outdoorsy vibes in o'leno state park

High Springs is a city in north Florida located just about 33 minutes north of Gainesville, and about 2 hours from Orlando. Many say that it’s the place to be for outdoor and nature lovers. It’s a good access point to many beautiful springs and state parks. As a matter of fact, this historic site in High Springs happens to be one of my favorite state parks.

O'leno state park historic site in high springs

Many people think that Florida is just a plain, flat land. I think this is only slightly true. When you visit the highest points in Florida you realize that there’s much more than meets the eye. And just like a weekend trip to Tallahassee opened up my mind in many ways, you too can change your mind about what you think Florida has to offer.

sitting at the top of a tree in O'leno high springs

As for me, I like to think of the Sunshine State as a place with plenty of hidden gems meant to be explored. And this is particularly true with O’Leno State Park–an incredible outdoorsy experience!

historic site in high springs outdoorsy vibes in O'leno state park

O’Leno State Park: a Historic Site in High Springs

O’Leno was developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It happens to be one of the first state parks in Florida and it’s located along the unique Santa Fe River. The dark tea-colored water from the river, combined with the clear water from the springs that blend with it, makes for one magical and scenic view.

historic site in high springs Santa Fe river in O'leno state park in Florida

In this park, you’ll find a suspension bridge, over 20 miles of hiking trails, a museum, campgrounds, campfire circles, and much more. Every state park is different, but this one just has a certain spark to it. I really love the great outdoorsy vibe I get to experience while I’m here.

wooden pavilion in O'leno state park historic site in High Springs

Once I arrived at the parking lot, we walked around the picnic pavillions, down to the riverside, and looked around. There’s a swimming area at a portion of the river that’s perfect for a refreshing dip. Then, I crossed the bridge. The suspension bridge at O’Leno is very pretty! It reminded me of the suspension bridge at Hillsborough River State Park–also beautiful and great for pictures.

historic site in high springs suspension bridge in O'leno state park

I didn’t get to go inside the museum or any of the interpretative exhibits because they were closed due to the COVID situation. However, the scenic views of the Santa Fe river seemed to make up for what I missed.

historic site in high springs o'leno state park

Things to do in O’Leno State Park

  • Hiking
  • Geo-seeking
  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Picnicking
  • Tours
  • Photography
  • Paddling
  • Wildlife viewing
forest trees in O'leno state park historic site in high springs

Plan your visit

Tours: There’s a self-guided tour of the park which you can access through your phone. Look out for the signs located around the park!

Nature Center: opens Friday – Sunday 10 am to 2 pm.

Museum: opens daily from 9 am to 3 pm

Fees: $5 per vehicle

Park hours: 8 am until sundown, 365 days a year

Location: 410 SE O’Leno Park Rd, High Springs FL 32643

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An Outdoorsy Historic Site in High Springs

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About Author

Outdoor travel blogger, photographer, and Vampire Diaries obsessed. I'm passionate about hiking, and exploring the outdoors is an essential part of my life. I also love the ocean and warm sunny days.

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24 Comments

  1. the place looks absolutely magical! i can’t wait for warmer weather here so finally start enjoying outdoors again

  2. This looks like a beautiful place to visit! I was in Florida last week, but to go to Disney! I was playing the typical tourist! I will need to look into this for next time though!

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