Surprisingly, a big dirt field is a tourist attraction.
It’s the Croom Motorcycle Area (CMA) and avid riders come from miles (and locally) to use the 2,600-acre wide-open area located within Withlacoochee State Forest in Brooksville.
Open daily, rain or shine, the area even offers wooded trails to enjoy some nature. And it sees tourists, and locals, come to spend a day riding around for adventure and enjoyment.
“We get like 80% tourists,” said David Collins, owner and operator of Wolfpack ATV Riding.
Collins, for nearly five years now, has run his ATV Riding business out of CMA, giving off-highway vehicle enthusiasts a chance to free ride or even take a guided tour. Collins says some people — especially those from Tampa and Pasco County — will bring their own ATV or dirt bike or four-wheeler, but since he ends up renting to a lot of tourists, he knows coming to CMA to ride for the afternoon is a popular destination.
“We get people from all over — from Orlando, from down south,” he continued. “A lot of people come to Florida, and maybe they don’t want to go to the beach or (in the winter) maybe it’s too cold to be at the beach, but they want to be out and ride around, and even ride through the woods. This way, they can get out for the afternoon and ride. … People are on vacation, and we market to that, so they come out and it’s something a little different, but it’s a great area and track and it’s always a popular spot.”
Collins added that while people will trailer or haul out in their own ATV or four-wheelers, his rental business is not different from, say, a company that rents out boats or kayaks on the water. Meaning, it’s an easy way for people to experience the CMA, but not worrying about towing a trailer or even the maintenance that comes with owning a four-wheeler.
“There’s not many places to go and do this, at least a wide-open space with trails, some for dirt bikes or even for kids in the back,” he added. “This is a pretty popular spot, even in a state park, so it’s really the place to go.”
There are specific areas for inexperienced riders that are 12 and under, and vehicles must be 1,500 pounds or less, as there will be a variety of off-roading vehicles in the park.
Collins says they offer guided tours, but usually people are content to just jump on a four-wheeler and zoom around the Croom.
“Everyone loves to get out there and take full advantage of the 2,600 acres,” he said. “Locals, tourists, people coming over from a nearby county — it’s a popular spot and there are hardly any times when it’s truly dead. There are busier times than others, but if you can’t find some space or aren’t happy enough with 2,600 acres, then you’re at the wrong place.”
Croom Motorcycle Area
Where: 6420 La Rose Road, Brooksville
When: Open daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Day passes start at $14. Annual passes available.
Details: Off-highway vehicle enthusiasts in Central Florida will find miles of trails within the 2,600-acre Croom Motorcycle Area (CMA) at Withlacoochee State Forest. The wide-open area features hills and turns and dunes for dirt bikes, ATVs and more. Renting ATVs also is available, from companies such as Wolfpack ATV Riding, which has hourly rates in the CMA starting at $125.
For more information on the CMA, visit tinyurl.com/ycxbz2mj.
For more about WolfPack rentals, visit TampaATVRiding.com.
Published January 03, 2024