O’Leno & River Rise
Brochure of O’Leno & River Rise Preserve State Park in Florida. Published by Florida State Parks.
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Florida State Parks Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation and Parks Nature & History The Natural Land Bridge that spans the distance between River Sink and River Rise provided an easy passage over the Santa Fe River from as early as 7,000 BC. The old Spanish trail and the first federally funded road connecting St. Augustine and Pensacola used this crossing. In the mid 1800s, the town of Leno was founded along the banks of the Santa Fe River just upstream from where the river disappears. The first telegraph linking Florida to the outside world passed through Leno. In 1896, the railroad bypassed the tiny town, causing Leno’s inevitable decline. By the turn of the century the settlement was only a memory. The old wire road and mill dams are all that remain of this early pioneer town. Acquired in the early 1930s by the Florida Board of Forestry, the park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Authority primarily for use as a summer forestry camp. Several of the original structures are still in use today. O’Leno State Park is located on the banks of the scenic Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River. The distinctive geological feature of the park is the River Sink where the Santa Fe River disappears underground to re-emerge three miles south at River Rise Preserve State Park. Numerous sinkhole lakes may be seen from the trails throughout the park. The Limestone Trail guides visitors to an abandoned quarry that played a significant role in providing building materials for construction during the CCC era. There are 18 distinct natural communities within O’Leno and River Rise Preserve. These diverse habitats host a variety of wildlife including whitetailed deer, turkey, gray fox and gopher tortoise. O’Leno State Park 410 S.E. O’Leno Park Road High Springs, FL 32643 (386) 454-1853 FloridaStateParks.org • • • • • • • • • • Park Guidelines Hours are 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year. An entrance fee is required. All plants, animals and park property are protected. Pets are permitted in designated areas only. Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet and well behaved at all times. Pets are not allowed in any primative camping areas. Fishing, swimming and fires are allowed in designated areas only. A Florida fishing license may be required. Fireworks and hunting are prohibited. Alcoholic beverage consumption is allowed in designated areas only. For camping information, contact Reserve America at (800) 326-3521 or (866) I CAMP FL or TDD (888) 433-0287 or visit ReserveAmerica.com. Florida’s state parks are committed to providing equal access to all facilities and programs. Should you need assistance to enable your participation, please contact the ranger station. Northeast Florida O’Leno & River Rise Preserve State Park One of Florida’s First State Parks Alternate format available upon request at any Florida state park. FLORIDA State Parks Created on 12/14 National Gold Medal Winner Florida State Parks - “America’s First Three-Time Winner” Real Fun in O’Leno State Park is one of Florida’s first state parks. Along with River Rise Preserve State Park, these state parks offer over 6,000 acres of camping, swimming, canoeing, hiking, cycling and many miles of equestrian trails. Some of the most diverse recreation in the area can be found here. The park accommodates family, youth, primitive and group camping. The two family camping areas feature 61 sites, each equipped with electric and water, a picnic table and fire ring. There are centralized restrooms with showers for each area. N Dogwood Campground W Dogwood Trail Visitors may explore the Santa Fe River by canoe to observe the area’s scenic beauty and wildlife. Canoe rentals are available at the Ranger Station. River Rise Preserve State Park provides equestrians with over 20 miles of trails to explore. At the end of the day, equestrians can camp overnight with their horses at the horse camp complete with primitive campsites, restrooms and a 20-stall horse barn available on a first come, first serve basis. S Ranger Station Youth tent camping areas are reserved for organized non-profit youth groups. Other primitive camping is available at Sweetwater Lake, accessible by a 6.5 mile hiking trail. O’Leno’s Group Camp has 16 cabins, a dining hall, meeting building and an open-air pavilion. The dining hall is equipped with cooking utensils and place settings for 125. The cabins can accommodate 60. Pillows and linens are not provided. Limestone Trail E Fe a t n Sa iver R Magnolia Campground Camping Camping (group) Camping (primitive) Hiking Parking Picnicking Restrooms Youth Areas Directions The entrance to O’Leno State Park is 6 miles north of High Springs on U.S. 41/441. The entrance to River Rise Preserve State Park is two miles west of High Springs on U.S. 27. Swinging Bridge