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Author Topic: 2016 Centennial Trail - Ocala National Forest  (Read 25897 times)
kdclere
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« on: December 28, 2015, 09:14:14 PM »

Hey Everyone,

This is the new thread for 2016 for the Centennial OHV Trail on the Ocala National Forest!  If you haven't been to Big Scrub Campground and the Centennial Trail in the recent past you may have missed some improvements.  We have finally added a Youth Training Area in the campground.  This is a step in the right direction for encouraging children to feel safe around and while operating OHVs.  We are planning on adding a small shade structure and possibly a playground set near the Youth Training Area to have an all inclusive child area.  Hopefully this makes it easier for parents to keep an eye on their kids while giving them a chance to relax in between rides when the kids want to keep going at "100mph"!  We also are in plans to expand the track to make it a bit larger.



Using our trail equipment, we are trying to widen the tread of the trail to accommodate larger side-by-sides, and allow for safer maneuvering when you encounter other riders.  We have already gained almost two feet in some sections of the Scrub Jay loop.  The trail-dozer will be taking out brush for miles in sections to also allow for better passing when necessary.  we aren't looking to have a large width because we still want to have a "trail feel" to the Centennial, but do want to make everyone feel safer when they ride.  As always, we are continuing to trim out corners as we go to keep visibility and safety up! 

John and Yvonne have returned as campground hosts again this year.  They do an amazing job and truly care about each and every one of you during your stay in the campground.  Trust me, I get notified when campers haven't returned at dark, just so I know whether to come in and help look for you guys!  They are some of the best volunteers I have ever been around.
Roy and Sharon are also back as OHV volunteers and have begun raking, dragging and trimming the trail as usual.  They have strict visions to how the trail should be:  groomed nice and flat, trimmed back and open, signed well and efficient!  I couldn't ask for better trail volunteers. 
We will also add a SCA Intern in Chanell in mid-January who is looking forward to being part of the team and working on projects to make everything better.  She excelled while on her last internship and was asked to stay on and move to the Centennial Trail area!

Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks have been the busiest since I came on board in 2008 when the trail was built.  It is an awesome sight to see so many people enjoying the trails and the campground!  We are looking forward to New Year's Weekend, where almost the entire campground has been reserved already.  We are planning an event for MLK weekend, hopefully to include grilling hotdogs, or even a chili cook-off, with some music and games.  We are also looking into giving individuals free or reduced camping/riding for that weekend just for helping us trim some corners from 9am-noon on that Saturday.

We truly want to make Big Scrub Campground and the Centennial Trail into the best recreation opportunities they can be through good operation and smart, efficient changes...even to include installing electric in the near future!  (We may make the two host sites available as electric sites this Summer just to start!)

Check out the Centennial Trail Facebook Page at:  https://www.facebook.com/CentennialOHVONF/?fref=ts

Check out how to reserve a campsite or pay for riding online at: 
Camping http://www.recreation.gov/camping/big-scrub-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=75398
Riding http://www.recreation.gov/wildernessAreaDetails.do?page=detail&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=74048

Come see us soon and let's have a great time!  I have made this post where it will notify me of replies so I can attempt to answer questions and respond to comments more often!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and to comment!
-Kris
 
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2015, 09:39:15 PM »

Thanks for the update. Everything you've done so far looks great!
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 07:02:54 PM »

Thanks for posting. I haven't camped out at big scrub in probably 8 years. I know the bathroom facilities they built were really nice then it just seemed to die for atv usage. Is there still water spigots there? Thanks again for posting a worth while read lol.
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2016, 02:55:14 AM »

Nice!
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2016, 09:14:32 AM »

Kris,

Went to the Centennial Trail acouple of times over the Holidays and really enjoyed how nice the trail is now. Good job to everyone who worked on it.

K_Man
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 02:57:28 PM »

Just got back over the holidays road the North Trails.  Need to widen all the trails.  Head on CRASH almost 3 times and I was going slow around corners.   And with the red trail going back to Lake Oklawaha Campground its one trail with many people going both directions.   

Its supposed to be a relaxing ride in the forest but its tense all day due to what's around the next corner. 
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2016, 04:15:05 PM »

Hey Everyone,


John and Yvonne have returned as campground hosts again this year.  They do an amazing job and truly care about each and every one of you during your stay in the campground.  Trust me, I get notified when campers haven't returned at dark, just so I know whether to come in and help look for you guys!  They are some of the best volunteers I have ever been around.
Roy and Sharon are also back as OHV volunteers and have begun raking, dragging and trimming the trail as usual.  They have strict visions to how the trail should be:  groomed nice and flat, trimmed back and open, signed well and efficient!  I couldn't ask for better trail volunteers. 
We will also add a SCA Intern in Chanell in mid-January who is looking forward to being part of the team and working on projects to make everything better.  She excelled while on her last internship and was asked to stay on and move to the Centennial Trail area!



Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and to comment!
-Kris
 

My wife and I agree! John and Yvonne are best volunteers that you could have! Before Roy and Sharon got back, John and Yvonne dragged the trails besides doing their regular jobs at the campground. Now that Roy and Sharon are back, they are doing a great job dragging the trails and taking out stumps. These four people are making the Centennial Trails a nice place to ride. We really enjoy riding there!

My one and only complaint is that the blind turns on the north trail up by the TH at US40 needs to be trimmed down so that you can see around the turns. The upper and lower Blue Jays are OK for now. I keep hearing about a bulldozer and a tractor with a side mower blade that will clear those turns, but I'm afraid that I might be dead before that ever happens. The Forrest Department wants us to be safe and not ride double, but yet every blind turn is an accident just waiting to happen. Kris, I know that you are trying to get those blind turns trimmed, but please try harder. My wife and I both have been in trail accidents and we go during the week when there are fewer riders out there.

Other than the blind turns, we love riding at the Centennial Trail ! Thanks to you and all of the volunteers it's a great place to ride !

Larry and June
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 07:47:09 AM »

How can you find out what days the trail work will be on and what part of the trail? I will be down in the ONF for a week at a time once or twice a month and would like to help out some.

K_Man
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 04:43:23 PM »

They usually do the dragging of the trails and trimming on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but I have seen them out on other days too. They can be anywhere on the trail, so you have to watch out for them.

Are you going to camp at Big Scrub? I just bought an RV and also will be going there a couple of times a month for three  or four days at a time. I would love to clear some of those blind turns.

Larry
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 12:05:18 PM »

Just got back over the holidays road the North Trails.  Need to widen all the trails.  Head on CRASH almost 3 times and I was going slow around corners.   And with the red trail going back to Lake Oklawaha Campground its one trail with many people going both directions.   

Its supposed to be a relaxing ride in the forest but its tense all day due to what's around the next corner. 

I'm sorry for your experience.  This thread is only for the Centennial Trail on the south side of HWY 40, but I will pass this message along to the guys who manage the North Trails.  I agree, they need to be cleared for visibility and then possibly widened.  Safety is important and I would rather have someone have a good time than spending the whole ride worried.  Again, I'll pass this along and try to influence the maintenance done.  Thank you for riding the Ocala!
-Kris
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kdclere
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 12:06:57 PM »

Hey Everyone,


John and Yvonne have returned as campground hosts again this year.  They do an amazing job and truly care about each and every one of you during your stay in the campground.  Trust me, I get notified when campers haven't returned at dark, just so I know whether to come in and help look for you guys!  They are some of the best volunteers I have ever been around.
Roy and Sharon are also back as OHV volunteers and have begun raking, dragging and trimming the trail as usual.  They have strict visions to how the trail should be:  groomed nice and flat, trimmed back and open, signed well and efficient!  I couldn't ask for better trail volunteers. 
We will also add a SCA Intern in Chanell in mid-January who is looking forward to being part of the team and working on projects to make everything better.  She excelled while on her last internship and was asked to stay on and move to the Centennial Trail area!



Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and to comment!
-Kris
 

My wife and I agree! John and Yvonne are best volunteers that you could have! Before Roy and Sharon got back, John and Yvonne dragged the trails besides doing their regular jobs at the campground. Now that Roy and Sharon are back, they are doing a great job dragging the trails and taking out stumps. These four people are making the Centennial Trails a nice place to ride. We really enjoy riding there!

My one and only complaint is that the blind turns on the north trail up by the TH at US40 needs to be trimmed down so that you can see around the turns. The upper and lower Blue Jays are OK for now. I keep hearing about a bulldozer and a tractor with a side mower blade that will clear those turns, but I'm afraid that I might be dead before that ever happens. The Forrest Department wants us to be safe and not ride double, but yet every blind turn is an accident just waiting to happen. Kris, I know that you are trying to get those blind turns trimmed, but please try harder. My wife and I both have been in trail accidents and we go during the week when there are fewer riders out there.

Other than the blind turns, we love riding at the Centennial Trail ! Thanks to you and all of the volunteers it's a great place to ride !

Larry and June

Will do Larry!!!

-Kris
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2016, 05:06:19 PM »

centennial trail is hands down the best trail in the ONF.it is highly maintained and just a great ride.and the campground hosts at big scrub are the nicest people you ever wanna meet.i love riding there.GREAT JOB!!!!!!
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2016, 07:53:39 AM »

any future news on working on the road to get to big scrub?  Back in the day when I had a $2500 pick up truck, it wasn't an issue.  The last time we went out there with my friends new Tahoe, the road was so rough, he rattled a part out of his radio and the whole thing needed to be replaced. Coming from Tampa, we always drive the extra 45 minutes to the TH on US40 because of the awesome job they did on the parking area. You would think with all the land, there could be more campgrounds with ease of accessibility.  I'm just not pulling my new toyhauler down that road to big scrub for miles.
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2016, 01:32:51 PM »

any future news on working on the road to get to big scrub?  Back in the day when I had a $2500 pick up truck, it wasn't an issue.  The last time we went out there with my friends new Tahoe, the road was so rough, he rattled a part out of his radio and the whole thing needed to be replaced. Coming from Tampa, we always drive the extra 45 minutes to the TH on US40 because of the awesome job they did on the parking area. You would think with all the land, there could be more campgrounds with ease of accessibility.  I'm just not pulling my new toyhauler down that road to big scrub for miles.

They are actually out there as we speak, laying down more material and mixing Forest Raod 13 from HWY 40 south to Big Scrub.  It is in pretty good shape right now.  Hopefully they look to improve both FR 14 from east to west and the south half of FR13.  Both really need it and I agree with you completely.  I'm pushing for it.  But for the time being, your best road in is f4rom the TH at HWY 40, they really have done some great work up there so far.  Thanks!

Kris
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2016, 01:33:37 PM »

centennial trail is hands down the best trail in the ONF.it is highly maintained and just a great ride.and the campground hosts at big scrub are the nicest people you ever wanna meet.i love riding there.GREAT JOB!!!!!!

Thanks for coming out and enjoying it!  I will pass on the compliment to John and Yvonne at Big Scrub!  Come out and ride anytime!

Kris
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2016, 08:58:24 AM »

Just talked to John at Big Scrub and he said the Centennial Trail will be closed starting tomorrow for two weeks do to the bombing range.
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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2016, 10:01:17 AM »

This is incorrect information, I received more info this morning.  Currently Tuesday and Thursday of this week (22nd and 24th) and Thursday and Friday of next week 31st and 1st) are the only days, and it will only be closed until the Navy has wrapped up their exercises.  Tentatively 8am until hopefully 2pm or so on those days.  Currently all the other days the Centennial Trail will be open.

-Kris
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« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2016, 02:41:05 PM »

Thanks Kris, John called me back while we were shopping and gave me the corrected info. It still messes up our plans to camp there this week, so we are going to Delancy West instead. Larry
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2016, 08:13:04 AM »

The Navy cancelled their exercises today requiring us to close the trail, so the Centennial Trail will be open today TUESDAY, March 22nd.  Next scheduled days for it to be closed due to the Safety Zone for their exercises are THURSDAY, March 24th, THURSDAY, March 31st, and FRIDAY, April 1st.

-Kris
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2016, 03:54:13 PM »

Is there anyway to ask the Navy to be allowed to watch with their observers some of the bombing practice?

K_Man
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2016, 04:07:10 PM »

The best I can do is say try one of these numbers and ask them?  Would be cool if they let you!
-Kris

Frequently Called Numbers on Base

If the impact noise gets too loud, residents are asked to call (800) 874-5059.

For more information, call (904) 542-5588.
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« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2016, 07:37:08 AM »

Rode the centennial trail 2 weeks ago.  had a great time and it was not too hot.  Unfortunately, it will probably be the last time  due to the suicide TWO WAY TRAIL. When riding this trail with my friends, its always picking straws to see who will lead since nobody wants to.  I was the lucky one who got to lead on this ride.  I just purchased a can am maverick sxs and some parts of the trail are tight for this machine, but as a seasoned rider and being careful, I made it work.  It's been over a year since I rode this trail and I can tell the difference on how much the brush has grown since my last ride.  About 3/4 of our ride around the loop, I almost completely flattened and ran over a 10 year old or so riding with his family coming across one of the suicide blind turns.  Picture a mammoth sxs coming up against a small 90cc quad with a child no less.  Luckily I was able to launch my machine by inches into the brush before seriously hurting this child.  This has prompted me to sell my sxs and give up on this trail.  I support atv riding hugely and commend the state for allowing the few and far between trails that are offered in this state, but safety should always come first.  When somebody eventually gets very hurt, especially a child, maybe the forest service will wake up and make this a one way loop trail like it should be.  I know many on here disagree since they only want to ride the loop partially then turn around and with one way trails, you can not do that, but come on...  Somebody is eventually going to get real hurt, damage a very expensive ATV and God knows what else.  I know this post will do nothing, but I think more people need to be vocal about the safety concerns so families of all ages can enjoy this trail.
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2016, 08:25:30 AM »

One way to improve the trails would be to hire somebody with a machine to clear the blind turns. The key word here is "Machine". Volunteers are clearing them now, but it takes them forever and if they ever complete the job, they will have to start over again as it grows right back. If you can see other riders coming at you, then you have time to react. I love riding there, but being in the lead is very dangerous. My wife and I go during the week when there are less riders out there, but we still have had crashes.
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2016, 09:08:51 AM »

Rode the centennial trail 2 weeks ago.  had a great time and it was not too hot.  Unfortunately, it will probably be the last time  due to the suicide TWO WAY TRAIL. When riding this trail with my friends, its always picking straws to see who will lead since nobody wants to.  I was the lucky one who got to lead on this ride.  I just purchased a can am maverick sxs and some parts of the trail are tight for this machine, but as a seasoned rider and being careful, I made it work.  It's been over a year since I rode this trail and I can tell the difference on how much the brush has grown since my last ride.  About 3/4 of our ride around the loop, I almost completely flattened and ran over a 10 year old or so riding with his family coming across one of the suicide blind turns.  Picture a mammoth sxs coming up against a small 90cc quad with a child no less.  Luckily I was able to launch my machine by inches into the brush before seriously hurting this child.  This has prompted me to sell my sxs and give up on this trail.  I support atv riding hugely and commend the state for allowing the few and far between trails that are offered in this state, but safety should always come first.  When somebody eventually gets very hurt, especially a child, maybe the forest service will wake up and make this a one way loop trail like it should be.  I know many on here disagree since they only want to ride the loop partially then turn around and with one way trails, you can not do that, but come on...  Somebody is eventually going to get real hurt, damage a very expensive ATV and God knows what else.  I know this post will do nothing, but I think more people need to be vocal about the safety concerns so families of all ages can enjoy this trail.

   I agree 100% with you I have stopped riding Ocala as it is a death trap demo derby waiting to happen.   I also stopped riding Croom as they stopped maintaining the trails and are getting ready to increase the permit to 80 bucks per machine.  Where does all the money go?    I have been lucky enough to have access to 2200 acres in N. Fl for the last 2 years and its next to Osceola NF.   Just have to make it a full weekend as it takes three hours to drive to but well worth it for me becasue I make a weekend out of it and have a trailer at the proper to stay in.    I chose to make longer trips out of state, Hat Field McCoy WV, Windrock Park TN, Durhamtown Ga, or Wayehutta in NC.  These places are one-way and maintained trails, just some thought if you love to ride its worth the trips up north, just need under armor for the rocks!
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2016, 01:34:33 PM »

I hope Kris does not get upset by my post because he works extremely hard as a volunteer to try his best to keep this trail up, but as said on here, you need more than volunteers to keep this trail the way it needs to be. I would rather park my truck on a dirt field vs a nice blacktop lot with handicap spaces of all things then have to ride a trail not knowing if I am leaving it for a hospital. I know they put some time and I guess money into big scrub campground, but why?  It's a hot, dusty dirt field that I would never take the road to get there with my toyhaluer. You have acres and acres upon land with much shade and vegetation and they sink the money and volunteer work into big scrub. I guess camping is more important than safety on the trails.  If this post will do anything, it will probably make the Forrest service close the trails rather than fix them.  My "almost" accident made me really rethink the whole sport if places like Ocala is the only place to ride in the state.
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