Located along the banks of the scenic Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River, the park features sinkholes, hardwood hammocks, river swamps, and sandhills. As the river courses through the park, it disappears underground and reemerges over three miles away in the River Rise State Preserve. One of Florida's first state parks, O'Leno was first developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The suspension bridge built by the CCC still spans the river. Visitors can picnic at one of the pavilions or fish in the river for their dinner. Canoes and bicycles are available for rent. While hiking the nature trails, visitors can look for wildlife and enjoy the beauty of native plants. The shady, full-facility campground is the perfect place for a relaxing overnight stay. Located on U.S. 441, six miles north of High Springs.
Starting off on a really cool suspension bridge to cross the Sante Fe river this loop has a nice variety of ups and downs along the banks of the river and woodlands that you traverse as you bend back around toward the campground. The best thing is you only cross the river once and still end up at the starting point because of the Sante Fe's unique disappearing act.
Hiked the main trail down to the primitive camp ground in February of 2015 for an overnight camp. We'll maintained and blazed trails. Camp ground was well maintained and had privy. Rocks for seating and fire ring. Nice 3 mile out and back. Potential for muddy tract when rainy.
I have hiked his twice and it is one of my favorite trails in the North-Central Florida area. One of the down-sides is that in the summer, the Santa Fe is nearly dry and some parts of the trail is through open areas and it is HOT. Bring water, sunscreen, a large rimmed hat, and sunglasses.
Other parts of the trail is through the woods, along-side sinkholes with water (mosquitoes). We saw a few snakes, and an alligator. Otherwise, nothing to cause alarm.
Beautiful area, rich with history!
O'leno is one of my favorite camping sites. It is usually very uncrowded, with surprisingly clean restrooms & leafy campsites. There is a nice playground & cool suspension bridge next to the river where the trail heads start. I haven't been in a while so this may be somewhat inaccurate, but I think there are 2 trails that are on the shorter side: 2-4 mi each. There are also cabins you can rent. Check it out!