Osceola National Forest

24874 US 90, Sanderson, 32072
(386) 752-2577
sunrise to sunset

pond

Herbert Hoover’s 1931 Presidential proclamation created this national forest out of cut-over land on the southern edge of the Okefenokee Swamp. Fast forward more than 80 years–the restoration progress is remarkable. Stop by forest headquarters in Sanderson for a map and information. At the Mount Carrie Trailhead in Columbia County, hike the trail through a well-maintained longleaf pine stand, watching for Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Warblers and endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (cavity trees are ringed with white paint). At the Ocean Pond Campground in Baker County, walk the cypress-lined shoreline of the 1,760-acre lake, scoping for winter ducks and resident wading birds such as Snowy Egrets. Boat ramps are available on the north and south sides of the lake. A segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail crosses the northern campground entrance road, and to the west, it leads through hydric hammock good for migratory songbirds in fall and spring. Although sightings are never guaranteed, the forest is home to Florida Black Bears. Look for butterflies such as Georgia Satyr, Yehl Skipper, Appalachian Brown and Red Admiral. Seasonal hunting takes place in the forest; please click here for more information.

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