For dirt bike enthusiasts, the Croom Motorcycle Area within the Withlacoochee State Forest in Brooksville is motorcycle heaven.
It is the only public land area in the peninsular region of Florida where off-road motorcycles and ATVs can ride within state forests.
The 2,600-acre motorcycle area boasts miles of trails to explore and ride.
"It's a lot of fun," said local rider, Wes Francis. "And it's challenging with the different types of terrain and trails."
For new riders and/or young riders, Croom Motorcycle Area offers a designated training and young rider area, where the trails are groomed with bull dozers to make riding easier for beginners and intermediate riders.
But those wishing for more of a challenge need not despair. There's plenty of miles of ungroomed trails throughout the park to conquer.
"There's nice, open, sandy areas typical to Florida, but also lots of wooded trails with jumps," Francis said.
Helmets are required for all off-highway motorcycle and ATV riders. All off-highway vehicles must be registered.
Croom Motorcycle Area is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
Riders can choose from a one-day entrance fee of $15 or an annual pass for $60 for Florida residents, which can be pro-rated for a partial year.
Campsite facilities are available with electricity, restrooms, and showers, plus day-use pavilions. Pavilions must be reserved in advance.
Be sure to bring your own food and water supplies. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
Croom Motorcycle Area is located just east of Interstate 75 at exit 301, at 6420 La Rose Rd. in Brooksville, off of Cortez Blvd. The gatehouse is behind the Quality Inn Motel.
For more info, contact the park gatehouse at (352) 797-5759 or visit http://bit.ly/1fniNtr.
Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at toheatherfrancis (at) gmail.com.