COLT CREEK STATE PARK
Purchased from the Overstreet Family in May of 2006, this 5067 acre park nestled within the Green Swamp Wilderness Area and named after one of the tributaries that flows through the property was opened to the public on January 20, 2007. For over 60 years this property was managed as a cattle ranch by the Overstreet family. Past activities on the land also included lime rock mining, timber harvesting, citrus production and turpentining. Comprised mainly of Pine Flatwoods, Cypress Domes and open pasture land, this piece of still pristine wilderness is home to many animal species including the American Bald Eagle, Sherman?s Fox Squirrel, Gopher Tortoise, White-Tail Deer, Wild Turkey and Bobcat. The park is currently equipped with a lime rock entrance road, grass parking area, wheel chair accessible restroom, informational kiosk, picnic pavilion and several picnic tables and grills. Visitors are invited to fish, picnic, and hike or ride their horses on over 12 miles of trails and enjoy nature study at its finest. Be sure to check out our activities page for more information.
NATURE OF THE AREA
Beginning in January 2007 and ending in December 2007 a monthly survey of birds and butterflies was conducted by both the Lake Region Audubon Society and the North American Butterfly Association. At the end of the year long survey, volunteers documented approximately 149 species of birds and 79 species of butterflies. So be sure to bring your binoculars along and pick up a checklist of birds and butterflies at the information kiosk (also available for downloading). You never know what you might see at Colt Creek State Park.
Freshwater bank fishing is available at three different lakes in the park. The lakes range in size from 2 ? 25 acres and vary in depth from 12 ? 70 feet. The lakes were dug in the 1990?s as part of a lime rock mining operation. Freshwater species such as Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Bream, Shell Cracker and Catfish can be caught. Largemouth Bass must be released unharmed but angler?s are permitted to keep up to six catfish and twelve pan fish (bluegill, bream, shell cracker) per person per day. Canoes, Kayaks and small Jon Boats can be carried down to the water and hand launched. Gas powered motors are Not-Permitted but electric trolling motors can be used. A Freshwater fishing license is required for persons over the age of 15.
Bicycling is currently permitted only on unmarked dirt (service) roads. Single track bike trails are in the development stage. Due to the soft sand, mountain bikes are recommended.
Visitors can hike or horseback ride on over 12 miles of marked trails that meander through and around several of the parks natural communities including Pine Flatwoods, Cypress Domes and Hardwood Hammocks. A portion of the trail skirts the edge of pastureland which also provides a scenic vista. Visitors can sometimes get a glimpse of white-tail deer, bobcat, fox squirrel and bald eagles. Be sure to prepare for Florida?s ever-changing climate and dress appropriately with proper hiking shoes and don?t forget sunscreen, hat, water and insect repellant. Be sure to pick up a trail map when you enter the park and please stay on the marked trails.
The park is located 16 miles north of Lakeland just south of the Withlacoochee River off of State Road 471. From I-4 take exit # 32 and proceed north on US 98 approximately 13 miles, turn right onto State Road 471. From I-75 take exit # 301 and proceed east on State Road 50 for approximately 13 miles, turn right onto State Road 471. The entrance to the park is 3.8 miles north of US 98 and 17 miles south of State Road 50.