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USA Parks
Florida
Central West Region
Fort Cooper State Park
FORT COOPER STATE PARK
FORT COOPER STATE PARK
3100 South Old Floral City Road
Inverness, Florida   34450

Phone: 352-726-0315
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.
Nature of the Area
Wildlife at Fort Cooper State Park is abundant. Sightings of deer, turkey, opossum, bobcat, birds, and many other species is very common.
History of the Area
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.
Swimming
With higher water levels, Lake Holathlikaha offers excellent fresh water swimming. Contact the park for lake conditions.
Canoeing
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.


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Day Use Area
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.
Picnicking
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.
Trails
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.
Area Attractions
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
Things To Do in the Area
Riverscape Boat Tours LLC - Ocala, FLBoating
Ride silently on nature tours on the silver river. The most beautiful river in the world. We transport guests back in time to wild Florida as it was thousands of years ago - untouched and untamed. Sparkling clear water that has over a hundred feet visibility. Book the Silver River trip now as the boats fill fast.
Web Site: riverscapesboattours.com
27.4 miles from park*
Flatwater Adventure Tours - Brooksville, FLFishing Charters
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.
Web Site: flatwaterguide.com/Home_Page.html
20.4 miles from park*
Cactus Jack's Trail Rides - Ocala, FLHorseback Riding
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.
Web Site: cactusjackstrailrides.com/
19.3 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 3 a nice park with a lot of history by kilo
Fort Cooper State park is 700 acres of Florida back country, located on the edge of Inverness. The wildlife is abundant, the park is well maintained and a pleasure to visit


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Wynnhaven Riverside RV Park - Bushnell, FLCampgrounds
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.
Web Site: wynnhavenriverside.com
15.1 miles from park*
Pets
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.
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USA Parks
Florida
Central West Region
Fort Cooper State Park
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