About Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER
We are happy to announce that the swimming area at Gold Head located at the main picnic area on Little Lake Johnson has reopened. After Several tropical storms and daily afternoon thunderstorms the water levels have come up enough to allow for safe swimming. The status of the swimming area will always be posted on the Managers Message so please always check before you come out to swim.
Spring has officially arrived, but temperatures have been up and down keeping all confused about winter’s departure. The park staff have in several areas at the park conducted growing season burns (May through July). In these areas the wildflowers responded and blanketed the area in shades of purple and yellow. These flowers have now seeded out adding to the future scenic beauty of the park. We have learned from many years of managing Florida’s ecosystems that you get a much higher diversity of plants and animal species when you mimic naturally occurring growing season fires with prescribed fire. For example wire grass, the main ground cover species in Gold Head Branch State Park will only produce viable seed when it is burned during the growing season. Wire grass is totally dependent on fire for its proliferation.
For those of you who enjoy hiking, biking and horse back riding Gold Head has trails that will accommodate all three user groups. For canoeing and kayaking Little Lake Johnson provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy these activities. Bring along a fishing pole and you may be able to provide for lunch at the same time.
If you are into birding Gold Head provides habitat for a large diversity of birds. Sand Hill Cranes and Bob White Quail are common in the area. Canada Geese and Wood Ducks are also very common. Each evening masses of Wood Ducks come into the park’s lakes to roost.
This is a fabulous time of the year to come camping at the park. Gold Head has RV and tent camping as well as cabin rentals. Spring can be a very busy time for our campgrounds and cabins so plan to make your reservations well in advance by contacting Reserve America by phone at 1800-326-3521 or online at www.reserveamerica.com . Please come visit us and enjoy Gold Head’s natural beauty and many recreational opportunities. We look forward to seeing here!
Gold Head is located in northeast Florida midway between Gainesville and Jacksonville, 6 miles north of Keystone Heights on S.R. 21.
- For forms, information and benefits of volunteering visit Get Involved.
- Gold Head Associates, Inc.
- 6239 State Road 21
Keystone Heights, FL 32656