The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state of Florida acquired Deer Lake State Park to manage the property in such a way as to protect and restore the natural and cultural values of the property and provide the greatest benefit to the citizens of the state.
On February 6, 1996, the Trustees obtained title to the property, constituting the initial area of Deer Lake State Park. The acquisition was funded under the P2000/CARL program. On February 26, 1997, the Trustees acquired more land for the park. This constitutes the present area of Deer Lake State Park, which is 1,994.77 acres.