This Little Known Park In Florida Is A Hidden Gem And It Will Take Your Breath Away
Florida is chock full of gorgeous parks. With 164 state parks, it’s easy to overlook a few, but you’ll definitely want to plan a visit to O’Leno State Park. Take a look at this little gem that’s hidden away on the banks of the Santa Fe River.
O'Leno State Park is located just off I-75 in the northern part of the state.
The physical address is 410 S.E. O’Leno Park Road, High Springs, FL 32643.
After you exit the freeway and start to make your way toward the park, you'll get an inkling of how spectacular the scenery is in this area. This tree-lined drive is just the beginning.
Along with its next-door neighbor, River Rise Preserve State Park, it offers nearly 6,000 acres of beauty and recreation.
O'Leno doesn't get as many visitors as other spots, so you'll be able to find some peace and quiet here.
In fact, it's so quiet that you can catch glimpses of white-tailed deer as you explore.
Because O'Leno is located right on the banks of the Santa Fe River, the habitat here is diverse. You'll find stands of hardwood trees, sandhills and river swamps.
You'll find several hiking trails here. The longest trail is the 3.69-mile long Parener’s Branch Trail, which makes a loop through a portion of the park.
On the River Trail, you'll follow along the banks of the Santa Fe River, where you'll often see turtles sunning themselves on logs, and might even spot an alligator or two.
Don't forget your camera. This quiet little park is so scenic that you can spend an entire day just snapping photos.
Learn more about the creatures who live at the park by visiting the Nature Center. Say hello to the tortoises in the gopher tortoise habitat.
The Nature Center is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM.
When the day comes to an end, you might find it hard to leave this peaceful place. No worries! You can camp overnight at the Sweetwater Lake Camping Area.
This primitive tent-camping area is nestled amongst the trees. You'll hike in three miles to reach it, which means that you'll experience even more solitude here.
There are two full camping facilities here too, which will accommodate your RV. Camp in one of 61 spots and enjoy water, electricity, restrooms, a playground and other amenities.
Have you visited O’Leno State Park? Tell us about your adventures there!
If you’re interested in seeing some more of Florida’s beautiful state parks, check out these
10 under-appreciated spots across the state.
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