Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

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About Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

What a name. Betcha can’t say that three times fast? Thankfully, this rolling expanse of sandhills, marshlands, ravine, lakes and scrub go by a mucher simpler name, Gold Head. Among these 2,000 acres, you’ll find four hiking trails, including a 5.44-mile stretch of the Florida National Scenic Trail, and a seven-mile equestrian trail - all great for the numerous critter sightings which will inevitably occur thanks to an exorbitant diversity in wildlife. This plethora of fauna including everything from squirrels, kestrels, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and turkeys to giant tortoises, gophers, foxes and deer. Park goers will also enjoy the variety of water activities available in Little Lake Johnson such as swimming, canoeing and fishing. Are those wedding bells we hear? Gold head also accommodates weddings and other large group ceremonies. Restless lovers what are you waiting for? Come and elope today!

Campgrounds in Mike Roess Gold Head Branch

Lake Johnson Cabins
Although these cabins (16 of ‘em) come with some pretty rockin’ amenities, our favorite amenity is the...
Lakeview Campground
Great for Lake “gazing” during the day and stargazing at night, Sites 38 - 74 are situated on the...
Primitive Campground
Located ¾ of a mile from the picnic area just off the Florida National Scenic Trail, these two...
Sandhill Campground
Just north of Little Lake Johnson along the river, you’ll find Sandhill Campground its 37 sites, which...


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Mike Roess Gold Head Branch
June 5th, 2015
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History of Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

One of Florida's first state parks, Gold Head Branch became part of the Florida state park system in 1935. The property was donated by Mike Roess and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was launched in 1933 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat unemployment during the Depression. In 1935, twenty-five seasoned craftsmen from Company 2444 were sent to the Gold Head site where they were joined by hundreds of CCC youth and established Camp SP-5. Together they planted trees, cleared areas for campsites, built roads and constructed many of the buildings still in use today at the park. The state park was officially dedicated on April 15, 1939.