John and I spent the day hiking about 5 miles of trails at Fort Cooper State Park. We could have hiked more if we wanted to, with the path from Cooper State Park that connects to the 46 mile Withlacoochee State Trail. But we decided that a 5-mile hike was enough for us in the Florida heat so we stuck to staying within the park boundaries.
The trails at Fort Cooper State Park are mostly shaded on packed dirt or green grass, making for an easier time of it on a 90+ degree Florida summer day. The trees and the breeze actually, believe it or not, kept us quite comfortable, that is until we got to the Sandhill trail.
The Sandhill Trail is just that, sandy and hilly. It also has much less shade, so with more sun, maneuvering our feet in the soft sand and the uphills, we got a pretty good work out. For you history buffs, it is also the spot where you will find the Old Military Road of Fort Cooper
More than just a day of hiking and wildlife viewing, Fort Cooper State Park is also a place to learn. Kiosks are scattered throughout the park, detailing the harsh lives of the Seminole Indians and the tragic fate they endured. A timeline of the battles that led up to the construction of Fort Cooper is also provided along with details about the Seminole Indian leadership of the time. For John and I, it was a sad lesson in a piece of tragic Florida history.
The Dogwood Trail runs partly along lake Holathlikaha, where John and I saw Sandhill Cranes. The trail itself is very scenic and dotted along the path’s edge is a unique and interesting glimpse into some Florida sinkholes. It is also on the Dogwood Trail where John and I were thrilled to have a deer encounter.
I adore butterflies and I was thrilled to find them flying around us everywhere on all of the trails at Fort Cooper. The Spiders, however, I could do without.
A beautiful picnic and playground area are provided by the lake.
The picnic area along with the scenery, the easy hikes, and a little bit of Florida history, makes Fort Cooper State Park a perfect place for a wonderful entertaining day of Florida outdoor family fun.
This 700 acre State Park is open 7 days a week 365 days a year from 8 am to sunset. Admission is only $3.00 per carload, an incredible value for a whole day worth of fun in the great Florida outdoors. Just bring your own picnic!!
Four-legged family members are welcome as long as you keep them on a leash.
Restrooms are provided at the picnic area.
Fort Cooper State Park is located about an hour north of Tampa
3100 S. Old Floral City Rd.
Inverness FL 34450
We hope you enjoyed this post. John and I are continuing our journey during the Covid crisis by visiting outdoor Florida locations with the most potential of providing safe family outdoor fun. With the times as they are, outdoor activities are the safest and if you ask me, the most needed. Hopefully not only will you find our posts entertaining but informative. If you would like to learn more about great places to visit and things to do in Florida then please subscribe to our site so we can send future posts straight to your email inbox. To get in on the Florida conversation, interact with us, make new Florida loving friends and ask Florida questions, then please join our facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/THEVIEWFROMFLORIDA/groups/