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  • About Osceola National Forest

    The Osceola National Forest encompasses over 266,000 acres. Visitors can be transported back in time to the remote rural pinewoods, interpretive trails and camps that reflect north Florida’s heritage. This "flatwoods" forest is a mosaic of low pine ridges separated by cypress and bay swamps. These natural communities provide habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker, Florida black bear, eastern indigo snake, gopher tortoise, pileated woodpecker, bobcat, fox squirrel and many songbirds. The forest was named in honor of the famous Seminole Indian leader Osceola.  Indigenous cultures and later Spanish and local settlers have called the Osceola home for thousands of years. 


    The Osceola offers visitors a retreat from the hurry of modern life. Those seeking solitude and quiet can find it in places like the Gum Swamp Wilderness or Pinhook Swamp, one of the last real wilderness areas in the South. Adventurers will discover a variety of trails to explore, waters to fish, and woods that lead to back-ways that summon motorists looking for scenic vistas with camping areas that are perfect for creating family traditions. The Osceola National Forest welcomes visitors year round to enjoy modern and primitive campgrounds, swimming, fishing and boating around Ocean Pond lake. Water ski along the glassy lake or watch the white caps roll in on windy days. You may also enjoy fishing on the pier, picnicking under the hammock, or walking our many hiking trails. The sandy beaches at Ocean Pond offers a chance to cool off from those hot summer days. Kayakers can paddle along the cypress that line the perimeter of the lake. Many enjoy the serene atmosphere of Natural Florida.  

    Years of wise stewardship has left the Osceola National Forest with an abundance of natural and cultural resources. As stewards of this fascinating ecosystem, the Forest Service advocates a conservation ethic in promoting the health, productivity, diversity, and beauty of forest and associated lands. By practicing prescribed fires, staggered timber management and sustainable recreation, the Osceola strives to meet the needs of local partners, visitors and surrounding communities.


    Located between Lake City and Jacksonville, Florida the Osceola National Forest is a short drive from the

    surrounding communities of North Florida and South Georgia.  Refer to our maps on the map tab for the

    location of the forest.