Fort Cooper State Park

In 1835, the United States sought to expel Native Americans who were fleeing to Florida Territory in order to avoid forced relocation beyond the Mississippi River. During this Second Seminole War, the U.S. Army established a temporary outpost for a detachment of sick and wounded soldiers at this site called the Cove of the Withlacoochee in early 1836. The dense marshy Cove of the Withlacoochee River was a key hideout for Seminole aligned forces. Lead by Osceola, the Native Americans quickly brought the makeshift fort under repeated attack. The intense skirmishes ultimately proved indecisive. The beleaguered U.S. force was finally relieved by the main body of the U.S. Army under the command of General Winfield Scott. A reconstructed palisade marks the fort site and a re-enactment of the battles fought here is held each year in March. The centerpiece of this 700 acre State Park is Lake Holathlikaha which provides a perfect freshwater marsh environment for birds of all varieties including Limpkins, Whistling Ducks, Common and Purple Gallinules. Raptors and Woodpeckers work the forest perimeter. Five miles of woodland trails wind through a variety of different eco-tones where wintering passerines are seen in large numbers during the cooler months. You're also likely to meet some Gophor Tortoises especially in spring and summer. For cyclists or walkers, the trail system connects with the Withlacoochee State Trail. (Park entrance fee required.)

Reviews
  • 3102 S Old Floral City Rd
  • Inverness, Florida 34452
  • (352) 726-0317
Mapped location of Fort Cooper State Park