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Horseback riding in Withlacoochee State Forest

By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000


There was a time when the only way to travel the wild Florida scrub land was on horseback. The Florida cowboys depended on their horses for their livelihood.

The settlers could hear them coming, herding their cattle by cracking long bullwhips, and eventually folks just started calling them "crackers."

You can get a taste of what life must have been like for these early Floridians by going horseback riding through Withlacoochee State Forest.

The Croom and Citrus tracts have trails that range in length from 30 to 100 miles. You can go for two hours or two days. The trails are well marked, but if you are a tenderfoot, and want a wrangler to guide you, Ho's Ponderosa in Bushnell can help.

This full-service dude ranch is located in the rolling hills adjacent the Withlacoochee State Forest. For reservations call (800) 794-2768.

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