The Croom Motorcycle Area in the Withlacoochee State Forest near Brooksville, Fla., is a mecca for Florida off-road riders. In 1973, the Florida Trail Riders and state Department of Agriculture teamed up to create this 2,600-acre riding area.
The terrain ranges from hammocks, which are areas often higher than the surrounding land with hardwood trees that include oaks, sweet gums, hickories and palms, to tight scrub land.
The large riding area offers terrain for all skill levels ranging from beginner to more advanced. In fact, there are a couple areas for training and for inexperienced riders to practice their skills. There’s a large phosphate pit as well. Plus, of course, many miles of trails.
A $15 off-highway vehicle permit is required to ride in the CMA. Riders without permits are expelled and/or fined.
Legal riding hours are from sunrise to sunset. Bikes must have mufflers and riders must wear approved helmets. Riders under the age of 16 must have direct adult supervision.
To reach the Croom Motorcycle Area from Brooksville, head east on US 98/SR50 about 11 miles. The entrance is on the left, just before the I-75 overpass. If you are approaching via I-75, take Exit 61 (new Exit 301) to US98/SR50, 40 miles north of downtown Tampa, Fla. Turn west toward Brooksville. The entrance is on the right-northwest corner of the I-75 and US98/SR50 interchange. Look for the Holiday Inn as a landmark.