Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is one of Florida’s oldest state parks. It was developed in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. You can read more about the CCC here: https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/civilian-conservation-corps. They helped build many of Florida’s state parks from 1933 through the beginning of World War II.
If you hike near water in Florida, chances are pretty good you’re going to see an alligator at some point. Those of us who are on the trails a lot are used to it, but it can be scary if you haven’t had much experience sharing the trails with these reptiles. Something that’s important to remember is that a healthy, wild alligator will most likely want nothing to do with you; so the best course of action is to just ignore them and let them go on their way. Alligator attacks in Florida are extremely rare. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission there have only been twenty-four fatal alligator attacks in Florida since 1973. Statistically, you’re more likely to be killed by a cow than you are an alligator.
You could drive around the state looking for brown signs indicating scenic areas and parks, or you could check out some of this info I’ve gathered here for you. I’ve spent an awful lot of time seeking out some of the best (in my opinion) places for exploring nature in Florida. This is not a list of every specific place to explore, but a list of ways for you to find those places for yourself and go explore. There are a lot of great resources available for finding things to do. It’s not always easy to find those resources though. This is a list of some of my favorites. I hope you’ll find this compilation helpful.