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O'Leno State Park

 Activities at O'Leno State Park

Bicycling

Bicycling

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely bicycling experience along the park main drive or attempt a more adventurous ride on several of the park’s nature trails. The park offers approximately 11 miles of multi-use trails that can be used for hiking or biking. The O’Leno trail system also connects to the River Rise Preserve State Park trail system, providing an additional 35 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking or horseback riding.

 

Bikes are prohibited on the River Trail (Yellow in O’Leno State Park) and the suspension bridge.

 

If you are planning on utilizing the trails in River Rise Preserve, please visit the ranger station at O’Leno State Park to obtain a trail map. Please note that portions of the trails may be strenuous or difficult to traverse due to sand, roots, or mud. After heavy, extended rains, portions of the trails may be closed due to flooding. Please contact the ranger station at (386) 454-1853 to inquire about current trail conditions. Persons under the age of 16 are required by State Law to wear a helmet while bicycling.

 

Bike rentals are available at the O’Leno State Park ranger station. Please visit the ranger station for details.

Birding

Birding

O’Leno State Park is a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and offers visitors ample opportunity to bird watch throughout the park. Bird enthusiasts might expect to see a variety of migrant songbirds, Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Wild Turkey, Barred Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker, Bachman’s Sparrows and many more.

 

Want to take a closer look? The park has binoculars with bird guides available to rent! Please visit the ranger station for details.

Cabins

Cabins

From September 1st through May 1st, the cabins located in the park’s group camp are available for individual rental. The cabins are historic, some built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the WPA (Work Progress Administration). As they were originally established as a group camp, a majority of the cabins are very basic and do not include heating or air. Pets are not permitted in the cabins or group camp area.

 

Infirmary Cabin – includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen, and a fire place. This cabin sleeps 4 (two twin beds and one full size bed). $75.00 (plus tax) per night.

 

Leader 1 Cabin (ADA Accessible) – includes two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a kitchen. This cabin sleeps 10 (two twin beds, 4 sets of bunk beds). $50.00 (plus tax) per night.

 

Leader III Cabin – includes two bedrooms, 1 bathroom and a fireplace. This cabin sleeps 8 (4 sets of bunk beds). $50.00 (plus tax) per night.

 

Sleeper Cabins (1-14) – These cabins only include 4 sets of bunk beds and sleep 8. Those renting a sleeper cabin will need to utilize the centralized restroom, as these cabins contain no facilities. $25.00 (plus tax) per night.

 

Reservations: Reservations can be made up to 11 months (to the day) in advance. A deposit in the amount of one night’s rental is required at the time of the reservation. Please contact the ranger station (386) 454-1853 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for information or to make a reservation.

 

Group Camping Information and Procedures (PDF - 1.13KB)

Participation Requirements

View the photo gallery.

Camping, Equestrian

Camping, Equestrian

O’Leno State Park offers primitive equestrian camping off of US27 at the adjacent River Rise Preserve State Park.  The area can accommodate up to 40 rigs, including tents, nightly. The area contains a 20-stall horse barn, available on a first come, first serve bases, a restroom with showers and two established fire circles. There are no electric or water hookups in this camping area. There are approximately 35 miles of multi-use trails available to equestrians at River Rise Preserve State Park. A picnic pavilion is available to reserve at this location.

 

Hammock camping is allowed in this camping area.

 

Equestrians are required to maintain written proof of negative Coggin's test for Equine Infectious Anemia for all horses while at River Rise. Well behaved, leashed pets are allowed in the camping area, but not on the trails. Please refer to our Pet Policy for further information.

 

 

Reservations: Camping reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance. The picnic pavilion can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. Walk-ins are also welcome on a first come, first serve basis, and can pay camping fees by calling or visiting the O’Leno State Park ranger station. Fees for primitive equestrian camping are $5.00 (plus tax) per person, per night. Please contact the ranger station (386) 454-1853 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for information or to make a reservation.

Participation Requirements

Camping, Full Facility

Camping, Full Facility

O'Leno has two camping loops (Magnolia and Dogwood) with 61 campsites. Amenities include water, electric, in-ground grill, picnic table and a centrally located restroom. Magnolia Campground Loop has a playground for registered campers. A dump station and dumpsters are located off the main park drive across from the Law Enforcement Office. The size of each site varies; with a maximum RV length of 50ft. Electrical hookups also vary between 30amp and 50amp. Please read each site description on Reserve America to assure that you are reserving a site that can accommodate your needs. There is a maximum of 2 vehicles in addition to the camping unit allowed on each site. For that tent camp, there is a maximum of 2 tents per site. Quiet time is 11:00 p.m.

 

Hammock camping is designated in campsites 33, 34, 37, 39, 40, 42, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, and 61.

 

NOTE: Please be advised that the campground loops at O’Leno State Park are compact in nature. As a result, larger recreational vehicles may have to engage in extensive maneuvering when arriving at the park’s back-in campsites.

 

Well-behaved pets are welcome at O'Leno State Park. Please refer to our Pet Policy for further information.


Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through Reserve America.  Book online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.

Participation Requirements

Camping, Group

Camping, Group

A group camp that can accommodate up to 120 people is available. Amenities include 16 cabins, a full service dining hall with kitchen, a recreation hall, a BBQ pit, and two centrally located bathhouses.

The cabins in this historic group camp are primitive and do not include heating or air. The three “leader” cabins contain restrooms; however the 13 sleeper cabins only contain bunks and will need to utilize the centralized restrooms. For more information on the cabins, please see the “Cabins” section on this page.

Individual camping units (tents, rigs) are not allowed in the group camp.

 

Pets are not allowed in the group camp.

 

Reservations: The group camp can be rented up to 11 months in advance. The cost is $300.00 per night (plus tax). A deposit in the amount of one night’s rental is required at the time of the reservation. Please contact the ranger station (386) 454-1853 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for information or to make a reservation.

 

Group Camping Information and Procedures (PDF - 1.13KB)

Participation Requirements

Camping, Primitive

Camping, Primitive

Sweetwater Lake Camping Area is primitive camping at its finest. Located on the banks of Sweetwater Lake, the area includes space for tent camping, a fire circle, and a privy. You must hike approximately 6.5 miles to the site and pack in all supplies, including water. This requires the camper to arrive at the park three hours before sunset (not sundown) to reach the site before dark. The campground can be sub-divided to accommodate up to 10 people and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fees for primitive camping are $5.00 (plus tax) per person, per night. Pets are not permitted in this area.

 

Hammock camping is allowed in this camping area.

 

Due to its location, Sweetwater Lake Camping Area is subject to closure based on weather conditions. The area will be closed during extreme drought due to wildfire danger and when the park is experiencing flooding. The site is also closed occasionally when the park is conducting a controlled burn. Please contact the ranger station at (386) 454-1853 for more information and to inquire about the availability of the area.

 

River Rise Preserve State Park: O’Leno State Park offers additional primitive camping off of US27 at River Rise Preserve State Park. The area is designated an equestrian campground and trail head, and often hosts a number of equestrian units. However this area may be utilized by primitive campers as well. For more information, please see the description under “Camping, Equestrian” on this page.

Participation Requirements

Camping, Youth

Camping, Youth

The park offers two primitive, youth camping areas. Youth Area 1 can accommodate up to 25 people and offers a small picnic shelter, a ground grill, cold-water showers and a restroom. Youth Area 2 can accommodate up to 50 people and offers two ground grills, 2 small picnic shelters, cold-water showers and a restroom. Neither camping area has electricity or hot water.  

 

 

Hammock camping is allowed in this camping area.

 

Youth camp areas will be open and available to all organized and chaperoned youth groups and secondarily to adult groups. Priority is given to youth groups for the use of these areas. Juveniles must be chaperoned by at least one adult, 21 years of age or older, for each 10 juveniles. Pets are not permitted in this area.

 

Reservations: Please contact the ranger station at (386) 454-1853 up to 11 months in advance to make reservations for youth groups. Reservations may be made up to 30 days in advance of arrival for adult groups. Youth group requests will not bump a prior adult group reservation made within the 30-day window. Fees are $2.00 per youth, per night (under 18 years of age) and $5.00 per adult, per night.

Participation Requirements

Canoe/Kayak Launch

Canoe/Kayak Launch

Two basic canoe launches are available for canoeists and kayakers, accessing the northern portion of Santa Fe River. One is located within the park, accessible from the main parking lot. Paddlers must go up river and return when utilizing this launch, as canoeing down river is prohibited due to the location of the swimming area and the environmental sensitivity of the River Sink. The second is accessible from Bible Camp Road, located off of Sprite Road, north of the entrance of O’Leno State Park. Paddlers entering at this point may explore up stream outside of the park and downstream, into the park as far as the swimming area. 

Participation Requirements

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

Explore the Santa Fe River by canoe and observe the area's scenic beauty and wildlife. Paddlers must go up river and return, as canoeing down river is prohibited due to the location of the swimming area and the environmental sensitivity of the River Sink.

 

Canoe rentals are available at the park ranger station for $3.00 per hour per canoe or $15.00 per day per canoe. Call the ranger station at (386) 454-1853 before a trip to the park to ask about water levels on the Santa Fe River. If the water levels are too high (flooding) or too low (exposed rocks), canoeing will not available.

Participation Requirements

Family Reunions

Family Reunions

O’Leno State Park is the perfect spot for family reunions! For multiple day events, users may be interested in the park’s Group Camp Facilities (see “Camping, Group” on this page). Those wanting to come in just for the day may wish to rent one of the park’s three pavilions (see “Picnic Pavilion” on this page).

 

From September 1st through May 1st, the facilities located in the park’s group camp are available for individual rental. Dining Hall with full kitchen facilities - $150 (plus tax) per day. Seats approximately 120 people. Recreation Hall - $100.00 (plus tax) per day. Seats approximately 75 people.

 

Reservations: Park facilities can be rented up to 11 months in advance. A deposit in the amount of one day’s rental is required at the time of the reservation. Please contact the ranger station (386) 454-1853 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for information or to make a reservation.

 

Park entry fee is not included in the facility rental price.

Fishing

Fishing

The Santa Fe River is an unpredictable fishing spot. Sometimes the fish bite, sometimes they don't. Come on out and take a chance!  A Florida freshwater fishing license may be required. 

Geo-Seeking

Geo-Seeking

Explore the park in a new and challenging way. Experienced Geocachers have requested permission to hide caches containing trinkets, treasures, or information in various places around the park.  Please check the Geocaching website for the most current and up-to-date information and clues to locate these caches. 

 

 

O’Leno State Park is a part of the Florida State Parks Civilian Conservation Corps Geotrail! This geotrail will take you to nine parks that were built by the CCC and Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Search for all nine caches and end at the CCC Museum at Highlands Hammock State Park and receive a commemorative geocoin.

GC38Y93 Fort Clinch State Park
GC3BG4G Florida Caverns State Park
GC3D02X Highlands Hammock State Park
GC3BG4A Hillsborough River State Park
GC3ABB5 Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
GC3BG4N Myakka River State Park
GC3ABBC O'Leno State Park
GC38Y8V Ravine Gardens State Park
GC3BG4E Torreya State Park
GC38Y9F Florida State Parks FINAL CCC Cache - located in Highlands Hammock State Park. Visit

Visit Geocaching for details.

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

There are several trails available at O’Leno State Park, ranging in length.  Trail maps are available at the ranger station.

 

The three most popular hiking trails are the River Trail, the Limestone Trail and Parener’s Branch. Limestone Trail (.61 miles/hiking) passes through a hardwood hammock, past a limestone outcrop and then by a pine forest. The River Trail (1.44 miles/hiking) takes you along the Santa Fe River to the "River Sink" where the river disappears underground. Turtles are often seen here basking in the sun, and the occasional alligator makes an appearance. Parener’s Branch, (3.69 miles/multi-use) the longest of the three, is a looped trail that meanders near several natural sinks which provide a window to the Santa Fe River’s underground travels. An additional 35 miles of multi-use trails (hiking/biking/equestrian) can be found at River Rise Preserve State Park.

 

It is recommended that you take items such as water, snacks, insect repellant, a trail map, compass and a cell phone out on the trails. Please enjoy the nature trails responsibly and respect the park and wildlife. 

Participation Requirements

Horse/Equestrian Trail

Horse/Equestrian Trail

Equestrian trails are available at River Rise Preserve State Park.  Please visit the ranger station at O’Leno State Park or call (386) 454-1853 for entrance information and trail maps.

Interpretive Exhibit

Interpretive Exhibit

 

O’Leno State Park has several opportunities to view interpretive exhibits throughout the park.

Nature Center – Pop by and visit the park’s resident turtles, snakes and other critters. See our new gopher tortoise habitat, built to house three rescued gopher tortoises adopted by the park. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

 

Civilian Conservation Corps Museum – a small museum dedicated to the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Open from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily.

 

Bellamy Road Interpretive Panels – learn about the first federally-funded road running from St. Augustine to Tallahassee while walking the trail on Old Bellamy Road. Accessible from US 441 (in between O’Leno State Park and River Rise Preserve State Park).

Meetings & Retreats

Meetings & Retreats

For multiple day events, users may be interested in the park’s Group Camp Facilities (see “Camping, Group” on this page). Those wanting to come in just for the day may wish to rent one of the park’s three pavilions (see “Picnic Pavilion” on this page).

 

From September 1st through May 1st, the facilities located in the park’s group camp are available for individual rental. Dining Hall with full kitchen facilities - $150 (plus tax) per day. Seats approximately 120 people. Recreation Hall - $100.00 (plus tax) per day. Seats approximately 75 people.

 

Reservations: Park facilities can be rented up to 11 months in advance. A deposit in the amount of one day’s rental is required at the time of the reservation. Please contact the ranger station (386) 454-1853 between 8:00 am and 5:00pm for information or to make a reservation. Park entry fee is not included in the facility rental price.

 

Pets

Pets

Well-behaved pets are welcome at O'Leno State Park. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times. Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted in our youth areas, primitive campsite, group camp, swimming area or buildings.  Pet Policy

Picnic Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion

O’Leno State Park has three picnic pavilions for rent. The Open Air Pavilion, a historic New Deal Era structure, overlooks the river and seats up to 75 people. The park’s Small Picnic Pavilion, is perfect for smaller gatherings, seating up to 16 people. The Horse Barn Pavilion, located at the adjacent River Rise Preserve State Park (off of US 27), offers a peaceful setting for groups of up to 30 people. Each pavilion includes picnic tables and one grill.

 

Reservations: Park facilities can be rented up to 11 months in advance. A deposit in the amount of one day’s rental is required at the time of the reservation. Please contact the ranger station (386) 454-1853 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for information or to make a reservation. Park entry fee is not included in the facility rental price.

Picnicking

Picnicking

Enjoy the park’s picnic area, overlooking the Santa Fe River. Covered shelters are available on a first come first serve basis.

Playground

Playground

Playground equipment with swings and slides is centrally located near the picnic area, swimming area and restrooms. An additional playground, located in Magnolia Campground Loop, is available for those camping in the park.

Recycling

Recycling

O’Leno State Park has a recycling program. Recycling containers for aluminum and plastic are located in the campground and picnic areas.

Swimming

Swimming

During the warmer months, enjoy a refreshing dip in the park’s swimming area, located on a portion of the Santa Fe River. Although the river is tea-colored from the natural tannins, the water is fresh, clean and certainly energizing on a hot summer’s afternoon.

 

Unfortunately, water levels in the Santa Fe River occasionally cause the swimming area to be closed. The swimming area will be closed if the water levels are too low or too high for safety reasons. Please contact the ranger station at (386) 454-1853 prior to your arrival to inquire about the status of the swimming area.

 

Keep in mind there is NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY - SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Tours

Tours

A self-guided cell phone tour is available at O’Leno State Park. Look for the tour stop signs located throughout the park.

 

Interpretive programs, environmental education programs, guided hikes and scout programs are available upon request for groups. Please call (386) 454-0723 and leave a message for more information or to schedule a program. Calls will be returned Wednesday – Saturday, when the Park Services Specialist is available.

Walking

Walking

O’Leno State Park offers a scenic spot for walker, joggers and hikers of all fitness levels. Visitors can choose to walk or jog the paved path along main park drive, take a leisurely stroll through the picnic area or hike one of our several hiking trails. O’Leno State Park is a part of the American Volkssport Association (AVA) Walk Florida State Parks program. See the Ranger Programs section of this website for details.

 

For those looking for a little added excitement, we invite you to participate in the park’s annual Race the Tortoise 5K. Runners, joggers and walkers are invited. See the Events section of this website for details.

Weddings

Weddings

Those seeking wedding venue will enjoy the scenic views and rustic atmosphere offered at O’Leno State Park. The parks Open Air Pavilion, a large cypress structure surrounded by majestic oak, magnolia and cypress trees offers a quaint setting for smaller ceremonies or low-key receptions. The regal log beams and rock fire places found in the park’s Recreation Hall help to create an intimate setting for indoor ceremonies. Larger groups have the option of renting the park’s Group Camp. A small rock amphitheater with wooden bench seating on the banks of the Santa Fe River is also available for ceremonies.

Your Dream Wedding at O'Leno State Park (PDF - 3.53KB)

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

O’Leno State Park offers plenty of opportunities to view wildlife. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, turkey, and a variety of reptiles and amphibians can be seen in the park. The park is also a popular birding destination.

 

Visit the park’s Nature Center, open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 2pm, to help visitors learn more about the wildlife found in the park.

Participation Requirements