FORT COOPER STATE PARK
FORT COOPER STATE PARK
3100 South Old Floral City Road
Inverness, Florida 34450
The sparkling waters of Lake Holathlikaha were a welcome sight to sick and wounded soldiers during the Second Seminole War. In 1836, the First Georgia Battalion of Volunteers built a stockade for the soldiers resting here, enabling the Volunteers to hold their own through several skirmishes with the Seminole Indians. The park?s diverse natural areas provide a refuge for many plants and animals, including threatened and endangered species. Fishing in Lake Holathlikaha is a popular activity; swimming is available only when the lake level is high enough. Private boats are not allowed on the lake, but paddleboat and canoe rentals are available. Nearly five miles of self-guided trails offer some of the best bird and wildlife viewing in Citrus County. Park visitors also can enjoy the picnic facilities, a recreation hall, and primitive group campground. Located off U.S. 41 on South Old Floral City Road, two miles south of Inverness.
Wildlife at Fort Cooper State Park is abundant. Sightings of deer, turkey, opossum, bobcat, birds, and many other species is very common.
The park is named after Major Mark Anthony Cooper.
In April 1836, during the Second Seminole War, Major Cooper was ordered to remain behind to protect the sick and wounded as General Winfield Scott marched south to present day Tampa. Major Cooper was left in the command of five companies of the First Georgia Battalion of Volunteers and a small artillery company. A field fortification was built on the western bluff of Lake Holathlikaha. Major Cooper was to hold this position as he waited for reinforcements.
Seminole War Chief Osceola and his Indian warriors encamped themselves across the lake from Fort Cooper. There were several skirmishes with the Seminoles, but the volunteers held their own. On April 18, General Scott returned with supplies and reinforcements, leading the men of Fort Cooper from their frontier sanctuary and into new battles.
The fort site was well chosen. The western bluff offered the strategic advantage of being nestled in the fringe of a hardwood hammock, while having access to a wagon road that was under the cover of longleaf yellow pine.
With higher water levels, Lake Holathlikaha offers excellent fresh water swimming. Contact the park for lake conditions.
Enjoy Lake Holathilikaha and all it's natural beauty by canoe or paddle boat. Canoes and paddleboats are available for rent at the park. Private boats are not allowed.
to this park:
Nestled under large shade trees is a pavilion that will accommodate between 60 to 70 people. Great for large outdoor parties! A covered BBQ pit is located nearby. See our home page for rental pricing.
The hardwood hammock, along Lake Holathlikaha, is an excellent picnic area complete with grills, tables, and pavilions. The beach area accommodates volleyball, horseshoe, and playground activities.
Nearly five miles of self-guided nature trails give visitors a glimpse of the area's wildlife. The trails offer some of Citrus counties best birding.
Set within the park, this is an ideal setting for a small wedding, family reunion, birthday party, baby shower or a fun business meeting. A rustic building that has air conditioning, heat and a fireplace, the Recreation Hall can accommodate 50 to 60 people and comes equipped with folding tables and chairs. The small kitchen can be rented in addition. The kitchen comes equipped with a stove, refrigerator, and microwave. Please see our home page for rental pricing
Flatwater Guide has two astonishing adventures to choose from. Bass Fishing and a Nature/Scenic tour. Fish for Largemouth Bass in remote areas of the Withlacoochee
River, where it's not uncommon to fish all day and not see another living soul. You could also choose a lazy canoe tour up and down the pristine Weeki Wachee Springs
canoe trail where you can see tons of different fish, wildlife and see the amazing Manatees in their natural habitat.
20.4 miles from park*
We offer trail rides to singles, couples, or groups. All rides are guided to assure safety for rider and horse. There are trails through the Florida Horse Park and into the Cross Florida Greenway Trail system. Most trails are shaded and quite scenic.
19.3 miles from park*
Wynnhaven Riverside is located on County Road 48 in the small town of Bushnell, Florida. Whether you are visiting Florida and want sun or prefer to camp in the shade of Florida's grand oak trees, we have units available for both.
15.1 miles from park*
Pets are welcome in the park as long as they are on a six foot leash. They are permitted in the picnic area, hiking trails and playground but are not allowed on the beach area, in the water, in the paddleboats and canoes or in our primitive campground.