Ross Prairie Trailhead and Campground is a public trailhead and campground located in Dunnellon, Florida. The pet-friendly campground is located on the south edge of the Cross Florida Greenway, opposite to the Ross Prairie State Forest. The conveniently located campground is situated near a sandhill and wetlands, which makes for a unique environment that hosts various species of plants and animals that patrons can encounter during their stay. Since the campground is situated by a trailhead, it is the perfect place for hikers, bikers, and horse riders. Although a permit is required for camping at the Ross Prairie Trailhead and Campground, it is easily obtainable and free.
The grassy campground offers 14 spacious sites, all of which are pull-through and have 30 and 50 amp hookups available. Unfortunately, only some of them are shaded, and they are usually the first ones to get taken, so make sure to call in advance to check. There is also a picnic pavilion, public restrooms, a dump station, parking, and potable water on-site. Most importantly, the sites are well spaced out, and there is plenty of space for campers to walk their dogs without worrying about bothering other patrons.
The types of wildlife that can be encountered depends on the season during which you are camping, although whitetail deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, and wading birds are the most common encounters. Bobcats and alligators can be spotted by the prairie as well, so make sure to stay alert and keep your canine companion in sight and leashed at all times.
The Ross Prairie Trailhead offers a starting point for several trails of various types and difficulties, which include hiking, biking, and horseback riding paths. It also features an equestrian staging area, which you can find out more about by asking one of the campground hosts on-site throughout the year. The trails run through varied terrain that includes old oak-filled forests, wetlands, and sandhills. With heaps of wildlife to see and beautiful views to enjoy, the campground’s location allows campers to truly feel one with nature while also being only two miles away from grocery stores and restaurants. Campground fees start at $22 per site.