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Keystone Heights, Florida

Hike at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

7 Miles Total - 70 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Mark Manning

Hike along the ravine, longleaf pine forests and deepwater sinkhole lakes.

Gold head branch state park has been called the grand canyon of Florida. It hangs on the north central ridge of Florida as some of the first land that came out of the sea, which is the reason for all of the Sandhill ecosystem. The ravine was created by the headspring and flow of the Gold Head Branch creek which meanders through all the way to Little Lake Johnson. The park has 4 major trails boasting almost 8 miles of trails, and is surrounded by lakes. There are 3 different sinkhole lakes that can be found in the lake including Deer Lake, Sheeler Lake, and Pebble Lake; Sheeler lake being one of the oldest sinkhole lakes at 24000 years old. The Florida trail takes you through a golden sea of dry wire grasses and past one of these sink hole lakes, and eventually merges with the Ridge Trail which the Ravine is located on. This park has camping through reserve america, a primitive youth camp, and even 2 primitive sites further away from the campgrounds near Big Lake Johnson.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole


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Stayed with our Cub Scout pack, hiked the ravine, did some geocaching, and enjoyed all the beautiful nature!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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