A Dream to Share
The R.O. Ranch is a 2,500-acre equestrian park being developed in north-central Florida by R.O. Ranch, Inc. and the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD). The park is a long-time dream of Frank "Red" and Olive Schulte. The Schultes dreamed of building a park where people would always be welcome to experience Florida's natural environment and heritage with their beloved animal. They dreamed of room for horse enthusiasts of all disciplines. The dream is now becoming a reality.
The R.O. Ranch, Inc., a Florida nonprofit corporation, depends largely on public contribution through use of the facilities, participation in Ranch Events and Sponsorship's to fund the ranch's operations. Thanks to their generosity and foresight, many generations will have a public place to ride horses and mules, and experience Florida's rich natural environment.
The property is located at the northern end of approximately 20,000 acres of public lands managed by the District that run along the Steinhatchee River for a distance of about 15 miles. Two major creeks – Crossway Branch and Owl Creek – run through the property and feed into the Steinhatchee River. The Steinhatchee River will be protected, equestrians will have a new place to ride, and local ecotourism opportunities will increase.
The District and R.O. Ranch, Inc. have finalized phase one of a three-phase project. Phase one included a visitor's center, 32-unit RV campground, and bathhouse. A challenging 20-mile Steinhatchee River trail is also being developed. Long-range plans include additional camping facilities, cabins, covered arena, outdoor arena, stables, and a cross-country course.