Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

6239 S.R. 21, Keystone Heights, 32656
(352) 473-4701
Daily, 8:00am to sundown


One of Florida’s first state parks, the Civilian Conservation Corps developed this unusual site in the 1930s. The lush ravine slope-forest is popular with migratory songbirds in season, including Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Swainson’s Thrush, Prairie Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Birding along the shady, cool Gold Head Branch on the Ridge Trail is a special treat; a boardwalk leads to where the Gold Head Branch stream seeps out of the ground. For longer adventures, 5.44 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail traverse the park through sandhills and scrub, and along the upper ridge of the 1.5-mile-long ravine. Red-headed and Hairy Woodpeckers use standing snags in the area, and Bald Eagles and Swallow-tailed Kites frequent the park’s lakes. Wild Turkeys, Northern Bobwhites, and Red-tailed Hawks are common in the morning along the road through the sandhills on the drive into the park. Check the lakefronts for Hooded Mergansers and American Bittern in the winter and resident wading birds such as Wood Stork and Great Blue Heron. Uncommon birds on the park’s list include Greater White-fronted Goose, American Kestrel, and Henslow’s Sparrow. If you are a camper, whether novice (you can read these tips) or experienced, we have a fantastic campsite ready for our visitors. By camping on-site, you have access to the property at night to listen for Eastern Screech-owls and Chuck-will’s-widows (spring and summer). If you would like to experience this but you do not have an RV or campervan, there is a fifth wheel for sale online, as well as others, so you can see about getting one for a good price, ready for you to enjoy this beautiful place. For scheduled programs and events, call in advance for details and reservations.

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