Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is located in north central Florida on what is known as the Florida ridge, a finger of the Appalachian mountains that stretches down the from the north. Its sandy hills are carved deep in the center from a spring that issues forth from the sides of the ridge and creates the Gold Head Branch.
Property was donated by Mike Roess in 1935 to the state and construction immediately began. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s sage wisdom during the Great Depression saved hundreds of thousands from starvation and poverty after he commissioned the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
The CCC Company number 2444 was at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park and consisted of 25 skilled craftsmen and over one hundred youths. The group cleared roads, built cabins, planted trees, built picnic pavilions and a ranger station. Camp SP-5 would officially open on April 15, 1939.
Today, the park remains nearly exactly as it was in 1939. The original nine rustic cabins are still in use and can be rented. They include fireplace, hot showers and private bathroom (some even have a tub), a separate kitchenette and living room/sleeping quarters. The smaller cabins sleep four, the block cabins sleep six people and two ADA accessible cabins are available with ramps and ADA bathroom fixtures. All cabins overlook the lake.
Cabins rentals fees are $65 plus tax for the rustic cabins, $75 plus tax for the block cabins and $100 for the ADA accessible cabins. Weekends and holidays require a two night reservation minimum. All other days, one night rentals are available.
A full facility campground is available for those who wish to bring their tents or RV’s. 74 sites include water, electric, picnic tables and a grill. Restrooms and hot showers are located nearby each camping loop. A few of the tent sites are a little more rustic and have no electricity. A primitive campsite is located on the nearby Florida Trail. A half mile hike takes you to the primitive site with no water or electricity. Three group campsites are also at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park.
For more information on directions to the park, fees and other park amenities, visit the Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park website here.