Historic Santos Recreation Area


The Historic Santos Recreation Area in Belleview is a treasured gem that offers a window into the past while providing modern-day recreational opportunities. This beloved site holds a rich history, showcasing the unique blend of nature and culture that Florida has to offer.


The Santos Recreation Area, formerly known as the Santos Trailhead, is a testament to the region’s historical significance. It’s situated in the Ocala National Forest and has a deep-rooted connection to the area’s once-booming phosphate mining industry. The site was pivotal in supporting the industry, and remnants of this era can still be seen in the form of historic mining equipment and railway tracks.


Today, the recreation area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly mountain bikers. The acclaimed Santos Trail System, with its well-maintained network of trails, draws riders from near and far. These trails cater to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned riders, making it an inclusive destination for all. The beautiful natural surroundings, featuring lush forests and scenic landscapes, provide an idyllic backdrop for biking, hiking, and horseback riding.


Visitors to the Santos Recreation Area can also appreciate the peacefulness of the Vortex Spring. This natural spring offers a serene oasis where people can relax and cool off on hot Florida days.


The historical and recreational aspects of the Santos Recreation Area come together to create a unique experience for all who visit. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the history of Florida’s phosphate industry while enjoying the natural beauty and outdoor activities that make this region so special. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a history enthusiast, the Santos Recreation Area in Belleview has something to offer, making it a must-visit destination.