We were in Bronson from February 24 to February 26, 2021. Read about our second visit in 2022 here.
This horse girl has always wanted to visit Ocala, the Horse Capital of the World. Might as well swing through the area on the way from Eastpoint, on the panhandle, to Atlanta. Well, it’s kind of on the way. From Eastpoint, it’s a pleasant drive on smaller country byways across to our campground in Bronson, just outside of Ocala.
We stayed at Black Prong Equestrian Village. Holy moly. This is not your average campground, it’s like a five-star resort that happens to have RV hookups. The grounds are gorgeous: a meticulously maintained patchwork of horse paddocks and riding fields, studded with small barns, and criss-crossed by dirt paths. Near the center of the property is a large, open clubhouse decorated like a lodge, a pool, a fitness center, and a stable of bikes to borrow from.
Black Prong hosts all kinds of equestrian competitions, and is best known for combined driving events–basically horse triathlons but where you’re in a cart driving a horse or a team through obstacles. It’s wild. But you don’t have to be a competitor (or even have a horse, like us) to stay there. And if you do have a horse, bring him on vacation with you! He can live in a paddock right outside your RV, or you can stay in a lovely cottage attached to a barn and have your horse basically in the next bedroom.
The facility has paths for riding (horses or bikes) and driving (horse carts or golf carts) throughout, or you can pop through the fence and into the adjacent 53,000-acre Goethe State Forest for endless trail options.
As if this place needed to be more amazing: Whole Foods in Gainesville (about 40 minutes away) delivers to Black Prong! We were pretty desperate to restock and this was a very exciting perk.
I really can’t say enough good things about Black Prong. If you are a horse person or a nature person or a peace and quiet person or a hang-out-at-the-pool person, you will love it.
All of our activities were at Black Prong and in the state forest, so I won’t be telling you much about Bronson or Ocala. Oops.
We cooked at home: the grouper we bought in Eastpoint was delicious, but the fish dip was weird and the packed-on date was two weeks ago. Not cool. We drank yummy beers purchased at Urban South in New Orleans. We watched UVA basketball, another terrible loss.
We ran on the state park trails. We drove a golf cart around the resort. We went to the pool and the fitness center, we explored the combined driving obstacle course.
We drove by Willards, a dive bar fifteen minutes down the road and the closest eating and drinking establishment to Black Prong, but it didn’t excite us enough to keep us away from Black Prong.
I want to go back! We’re planning a Florida trip in January, and we’re hoping to include a stay at Black Prong. So then I’ll do some of the horsey tourism I meant to do this visit, including ogling the spectacle that is the World Equestrian Center, and then checking out a couple recommendations from Black Prong in Ocala: The Beach bar/restaurant, and Yum Yum Kitchen food truck for breakfast and/or lunch.
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