Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

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.

Department of Environmental Protection

(352) 473-4701

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:
Wood stork nestlings are fully feathered and capable of short flights at about 7-8 weeks of age but are not independent of their parents until they are 9-10 weeks old.

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