Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Weekend at Gold Head Branch SP

We returned to Gold Head sooner than planned.  It was sunny Friday upon arrival, but that quickly disappeared as a cold front came through the area and quickly turned cool and overcast with a slight drizzle most of Saturday.  Still all and all a good weekend.

We were lucky to get our favorite site again.  A lot of distance between sites. In the summer months there is foliage on the sides also.  Very level and drains well when raining.

The sun was just coming out when we arrived.  The Sandhill Loop is really nice.

Since we were here only a couple of months ago we spent most of our time in the one place we didn't get to then.  The day use park area.  Moss Man is the official greeter as you enter the area. 

The playground area has all the right stuff.

Plenty of picnic tables and not crowded.


And, adjoining the park is a large field for a variety of sports.

But, you have to watch out for the occasional Florida Gopher holes.  
They are mostly along the edge of the field.

There are several large covered pavilions.

This CCC built pavilion is unique in that it has rest rooms below.

Overlooking Pebble Lake from the above pavilion.  The lakes do not have much water in them at present.  The oaks in the area have really strange branch patterns. Corkscrew-like.


 One of the main attractions of the park is this bath house built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) back in 1939.  Very well constructed it still stands and is heavily used by campers and day visitors.


A view of Little Lake Jackson from the bath house lanai.  There is a beach, swim area and canoes for rent.

The beach and swimming area in front of the bath house.  Not a lot of water today.

A large fully equipped recreation hall is available for events.

And also for events there is a large open pavilion.  Today, chairs were set up for a wedding to take place this afternoon.  They were to use the beach, but rain moved in and the event was moved.

A 5 mile segment of the Florida Trail meanders through the park.

A sandy trail leading from the beach area skirting the lake.

Deer hoof prints near the beach.

There are a lot of service roads and paths in the area. Easy hiking and even biking.

Typical trail.

And, of course, an excellent walking/biking entrance road.

Because of the rainy day Saturday we didn't venture along the ridge trail this time, but did climb the 85 steps down to the short Fern Trail.  


The Fern Trail is a loop and has about a half dozen bridges. 

Looking toward the top of the ridge from the spring.

The spring along Fern Trail.

Another view.

Looking at the wall from whence the spring water seeps.

View of where the seepage breaks ground to form the spring from the outlook point at the top of the ridge. The water breaks through at the bushes just above the wood plank.

 Some things we saw along the way:

Two of a group of four White Tail deer foraging for food behind our site.

Flight or continue eating?

This Red-tailed or shouldered hawk sat perched in a Loblolly Pine way off in the distance from the bath house on Little Lake Jackson.

A hole about three inches in diameter in a tree at the site.  I wonder how much water pours out of there in a good downpour.

Moss Man greets a tourist.

 If you get lost on this leg of the Florida Trail, just follow the cable.

 Your guess is as good as mine.  No one around to ask.

Passed this antique store in Melrose on the way home.  What's that in the front yard?

Why, it's the Blues Brothers.

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