2017 Festival Poster

2017 Knapfest Festival-Poster

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Home The Park Park History and Overview
Ochlockonee River State Park PDF Print E-mail
White Squirrel This scenic river park, over 543 acres large, offers vivid views of natural Florida along the Gulf Coast. Opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities on land and water abound – rivers and creeks to boat and fish, nature trails to hike and explore.

Natural Communities

Because the park is nestled in beautiful pine flatwoods, it is the perfect area for nature studies. Of special interest is the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker that nests in the cavities of the park’s living, mature pine trees.

Small grass ponds, bayheads and oak thickets are diverse habitats for the park’s wide variety of wildlife. Deer, fox squirrel, bobcat, gray fox and numerous species of birds are commonly seen. Patient park visitors may be rewarded with a glimpse of white squirrels, a unique color variant of the Eastern gray squirrel.

The junction of the Ochlockonee and Dead rivers offers the ideal setting for a picnic with a spectacular view. A boat ramp provides access to the Ochlockonee River and Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Park Guidelines

  • For your safety, please do not feed or attempt to touch any animals.
  • Intoxicants and unsecured firearms are prohibited.
  • Pets are not allowed on the beaches and may be restricted in other designated areas. Where pets are allowed they must be kept on a sixfoot hand-held leash and well behaved at all times. Please check with the park office about specific pet restrictions.
  • The park offers many recreational opportunities to visitors with disabilities. Should you need assistance to enable your full participation, please contact the park office.
  • Open 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year.
  • The Festival is free with a paid park admittance fee of $4.00 per vehicle up to 8 persons. Additional occupants are $2.00 per person.

Pine flatwoods, named for the flat monotonous topography shaped by fire, is the park’s most significant natural community. A prescribed burning program mimics the natural fire cycle and provides healthy ecosystems.

The Ochlockonee River State Park is home to a surprising number of threatened and endangered species, including red-cockaded woodpeckers, Florida black bears, gopher tortoises, fox squirrels and snowy egrets.

Rare plant species, such as wiregrass gentian and ladies tresses (a rare orchid with spiraling fragrant flowers), may be seen in the spring. Colorful wildflowers living in the pine flatwoods, such as meadow-beauty and yellow-eyed grass, depend on fires to survive and flourish.

History & Culture

A pre-Columbian Native American shell midden dating back possibly to the Weedon Island Period fifteen hundred years ago sits along the shore of the Dead River. The midden was identified in 1998.

Cat-faced pine trees scattered throughout the park serve as living exhibits and evidence of the late 1800s turpentine industry. Trees were scarred and the resulting pine resin was processed into turpentine. On May 14, 1970, the state of Florida acquired the property through a land exchange with the United States Department of Interior. It was renamed Ochlockonee River State Park.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 12:05