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Fort Cooper State Park

Inverness, Florida

Contact Information
3100 S. Old Floral City Rd.
Inverness, 34450
(352) 726-0315

Driving Directions
Fort Cooper State Park is located just off US41, on South Old Floral City Road, two miles south of Inverness.

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Lake Holathlikaha is the heart of Fort Cooper State Park. Spring-fed and crystal-clear, the 160 acre lake lured battle-weary volunteers to its banks in 1836, where they built and defended a frontier fort. Today, it charms thousands of visitors each year with its unique blend of beauty and history.

Plantlife
Fort Cooper provides refuge for a multitude of animals and plants species. Areas are managed to restore and perpetuate conditions of original habitat which are necessary for the survival of all native populations, especially those threatened with extinction.

Fort Cooper’s spring-fed Lake Holathikaha, the swamp and marsh areas, the hardwood hammock, and the sandhill communities provide habitat for extensive wildlife.

Some of the plants that are resident to Fort Cooper include the Ebony Spleenwort, Florida Arrowroot, Netted Chain Fern, and Simpson Zepher Lily.

Resources
Two historic sites exist within the park, the Fort Copper site and the Fort King Military Trail. The Fort Cooper site warrants nomination to the National Register of Historic Places for two reasons. Excavations at the site have yielded, and are likely to continue to yield, additional information about the design and construction of a Second Seminole War fort. Also, the site is associated with events that constitute a broad pattern in Florida history in that the Second Seminole War had important ramifications and was a major impact on the Territorial period of Florida history.

Wildlife
The following are residents to the varied habitat of Fort Cooper State Park:


Amphibians and reptiles – Alligator Snapping Turtle, American Alligator, Eastern Indigo Snake, Florida Pine Snake, Short-tailed Snake, and Florida Gopher Frog
Birds – Brown Pelican, American Kestrel, Florida Sandhill Crane, Limpkin, Merlin, Tricolored Heron, and Wood Stork.
Mammals – Bobcat, Florida Mouse, and Sherman’s Fox Squirrel

Park Activities

Youth Camping, Canoeing, Fishing, Nature Trails, Picnicking, Swimming, and Wildlife Viewing

Youth Camping
Tent camping only at the southern end of Lake Holathalikaha.

Canoeing
Enjoy the 160-acre Lake Holathlikaha. Canoe and paddle boat rentals are available.

Fishing

Nature Trails
Nearly five miles of self-guided nature trails give visitors a glimpse of the area's wildlife.

Picnicking
The hardwood hammock is an excellent picnic area complete with grills, tables, and pavillions. The beach area accommodates volleyball, horseshoe, and playground activities.

Swimming