Osceola National Forest

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Osceola National Forest
Pinus palustris forest, Osceola National Forest.jpg
Map showing the location of Osceola National Forest
Map showing the location of Osceola National Forest
LocationFlorida, United States
Nearest cityOlustee, FL
Coordinates30°17′26″N 82°19′18″W / 30.29056°N 82.32167°W / 30.29056; -82.32167Coordinates: 30°17′26″N 82°19′18″W / 30.29056°N 82.32167°W / 30.29056; -82.32167
Area190,932 acres (772.67 km2)
EstablishedJuly 10, 1931
Governing bodyU.S. Forest Service
WebsiteOsceola National Forest
A pine woods tree frog in the Osceola National Forest
Mushrooms in the Osceola National Forest

Osceola National Forest is a National Forest located in northeast Florida.

Osceola National Forest was created by President Herbert Hoover's proclamation, on July 10, 1931. It is named in honor of the noted Seminole warrior, Osceola.

The forest is made up of approximately 200,000 acres (810 km2) of pine flatwoods and cypress-hardwood swamps in northeastern Florida, and is about 50 miles (80 km) west of Jacksonville. It is located in parts of Columbia, Baker, Bradford, and Hamilton counties.[1] The forest administration headquarters are in Tallahassee, as are all three National Forests in Florida. Local ranger district offices located in Olustee. There is one officially designated wilderness area in the forest, the 13,660 acres (55.3 km2) Big Gum Swamp Wilderness.

Geography and ecology[edit]

Within the forest is the Osceola Research Natural Area, designated a National Natural Landmark in December 1974.[2][3]

Osceola National Forest is home to many birds as well as mammalian and reptilian species, including the alligator, eastern indigo snake, two species of skunk, muskrat, black bear, coyote, raccoon, gopher tortoise, bobcat, two species of fox, opossum, cougar, fox squirrel, and red-cockaded woodpecker an endangered species.

Activities[edit]

A 28-mile (45 km) section of the Florida National Scenic Trail is included in the park grounds. Other hiking trails in the park include: Olustee Battlefield Trail (an American Civil War battlefield), Trampled Track Trail, and Mt. Carrie Trail. Two horseback riding trails pass through open pine flatwoods and near scenic bays. The park is also open to hunters and fishermen with permits.

Campsites[edit]

  • Ocean Pond Campground - Ocean Pond Campground is located on the north side of Ocean Pond, a 1,760-acre (7.1 km2) natural lake. Sixty-seven campsites are available for tents, trailers, or motor homes. Ocean Pond provides a variety of recreational experiences such as fishing, boating, water skiing and camping. A beach area, boat ramp, drinking water, hot showers, and flush toilets are located in the campground.
  • The Landing Group Area - Available by reservation only, this is a 50-person private group area. Recreational activities include swimming, boating, camping, and picnicking. Facilities include a sand beach, boat launch for small boats, picnic shelter, large group grill, and restrooms with showers.
  • Hunt Camps - Hunt camps include Hog Pen Landing, Cobb, Wiggins, West Tower, and East Tower. These are primitive camp sites.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Table 6 - NFS Acreage by State, Congressional District and County - United States Forest Service - September 30, 2007
  2. ^ Osceola Research Natural Area - National Natural Landmark
  3. ^ Nelson, Gil (1995). Exploring Wild North Florida. Pineapple Press Inc. p. 244. ISBN 1-56164-091-3. OCLC 32746332.

External links[edit]