Gold Head Branch State Park
Hike beautiful fire-maintained sandhills in one of Florida's first state parks
Leaders: Susan Carr, President of FNPS
Start Time at Site: 10:00 AM
End Time at Site: 2:00 PM
Lunch Included? No
Handicap Access: No
Cost: $7 + $5 per vehicle onsite
One of Florida’s first state parks, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch -State Park was developed on a 600 acre site by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. The extraordinary craftsmanship of the CCC is still evident today. The Park contains thousands of acres of rolling sandhills. The center of the Park features one of Florida’s deepest ravines, where the cool moist environment provides habitat for uncommon plants.
Your field trip at Gold Head will include an interpretive presentation about the park’s history, native flora & wildlife and a guided tour of the trail with stops as necessary to observe interesting plants. We will descent the steep staircase to the ravine for a short hike along Gold Head Branch. Then we will travel to a different area to hike through the longleaf pine sandhills and look at spring blooming plants and old growth longleaf pines. A highlight of the trip will be a visit to one of the largest longleaf pines in North Florida!
Depending on time, we can travel to the south side of the Park to see beautiful Lake Johnson. There is a lovely picnic area by the lake where we can enjoy lunch.
The park also offers excellent camping choices. Three full-facility campgrounds are available and fully equipped. Lakefront cabins, some built by the CCC, are also available. Reservations for camping facilities are required so check out the website for the park if you are interested.
Skyblue Lupine (Lupinus diffusis) in the park, photo by Susan Carr