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Adam Putnam annpunces new Florida off-highway vehicle park

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced the state’s newest off-road vehicle park in Santa Rosa County.

An event celebrating the opening, attended by Motocross legend Ricky Carmichael and hosted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service, inaugurated Clear Creek Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park in the Blackwater River State Forest outside of the Panhandle town of Milton.

State Forester Jim Karels, represented the department at the event.

Carmichael, a native of Clearwater, is a leading figure in both Motocross and Supercross circuits, as well as a 2013 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee.

This park will be the third OHV area – including Tate’s Hell State Forest and Withlacoochee State Forest – available on state forestland.

“The Clear Creek OHV Riding Area at Blackwater River State Forest is yet another example of the many exciting recreational opportunities available in Florida’s state forests,” said Putnam, who oversees the Florida Forest Service, in a statement. “We encourage residents to get out and enjoy the outdoors, taking full advantage of the diverse recreational opportunities provided by the Florida Forest Service.”

Clear Creek OHV Riding Area will offer 27 miles of trails for off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.  There is designated beginner areas, a training trail, restrooms and a parking area enough to accommodate 60 vehicles and rigs. Admittance to the OHV riding area requires an entrance fee, and all riders and spectators must adhere to established safety guidelines.

“I am excited to participate in the grand opening of this new Florida OHV Riding Area because it provides a public riding opportunity for all ages,” Carmichael said. “I began my riding career at Croom Motorcycle Area at Withlacoochee State Forest and understand how important public OHV riding areas are to Floridians.”

Clear Creek is a public/private enterprise between the Florida Forest Service and Coastal Concessions, a Gulf Breeze-based firm owned by Scott Rayner, Joe Bryant and Steve Hancy.

Information about the park, hours, rules and regulations, are at the Clear Creek OHV Facebook page. More state forest recreational opportunities are at the State Forest At-A-Glance Map.

Photos courtesy Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

putnam motorcross park 2
Right, Ricky Carmichael signs autographs for fans.
putnam motorcross park
Left, Ricky Carmichael and team, along with State Forester Jim Karels, cut the ribbon for the new OHV park on Saturday.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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