them along the road and even laying in Linda and Sonny's yard like pets. Oh, you might see an occasional armadillo or racoon, also.
I hope you enjoy your visit and I hope you love Deer Cottage as much as I do. It's not fancy and it has lots of quirks as many older homes do, but I love it there.