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"...I have come that they might have life, and that they have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gold Head Branch State Park

My RV forum friend Nan and I camped here for the weekend so we could plan for the January get-together of forum members. Here are our side-by-side sites:
The campground is situated next to what is left of Big Lake Johnson and Little Lake Johnson.
These cabins are beside Little Lake Johnson.
I noticed there wasn't much water in the lake.
I walked to the boat ramp on the Big Lake to see if it would be a good place to launch my kayak. This sign explained the water levels. Nan told me that much of the water that once filled these lakes was diverted to South Florida.
The boat ramp...don't think I'll be launching here.
They still rent canoes for use on the Little Lake.
These folks were out in a rowboat.
But had some trouble coming back in...
The swimming beach on Little Lake Johnson.
Sign by the swimming area...
Roe and I took one of the hiking trails in the park. This one follows the Florida Scenic Trail for a ways.
Some bending required...
In the early 1900s a mill once operated along Gold Head Branch. It operated a sawmill, a cotton gin and a grist mill.
Located where this bridge crosses Gold Head Branch, I learned that one of the oldest churches in the region, Gadara Baptist, organized in 1876, met at the mill after their log structure burned. During dry weather members could get to church without any problems, but in wet weather they would have to walk through mud and slush, and cross a log bridge to reach the old mill.
Far from comfortable, the old mill was windowless and had huge cracks in the floor. Many of the young children entertained themselves through long services by watching fish swim in the water underneath.
Perhaps this concrete was part of the old mill.
Sign at the parking area.
A white-tail deer on the didn't stick around long enough to zoom for another picture.
Picnic area
One of Florida's first state parks, Gold Head Branch was built by the CCC and became a park in 1935.
Look who was meeting here today. Forum friend Alice would have enjoyed this.
Some of the things people do that puts nature out of balance.
You can see the original water tower to the left of the sign through the trees.
We followed the paved campground road back to our campsite.
The bright Florida sun in a cloudless blue sky.
Tomorrow we'll explore another part of the park...the ravine and the headsprings of Gold Head Branch.

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