Fort Cooper is another one of those Florida gems that you can easily bring the family and spend a day. Always check the park site for fee schedule, but it only cost us $3. There are 2 easy hiking trails and a nature walk.
There are clean restrooms, A picnic area, and biking trails. There are canoe rentals for you to head out on Lake Holathlikaha. If you want to get away from the normal daily routine and spend a relaxing day with hiking, bbq-ing, and great photo ops, this is a nice place to be. It also has a few Geocaches if you are a Geocacher.
Sand Hill Loop Trail
The Sand Hill Loop Trail is located just inside of the park entrance. There is parking on the grass near the trail-head. The trail is approximately 1.8 miles long of fairly easy terrain.
The trail is marked in only one direction so just follow the footprint signs and turn right. Keep an eye out for gopher tortoise tracks and burrows along this trail. It is mostly shade covered until you get to the junction with the incoming trail from the trailhead on the main park road.
If you keep going straight, and you’ll find yourself climbing uphill with a slight turn to the left. Although they say, wildlife is abundant here, we did not see any on our trip other than an occasional squirrel.
You can easily do this trail along with the Fort Site Trail located within this same park on the same day. Overall, it was perfect for us beginners. Don’t forget the bug spray on this trail.
The Fort Site Trail
The Fort Site Trail is also located in Fort Cooper State Park. The trail entrance is located near the back of the park.
You can easily complete the 2 hikes and nature trail in one day with time to rest, eat, relax in between. After we completed the Sand Loop Trail, we then we jumped back in our car and head up the road further into the park. We went to the end, circled around, and parked.
Now if you are there for the day, you could walk up past the bathrooms and there are benches, picnic tables, and BBQs.
If you want to relax, maybe grab a bite to eat (we pack our own lunch), or just take a breather and take a minute and check out the birds near the water. After relaxing for a bit, head towards the rear of the park. This is where the trail begins.
Just like the Sand Loop Trail, this trail is also fairly easy and mostly flat.
Oh yeah, Did I mention if you Geocache you just might find something?!!!
Every year in March for the Annual Fort Cooper Days event, they perform a complete with Second Seminole War re-enactments that depict the events that took place here in 1836.
Date Of Visit: January 2017