Florida Guide > State Parks
Oleno State Park
Oleno State Park is situated on the Sante Fe River on U. S. 441 in High Springs.
Sante Fe River is a tributory of the Suwanee River. Within the grounds of the park the river vanishes underground only to reappear in the River Rise Preserve State Park 3 miles away.
In times past a bridge was built in the place where the river goes underground and you can still see that today. This was used both by the Spanish and the Native Americans.
In 1824 a builder and plantation owner called John Bellamy was honoured by having the first federal funded road named after him. This road runs from St Augustine to Pesacola.
A Henry Matier founded the town which was based on gambling and named Keno. Keno was a bingo like game originally played with ears of corn.
After then they used the natural energies of the water to form dams with cedar planks.
The first telegraph system was installed here but the town declined when the hoped for rail road did not materialise.
The best way to see this park is on the water and you can hire a canoe for a reasonable $3 an hour or an even more reasonable $15 a day. These can be rented from a ranger and is a good way to explore this lovely river.
This is admittedly not the best of the State Parks to catch fish but you may catch a cat fish or the ubiquitous big mouth bass. Some days asre better than others.
Of course you would expect a nature trail in a State Park and here they have 2. If you take the Limestone Trail it will lead you from hard wood hammock to pine woods by way of lime stone out crop. If you opt for the river walk you will go down the banks to the place where the river hide itself underground. If you are an intrepid hiker there are a further 13 miles to explore.
Every month there is a special event; this could be Old Time Dancing or Race The Tortoise or a Chili Cook Off. These events only cost a fre dollars to attend.
In addition to these events the park rangers hold regular informative walks and talks. This could be a river walk or a lecture on history or a discussion on water life.
Oleno State Park
410 S. E. Oleno Park Road
High Springs, Florida 32643
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Page added on: 10 November 2008
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