Tread Lightly! Four Wheel Drive Way is located in central Florida in Ocala Nationa Forest. Ocala National Forest spans over Lake, Marion, and Putnam Counties for about 385,000 acres. Four Wheel Drive Way travels 80 miles through the north, central, and south regions of Ocala National Forest. The trail is the longest in Florida and will leave lasting impressions as drivers weave through crowded trails, dig through deep Florida sugar sand, hill climb and hill descents, even a few off-camber areas and areas to flex your rig's suspension. Trees and other vegetation will dig into your vehicle's paint leaving permanent memories, whether good or bad is a discussion for another time.
Tread Lightly! Four Wheel Drive Way is Florida's first and only trail listed on Jeep's Badge of Honor program. Jeep drivers can download Jeep Badge of Honor app on iOS or Android, check-in the app, and receive a badge after completing the trail. See
The most difficult part of this trail is the traction. Four Wheel Drive Way has deep sand and mud in the rain season, which causes issues for 4WD trucks/SUVs with highway tires.
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The hardest part of the trail that you
cannot bypass - you have to drive it.
The hardest part of the trail that is
purely optional - you can bypass it.
Typically, more rock or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 12" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 12" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 24" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep.Read More about our Rating System
Four Wheel Drive Way is made of various terrain: clay, dirt, sand, and mud. The trail is shaped like a twisted hourglass and is an 80 miles long route comprised of several roads. It has multiple hill climbs and descents. Obstacles on the trail consist of dips, some mudholes during the wet season, and deep sand. Four Wheel Drive Way is for stock 4WD trucks/SUVs with all-terrain or mud tires and drivers of all experiences.
Keep an eye out for Florida Black Bears.
1. Tread Lightly! Four Wheel Drive Way Trailhead (0
Turn right/south onto Forest Road 09. There are easy identifiers for the trail other than a small brown sign about 100' south of FL-316. The trail is exactly 3.2 miles east of the Marathon gas station at 14929 E Hwy 316, Fort McCoy, Florida 32134
2. Forest Road 01-3.2 - Turn Right/West (1.05
Forest Road 01-3.2 is identified by a small brown sign on the west side of Forest Road 09.
FR01-0.7 ends at Forest Road 01. Turn left/south onto FR01.
30. NE Highway 314 - Turn Left/East (20.19
Intersection with NE Highway 314. There are no dirt tracks that run paralell to NE Highway 314, so turn left/east onto the pavement. Watch your speed if you've aired down and get ready for about a 2.5 mile drive.
Tread Lightly! Four Wheel Drive Way ends at the "Caution Gas Pipeline" signs. The quickest way to exit Ocala National Forest is to continue north on FR09 for about a mile until reaching FL-40. Turning left/west onto FL-40 will head into the town of Silver Springs.
Camping is not allowed on Four Wheel Drive Way. The trail never passes any campsites, however, there are a few nearby. Below are the nearest campsites while exploring Four Wheel Drive Way:
Lake Delancy West and Lake Delancy East are located on
. Both campsites allow tent and small trailer camping, along with picnic tables. Lake Delancy West has more amenities such as toilets, drinking water, and set up for OHV riding.
For more info and campsite reservations please visit the
Hi, this was my first offroading trip and I was able to do the trail in about 7 hours. Definitely a lot of pin stripping, don't go if that is an issue for you.
Two people is recommended. They're are a number of trees across the trails, 12 inches at the most, but in my case, I have a RTT and some trees were leaning low a toss the trail enough that I would not have been able to go under unless you saw them. I was able to push the tree up and my son drove under.
Some deep sand, nothing difficult and no issues in 4H. i have a 2023 4runner with a 3inch lift and 33" AT tires.
I think someone said they could do it 2 wheel drive, imho, not a chance through the sand.
It was fun, but not hard at all.
The trail from waypoint 1-14 is heavily overgrown. You will have LOTS of pinstriping. Locating the trail entrance at waypoint 1 was challenging as the brush has almost completely covered the trail. Lots of logs down and covering the trail. Riders have either moved the logs or driven over them. It really does not look like this trail has been used much at all. After entering the trail again from waypoint 7 someone has deposited their household garbage on the trail. Pretty sad. Travel slow or you will bypass waypoint 15. After waypoint 26, the worst seems to be over with. Do not drive fast as there are logs pointed at the windshield and a wrong move could result in devasting injury and/or damage.
Not worth the moderate rating in any way. Ran the entire 81 miles in 3:20 in 2wd. There were some wet spots but nothing, absolutely nothing, requiring 4Hi or 4Lo. Not sure where the 7 hour time to complete came from. Did get to see a lot of decent size deer and a couple of large Black Bears. Lots of Bear **** on the trail in the southern part this time.
I can see where 4wd might be required if it’s super wet out but even then on a well built rig, it can be done in 2wd. This trail is overrated IMO.
The pin striping struggle is real. Glad I did it but probably wouldn't do it again. The trail is essentially 4 corners connected by a long main road. The north west, north east, south west and south east are all a little different. The southern sections were a little more technical but everything was doable in my stock 2014 sequoia with a roof carrier at nearly 8' tall. I'd highly suggest bringing a portable air compressor to air down since there's a lot of soft sand. Trail is very tight in many places and hand to fold the mirrors in on my sequoia to get it to fit. Had to use tow straps to move 2 trees blocking the trail. Took just over 6 hours and used around a half tank of gas.
Lovely trip through a beautiful landscape.
Difficulty might depend on the rig.
With a lift and right tires no issues at all.
Needed 5 hours for the complete 81 miles.
Only a few passages are Difficulty 3. Most are 1-2. My wife and I love our trip!
Our 4 star review is rated on the fact that this trail is a lot of fun! We started on the trail around 9:30am and ended on waypoint 99 at 7:30pm- we did stop around 1:30pm along the trail and cooked lunch. It’s definitely a full day of riding so plan ahead and bring snacks!
We went during the Florida dry season- we’re Fl natives and live about 10 mins from Osceola so we were a little disappointed to only find one small piece in the trail with 3 mud puddles that didn’t require 4 wheel drive.
As noted in several other reviews, the trail is narrow so be prepared for plenty of pinstripes! We received plenty of surface scratches but nothing worth crying about- after all, why own a Jeep if your not gonna be willing to get a little down and dirty?
We also left a little surprise for another Jeeper to find along the trail! :)
As I said above, it was dry! Super dusty! We didn’t need four wheel drive at all- we did use the rear lockers in a few places that the sugar sand got pretty deep, especially up hill, but that was it. I imagine if conditions were wetter that the trail may be a little different but this time of year it definitely wasn’t needed.
Also, if you are using the app to track please note that at waypoint 72 the app tells you to turn right but you actually need to keep left. Turning right causes you to go off trail and do a U-turn which isn’t easy in the narrow trail!
Included are some photos from our day- for info we drive the blue Rubicon- 4” lift with 35’s.
Also wanted to mention that one of our buddies drove the Sahara with a 4” lift and 35’s and his also has a roof rack with a roof top tent which adds an extra 14” to the top and a 270 awning which adds another 9” to the side and he was able to go through the entire trail with no problem aside from moving a couple of dead trees that had fell over!
Happy Off-roading! :)
On Sunday morning my wife and I decided to take my 2020 ford ranger 4x4 (completely stock)to the Ocala trails. This was only the second time taken my truck off road sense I bought it. I got to the trails and I immediately noticed how narrow the trail was. It was just wide enough for my truck to fit. My plan was to go from turn 1 to 30, but because of how narrow the trail was we stoped at turn 15. The trail was very easy to drive, no water crossing. There was only one spot that was somewhat difficult and that was because it was a 90 degree turn with sugar sand. I don’t think I’ll go back to the Ocala Forest just because of how narrow the trails are.
We followed the trail highlighted here (started at #48 (40 and FR09), aka the Southern Part. There is a place to air down to about 20-23 depending on your vehicle. There is a TL sign (photo op). From there we followed the trail to the "t" listed above, until about hour 4. then we took some side trails to get back to #48 to air up. We found the perfect photo op at the back gate to the bombing range. Our friend who was with us provided some history of the area about how the squared off sections came to be by the Seminole Indians. Yes, there are even stops signs on this trails. We found the trail above to be wide and a few narrow spots. Then we ventured off pass #53/54 and the trailed got narrower. Yes we did get pin stripping - but hey it's a jeep. Don't forget to check in for the Jeep Badge of Honor. There is a place that is off limits (looks like the tree of life from Disney), we stayed on the trail (took pics) and had a Florida Black Bear cross our path.
Four Wheel Drive Way is a fun trail that never seems to end. The trail is very narrow so expect scratches on your vehicle. There's lots of sand, hill climbs/descents, and some great areas for wildlife watching and photography. The trail isn't rated a 5 because there are very few places to flex/rock climb and only a handful of off-camber areas. A few places for mudholes during hurricane season but nothing serious.
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Jeff is an outdoor enthusiast located in the central Florida area. He enjoys exploring Florida's less traveled roads, visiting historic sites, and getting away from the city. While on trails Jeff is a huge supporter of tread lightly and believes in, "take out what you take in."
A love for vehicles has recently brought Jeff to the world of off-roading. He is still new to the game but is enthusiastic about learning new techniques, vehicles, equipment, technology, and bringing all together to contribute to TrailsOffoad.
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