After many years of fundraising and many volunteer hours by local horse group members, the park can now say that it has some of the best horse trails in the state. Many local trail riding groups, as well as individual trail riders have donated funds, supplies and their time and effort to assist park staff in clearing the parking area and the trails. All horse trails are on the north side of the park (north of the Silver River) and entrance is off Highway 40. Initially, day trail riding will be available on some 15 miles of trails. Eventually, primitive camping will also be an option.
Bring us your aluminum cans and used toner cartridges! This ongoing fundraiser is one of the ways we are raising money to help with various park projects.
Pancakes in the Park
A recurring event for the Friends, this fundraiser is usually held in later winter or early spring. It is your typical pancake breakfast with pancakes (obviously), sausage, juice and coffee....but with an outdoor, picnic twist! Usually there is a live band, because somehow a fresh air breakfast is even better with music in the air, as well. And, of course, you have the park to enjoy, after breakfast is over. Watch the calendar for news on our next Pancakes.
Phantoms in the Forest
Each year around Halloween, the Friends invite the Ocali Storytelling Guild to come tell spooky tales in the Cracker Village, just as night begins to fall. The format is the same each year; the stories start out not-so-spooky-at-all, for the youngest members of the audience, and get progressively more chilling as it gets later and later and darkness really takes hold. There are cookies, brownies and other yummies for sale during the story concert, as well as cider, soda, hot cocoa and coffee (if it's chilly enough). People who attend should bring their folding chairs and, depending on the weather, bug spray or sweaters and/or blankets. Admission is by donation and with a canned food donation. Park admission is waived for the event. To get a taste of what the event is like visit our Photo Gallery page.
Bluegrass in the Park
This popular annual fundraiser for the park is held in the spring. Come enjoy live bluegrass music in the shade of our oak trees. Check our Calendar for this year's date.
Although the following events are not Friends events we provide support for them either as sponsors or by providing volunteers, or both.
Marion County Springs Festival
Friends of Silver River is one of many sponsors for the annual event held in September that seeks to inform the public about our local springs and our need to protect them. The festival alternates each year between Rainbow River State Park and Silver River. The 2009 festival will be held at Rainbow Springs State Park. The festival returns to Silver River in 2010. See our Photo Gallery page for photos from the 2008 event. For more information about the festival, visit the Springsfest website.
Ocali Country Days
This popular fall festival is the annual fundraising event for the Silver River Museum and Environmental Educational Center run by the Marion County School Board. Experience old time music, storytellers and historical re-enactors portraying life on a late 1800's Marion County farmstead. Visit the Silver River Museum, ride our jeep tram through the park, tour a Civil War Encampment and meet Seminole Tribal members to learn about Native American culture in Florida. A live auction will be held Saturday at 1:00 pm.
Admission is $5 and children under 6 are free.