Water flows down Gold Head Branch
Gopher tortoise
Children recreating at the playground
Pines at Sundown
Zebra Swallowtail
Sand live oak tree
Visitors recreating at Little Lake Johnson
The Branch
Water flows down Gold Head Branch
A close-up photo of a gopher tortoise, pausing in the sand as it makes its way through the sunny forest floor among the pine needles, grasses, and other herbs.
Children recreating at the playground
The top of a pine tree can be seen in the foreground, flanked by the tops of other pines. In the background, fluffy clouds fill the sky with various shades of gray and pink as they're faintly lit by the recently setting sun.
Zebra Swallowtail
A sand live oak tree imposes itself in the foreground and its long, spiraling branches with many leaves spread into the background. The forest floor underneath is covered with dead, brown oak leaves. Moss and lichens are growing on the bottom of the tree.
Visitors recreating at Little Lake Johnson
A clear, sandy bottom-stream fed by seepage springs and rainfall flows slowly through a lush hammock full of shady hardwood trees, ferns, and other plants. A log has fallen across the stream in the foreground.

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Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Welcome to Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

One of Florida's first state parks, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park was developed on a 2,000-acre site by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. The extraordinary craftsmanship of the CCC is still evident today. Located on rolling sandhills in an area known as the central ridge of Florida, a deep ravine with springs issuing from its sides bisects the area and forms Gold Head Branch. Marshes, lakes and scrub provide a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.

Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking and wildlife viewing along the park's nature trails and a 5.44-mile stretch of the Florida National Scenic Trail. For aquatic recreation, visitors can swim or fish in the lake, or spend a lazy afternoon canoeing. A large picnic area, with tables and grills, pavilions and a playground are available for visitors to enjoy. Nestled under the trees are 3 full-facility campgrounds. Primitive campsites for small or large groups are available as are fully equipped lakefront vacation cabins, some of which were built by the CCC.

Directions to this Park

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is featured on the Firsthand Florida Fun Blog. Experience this park with Erika Z.’s YouTube video and check out past blog posts from other Florida State Parks.

Activities

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Additional Info

Designations