Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway
Byway Length: 123 miles
Designated: April 9, 2008, National Designation 2009
FDOT Districts: 2 & 5
Discover Wild Florida! The Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway is packed with hidden treasures and calls out to the adventure seeker in all of us, encouraging you to get out of the car to “touch the forest”, as noted author Dana St. Claire has said in the byway’s informational materials.
This corridor leads you through a mosaic of natural and recreational sites and communities surrounding the Big Scrub, one of Florida’s most distinctive ecosystems. The Big Scrub, created from ancient sand dunes capped with vegetation adapted to a lack of water is the largest continuous sand pine forest remaining in Florida. Traversing eastern Marion County and parts of Lake, Putnam and Volusia counties, the 60-mile-long corridor along SR 40 serves as the backbone for the byways network of scenic roads and interpretive trails.
The surrounding lands that are part of this corridor includes the Ocala National Forest, Lake George State Forest, Heart Island Conservation Area and Tiger Bay State Forest. The many crystal-clear springs along the byway are a huge attraction, as are the region’s trail system and proximity to waterways for kayaking and boating. The Florida black bear is at its highest population density in this region; these ambassadors of the byway are often close to the road, so look out for them!
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Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway Map
Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway Video
From I-75: Exit #352 (SR-40). Travel on SR-40E to intersection of SR-35 and SR-40 in Silver Springs. (West end of byway)
From I-95: Exit #268 (SR-40). Intersection of I-95 and SR-40 is east end of byway)
Florida Black Bear National Scenic Byway includes a 60 mile segment along SR-40, beginning in Silver Springs, Marion County and ending at Interstate 95 in Volusia County. The corridor also includes a 56- mile series of loop and spurs. It runs through 4 Counties: Volusia, Marion, Lake, and Putnam. Gateway cities to this rural byway are Silver Springs, Palatka, Umatilla, and Ormond Beach.
These are specific resources for this byway. See Associated Florida Resources for connections to organizations affecting all byways in Florida.
Volusia County Tourism:
Ocala/Marion County Tourism:
Lake County Tourism:
Ocala National Forest:
Bartram Trail Society of Florida:
Barberville Pioneer Settlement:
City of Ormond Beach