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:
The spatulate bill of the roseate spoonbill has sensitive nerve endings that help it detect prey, and the shape helps the bird move sediment and catch the prey.

Learn More at AskFWC