The Branch
Gopher tortoise
Pines at Sundown
Sand live oak tree
Say's Spiketail
Canoes and beach on Little Lake Johnson
A clear, sandy bottom-stream fed by seepage springs and rainfall flows slowly through a lush hammock full of shady hardwood trees, ferns, and other plants. A log has fallen across the stream in the foreground.
A close-up photo of a gopher tortoise, pausing in the sand as it makes its way through the sunny forest floor among the pine needles, grasses, and other herbs.
The top of a pine tree can be seen in the foreground, flanked by the tops of other pines. In the background, fluffy clouds fill the sky with various shades of gray and pink as they're faintly lit by the recently setting sun.
A sand live oak tree imposes itself in the foreground and its long, spiraling branches with many leaves spread into the background. The forest floor underneath is covered with dead, brown oak leaves. Moss and lichens are growing on the bottom of the tree.
A dragonfly, Say's Spiketail, perches on a small branch. It has a long abdomen, mostly black with alternating bands of yellow.
A view of Little Lake Johnson from underneath a pine tree as its needles block some of the foreground. To the left is a rack of five canoes and a white, sandy beach stretches all the way to the lake's edge.

Some content on this website is saved in an alternative format. To view these files, download the following free software or you can skip to the main content if you already have the appropriate readers.

  • Use Adobe Acrobat to read Portable Document Format (PDF) files: Download Adobe® Reader®
  • Microsoft Word file viewer and converter programs to enable those who do not have MS- Word or have another version of MS-Word to open and view MS-Word files: Download Word file Viewer
  • Microsoft offers Microsoft Excel file viewer and converter programs to enable those who do not have MS-Excel or have another version of MS-Excel to view MS-Excel files:Download Excel file viewer

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Welcome to Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

One of Florida's first state parks, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park was developed on a 2,000-acre site by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. The extraordinary craftsmanship of the CCC is still evident today. Located on rolling sandhills in an area known as the central ridge of Florida, a deep ravine with springs issuing from its sides bisects the area and forms Gold Head Branch. Marshes, lakes and scrub provide a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.

Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking and wildlife viewing along the park's nature trails and a 5.44-mile stretch of the Florida National Scenic Trail. For aquatic recreation, visitors can swim or fish in the lake, or spend a lazy afternoon canoeing. A large picnic area, with tables and grills, pavilions and a playground are available for visitors to enjoy. Nestled under the trees are 3 full-facility campgrounds. Primitive campsites for small or large groups are available as are fully equipped lakefront vacation cabins, some of which were built by the CCC.

Directions to this Park

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is featured on the Firsthand Florida Fun Blog. Experience this park with Erika Z.’s YouTube video and check out past blog posts from other Florida State Parks.


Open Larger Map for mike roess State Park

Additional Info