Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

EASY 27 reviews

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is a 3.1 mile loop trail located near Keystone Heights, Florida that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
180 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

canoeing

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

whitewater kayaking

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

Gold Head Branch State Park, a Florida State Park, is 2,000 acres (8 km) of rolling sandhills, marshes, ravines, lakes and scrub located midway between Gainesville and Jacksonville, six miles (10 km) north of Keystone Heights on SR 21. Activities include fishing, horseback, canoeing, swimming, hiking and wildlife viewing. Amenities include full facility camping, lakeside cabins, a picnic area overlooking Little Lake Johnson, and a beach on the lake. The park also has four marked hiking trails and a seven mile equestrian trail.

hiking
4 months ago

easy hike. i took the time to dip into the creek which was a nice relief from the Florida heat. saw a few sand crabs and crawfish along with some birds.

5 months ago

We went on a rainy afternoon and the ferns and trees were absolutely gorgeous and vibrant greens. The ravine was a lovely little hike, and there's the option for a longer hike as well. We swam in the lake, and aside from getting nibbled on by a fish, it was really nice. We plan to go back!

hiking
6 months ago

While there aren't a lot of trails, and entry fee is $5 per car, it's still a no miss for hikers and looks like a fun place to camp. Trails lead into the ravine. It gorgeous and smells so good after a rain. As a bonus, many of the local flora are marked, making this a great nature trail to learn various plants and trees.

hiking
7 months ago

We walked around this park for about 6.5 miles -- there's a really neat ravine, a couple lakes and some great camping areas. The trail from the ravine overlook to the "little" lake (which is currently significantly bigger than the "big" lake) has some nice elevation changes and crosses over a creek with super clear water. The only thing I really didn't like about hiking here was that there's a crapload of sand everywhere. Super soft sand that makes one mile feel more like three. There's a fair amount of shade through most of the trail but some sections have none. There are some great views on this hike but make sure to bring sun screen and lots of water.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice, easy trails. The water in the river is very clear and worth stopping to track through. Lots of lakes to hike to.

hiking
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Nice trails. Easy enough to do with the kids. There is also tent, rv, and cabin camping as well as picnic pavilions and tables near a playground. Short drive by car or bike trail if you are up to it into Keystone Heights, a small town with a few restaurants, a grocery store, drug stores, small shops and such.

hiking
Friday, July 01, 2016

Been here a lot over the years. This trail connects to the FL trail as well, and it's easy on pets and kids. Highly recommend camping at gold head, and trekking these in spring/ fall.

hiking
Monday, June 06, 2016

Been here several times over the years.. Pretty, plenty of trails to walk. A few areas with small shallow creeks on ravines.. Nice to take your shoes off and put your feet in to cool off..

hiking
Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Started at park entrance and followed the Orange Blaze Trail south past Deer Lake to the Picnic Area. Very few critters and birds. It was April, 78F and sunny, with beautiful vistas of budding trees and blue skies. Easy walking: short hills and not a lot of up and down, plus an occasional root to avoid tripping over. Highlight is seeing the ravine and taking the effort to descend the stairs to experience the crystal clear creek at the bottom. My dog drank her fill and cooled off in the creek. I was disappointed that the cabin at the top of the beach/picnic area was not open. A four-panel painting by Harimandir Khalsa that depicts the four seasons of a typical sand hill pine forest is well worth seeing up close. Saw a couple Hawks on the way back.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ive been going here for years! Theres so much to do and see, and really diverse and hilly for Florida.

hiking
Monday, January 21, 2013

Awesome park, quiet and lots of wildlife. Lakes have dried up in past few years.

hiking
Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Absolutely beautiful

hiking
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Had to go back. The small hike around the ravine is beautiful.

camping
Thursday, March 01, 2012

Had a great time on the trail seeing the ravine and walking around in the late day. My son told me he saw a hairy white man up ahead. Now, I knew it wasn't the Bigfoot at the park entrance. I ended up being the rear of a white tail deer going up a side trail. Stayed overnight. There are lots of tics this time of year here.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
6 months ago

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