Fort Cooper State Park

3100 S. Old Floral City Rd., Inverness, 34450
(352) 726-0315
8am to sunset

picnic

Named for a Second Seminole War fort built alongside tranquil Lake Holathlikaha, this state park protects a number of natural communities including sandhills, flatwoods, mixed forest, xeric hammocks and freshwater marshes. The park contains three hiking trails with relatively easy walking. Check along the lake’s shoreline where Green Herons, Snowy Egrets, Wood Storks, White Ibises and Sandhill Cranes feed. Canoes can be rented for those wishing to paddle the 160-acre lake. The Sandhill Loop Trail is an ideal place to search for Bachman’s Sparrow, Hairy Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Common Ground-Dove, Sherman’s Fox Squirrel and Gopher Tortoise. Wheelchair-accessible paths in the center of the park wind through a hardwood hammock ideal during spring migration. Look for songbirds like Magnolia Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Gray-cheeked Thrush. Overnight campers may be treated to the sounds of the Eastern Screech-Owl, Barred Owl and Chuck-will’s-widow. Listen for the calls of Barking Treefrog, Gopher Frog and Eastern Spadefoot Toad following rains. Guided nature walks are offered by park staff; call ahead for details.

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