Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Description:
This state park features a broad expanse of longleaf and turkey oak growing on dry, rolling sandhills, bisected by a deep ravine through which the spring-fed Gold Head Branch flows through, eventually draining into Lake Johnson, a popular lake for recreation. There are several trails, including a section of the Florida Trail.

Watchable wildlife:
Hermit thrushes can be found here in the winter, while wood thrushes return in the summer, when lucky visitors can hear their flute-like song, particularly in the ravine. The Ridge Trail, which allows you to explore the ravine, is a good place to see large numbers of songbirds feeding together, including yellow-rumped warblers, Caroline chickadees, tufted titmice, and blue-gray gnatcatchers. Rufous-sided towhees and summer tanagers frequent the upper slope of the ravine. The sandhills offer year-round viewing of the American kestrel, as well as wild turkey, white-tailed deer, fox squirrel, gopher tortoise, and southern fence lizard.

Ownership:
Department of Environmental Protection

Contact:
(352) 473-4701

Directions:
From Keystone Heights, travel north on Florida Highway 21.  Park entrance is about 6 miles on the right.

Related Sites:
Other North East Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks



FWC Facts:
The oystercatcher is one of the largest and heaviest of Florida's shorebirds. It is striking in appearance: dark brown, black and white, with a bright red bill.

Learn More at AskFWC