The smallest of Florida’s national forests, the Osceola National Forest carries the weight of history hidden in its dense stands of longleaf pine.
It was here that Union and Confederate forces met in Florida’s largest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Olustee. The hallowed ground of the battlefield was protected soon after, with the national forest established in 1931. Backpack the Florida Trail or amble down one of several shorter trails to discover clues from turpentine and logging history deep in the woods.
- Fanny Bay Trail - If you’re driving along I-10 from Jacksonville to Lake City and want to take a break by taking a hike, this interpretive trail in the Osceola National Forest provides an interesting spot to stretch your [...]
- Florida Trail, Nice Wander Loop - In the Osceola National Forest, this short loop adjacent to Olustee Battlefield is one of the easiest places in the state to see red-cockaded woodpeckers. It’s part of the statewide Florida Trail, and provides a [...]
- Olustee Battlefield - Wind through the pines and step back in time to trace the unfolding of the Battle of Olustee near Lake City. The hike through Olustee Battlefield is short, but its historical significance is great. More [...]
- Osceola National Forest – Mount Carrie Wayside - This short and easily accessible loop in the Osceola National Forest showcases an old growth longleaf pine forest with a population of red-cockaded woodpeckers best viewed in the early morning. Some of the pines sport [...]
- Osceola National Forest – Trampled Track Trail - Around 1875, barely a decade after the Union defeat at the hands of the Confederate Army at Olustee, retired Union Soldier Tom Russell and his business partner Isaac Eppinger bought up the land around Ocean [...]