Located right on the Santa Fe River, O’Leno has multiple trails from 1 mile to 6 miles in length, a small nature museum with native animals like box tortoises, snakes and more for kids to explore as well as a swimming area for the warmer months. In the quiet mornings, deer, rabbits and more can be seen. We even saw a pair of deer not far from our campsite.
The campsites are large and just a short walk from all the trails to explore. Both tent and full hookup RV sites are available, as well as a few rustic cabins you can even rent. The park is beautiful, with a suspension bridge and a large tree my girls named “the tree of 1k roots”. Kids will enjoy climbing and playing in the river sink filled with turtles.
O’Leno State Park has lots of great family friendly amenities. There’s a playground both in the camping area and another near the main buildings of the park. You can rent canoes by the hour and be sure to bring your bikes and enjoy the miles of trails.
High Springs itself, is just a short drive to Blue Springs State Park with spring fed swimming area or to Gainesville, with all the museums and food it has to offer. During our camping trip, we went to the CADE Museum in Gainesville and it was awesome. So many STEAM and STEM activities for kids of all ages to enjoy and explore. Bonus, the museum is located right next to Depot Park with an awesome playground, water area in the summer, food trucks, beer garden and more. Definitely makes for a great day trip when you need a break from hiking.
Melody is a graduate of Jacksonville University, married a Jax Beach resident, moved away for 12 years, then returned to the area in 2016. Together they have two girls. Melody works as owner/photographer of Melody Coarsey Photography, she loves yoga, family, traveling, dining with a view and the ocean.