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  • Carney Island Recreation & Conservation Area

    Carney Trail 3 Earp
    1. Address:13275 SE 115 Ave
      Ocala, FL 32179
    2. Phone:(352) 671-8560
    3. Capacity:100 +
    Amenities:
    1. Beach
    2. Boat Ramps
    3. Concessions
    4. Hand Launch
    5. Hiking/Walking
    6. Horseshoes
    7. Monofilament
    8. Picnic Pavilion
    9. Picnic Tables
    10. Playground
    11. Restrooms
    12. Swimming
    13. User Fee
    14. Volleyball
    15. Wildlife
    Categories:
    1. Parks and Recreation

April - October 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
November - March 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

Daily user fee $7/vehicle

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The Lake Weir area has a rich history. The property has historically supported agricultural uses dating back to the 1600s. When the Spanish missionaries first visited the Lake Weir region around 1600, the Timucuan Indians occupied Marion County. The diseases carried by the Europeans decimated the local tribes by mid-1600. Around 1700, the Creek Indians were forced into Florida by the British and swiftly became known as the Seminoles. Many Seminoles settled in the Lake Weir area where they farmed and raised livestock.

 

In the 1800s, the lake was named in honor of U.S. Army Lieutenant Weir, who was killed near the lake’s banks by the Seminole Indians in the early 1800s. In 1875, Captain John L. Carney and his brother E.L. Carney purchased the land now known as Carney Island. They developed a 25-acre orange grove, which later grew in size. The Carneys were responsible for propagating several new varieties of citrus, including the Parson Brown variety. For most of the last century, the area surrounding the Carney groves flourished as a citrus-producing region. The citrus was shipped by steamboat from a packinghouse on the east shore of the property across Lake Weir to the railroad. Pilings still exist on the property today from this packinghouse.

A hard freeze in 1894 wiped out the citrus trees around Lake Weir. Most groves were re-established, and citrus groves remained an important agricultural industry until another widespread freeze in 1984.

Over the years, several fruit growing companies had interest in the Carney Island property, and it was eventually acquired by the Coca-Cola Company in 1960 when they purchased the Minute Maid Corporation. In 1990, officials with Coca-Cola agreed to sell the Carney Island property to Marion County at a price below market value. The property was acquired using funds from the “Pennies for Parks” program. The site, which includes over 750+ acres of sandhill islands, causeways, wetland systems and shoreline beaches was acquired by Marion County to protect its ecological character and to provide a resource-based recreation area.

beachboatrampconcessionhandlaunchhiking/walkingmonofilament picnic pavillionpicnic tablesplaygroundrestroomsswimmingvolleyballuser feehorseshoeswildlife

sm_CI Beach 1  J Lewis 3 Carney Island Playground

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