Welcome to a paradise of untamed natural beauty. In the heart of the Withlacoochee State Forest, one of the Sunshine State's hidden treasures lies the Tillis Hill Campground. Surrounded by captivating waterways, lush woodlands, and sprawling sand hills, this is a place where nature reigns supreme, offering an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking to reconnect with the great outdoors.
A River's Tale: The Withlacoochee's Serpentine Journey
The Withlacoochee River, Little Withlacoochee River, and Jumper Creek, each an "Outstanding Florida Water," crisscross this vast forest, encompassing over 165,000 acres across five Florida counties. The name Withlacoochee, derived from Native American roots, translates to "crooked river." It's an apt description for a river that winds 70 miles from its origin in the Green Swamp of Polk County, through picturesque landscapes, until it finally embraces the Gulf of Mexico at Yankeetown.
The forest's diverse ecosystem includes open pine sand hills, dense woodlands, and canopied roads and trails, painting an enchanting portrait of Florida's natural beauty. Among the many tree species that thrive in this unique landscape are slash pine, longleaf pine, pond cypress, bald cypress, maple, southern magnolia, hickory, and a variety of oaks. In the fall, the forest adorns itself with colorful wildflowers like goldenrod, thistle, and blazing stars, creating a vibrant and welcoming ambiance.
A Renowned Natural Oasis
This slice of natural heaven didn't earn its reputation by chance. In 1999, the Withlacoochee State Forest received the prestigious ranking of #1 on the World Wildlife Fund's list of "10 Coolest Places You've Never Seen in North America." For those who venture here, it's no secret why. The forest is teeming with remarkable facilities and opportunities for recreation, making it a nature lover's paradise.
With an extensive network of trails that welcome hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders, there's no shortage of adventure to be found. Seasonal hunting is permitted throughout much of the forest, and the region's lakes and flowing waterways offer excellent fishing prospects.
Camping, the ultimate way to immerse yourself in the natural grandeur of this area, comes in various forms, from full-facility to primitive and group camping, providing options for every kind of outdoors enthusiast. And when the day is spent, day-use facilities for picnicking and wildlife observation abound.
A Destination for All Adventure Enthusiasts
But the Tillis Hill Campground is more than just a portal to the Withlacoochee State Forest. It's a treasure unto itself. Here, visitors can experience the essence of camping, surrounded by the calming sounds of nature, in a tranquil, serene environment. For those who appreciate solitude and the simple joys of a night under the stars, this is a place to be cherished.
The Croom Motorcycle Area adds an exciting element for those who prefer a more adrenaline-pumping adventure. Here, you'll find a developed campground and 2,600 acres of off-road trails for motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) enthusiasts.
The Tillis Hill Campground invites all who seek the exhilaration of exploring the Withlacoochee State Forest to step into a world where nature's magnificence knows no bounds. This is a place to escape, to reconnect, and to experience the magic of the great outdoors. Whether you're a hiker, a rider, or a seeker of solitude, Tillis Hill beckons you to immerse yourself in the majesty of the Withlacoochee.
Via I-75: Take Exit 329-SR 44 (Gulf-Atlantic Highway) for Wildwood, FL. Head west on SR 44 towards Inverness, FL. At the intersection with US 41, head west to the traffic light at CR-581 (Pleasant Grove Road). Go south on CR-581 (Pleasant Grove Road) approximately 10 miles to C-480 (Stage Coach Trail). Turn right (west) on CR-480 (Stage Coach Trail). and continue to FR-13, turn right (north). Contintue to the fork in the road and take the right fork up the hill to Tillis Hill Recreation Area and Campground.
Via Suncoast Parkway: Take the Suncoast Parkway (TR-589) north to the Interchange at US Hwy 98. Bear right to US Hwy 98 (south) and continue approximately 3.5 miles to C-491 (Lecanto Hwy). Turn left (north) on C-491 continue C-480 (Stage Coach Trail) and turn right (east). Continue east on C-480 (Stage Coach Trail) to FR-13. Turn left and continue to the fork in the road. Take the right fork and continue up the hill to Tillis Hill Recreation Area and Campground.
Tillis Hill Campground offers the following facilities and amenities:
If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:
Tillis Hill Campground does require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - Tillis Hill Campground for more information