Manager's Message

a man in uniform stands in a pine forest holding a pinecone and smiling

Christopher Raby, Park Manager

Fort Cooper State Park will always hold a special place in my heart because it is where I had my first job with the Florida Park Service. We also celebrated my son’s first birthday at the park in 2014. When I was a teenager, my family would enjoy spending time in the picnic area and celebrating the Annual Nights of Lights during Christmas time.

You too can have a picnic or enjoy walking on one of our three nature trails at Fort Cooper State Park. The park has over 5 miles of hiking trails and six distinct natural communities. My favorite is the sandhill community with many rare species of plants and animals. 

This time of year offers wonderful opportunities to see wildlife and wildflowers. We have been working hard restoring the sandhill community by prescribed burning and hardwood removal. If you look closely at the pine trees, you will see the evidence of fire on the tree trunks.

My staff and volunteers are the backbone of the park and are very dedicated to helping preserve the over 700 acres of Fort Cooper State Park, and I am proud of the work they do every day. Come out for a visit and see it for yourself.