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O'Leno State Park facts for kids

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O'Leno State Park
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
O'Leno State Park bridge Santa Fe River south02.jpg
Santa Fe River
Location Columbia County, Florida, USA
Nearest city High Springs, Florida
Governing body Florida Department of Environmental Protection

O'Leno State Park is a Florida State Park located on the Santa Fe River six miles north of High Springs on U.S. 441. Many facilities at the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

History

A town called Keno, also the name of a lotto gambling game, was once at the location of the park. There was a cotton gin and a sawmill there. In 1876, ministers and businessmen moved to change the name to Leno to improve the town's reputation. The current name refers to "Old Leno". After the railroad bypassed the town, it became a ghost town.

Geology

The park is made up of sinkholes, hardwood hammocks, river swamps, and sandhills. The Santa Fe River runs through the park, disappearing into a sinkhole and re-appearing approximately 3.5 miles away at River Rise Preserve State Park, forming a natural land bridge. At one time, the historic Bellamy Road ran across this land bridge.

Fauna

Among the wildlife of the park are white-tailed deer, squirrel, alligators, turtles, raccoons and gopher tortoises.

Recreational activities

Amenities include a more than 13 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, picnic pavilions, and a full-facility campground which includes family, primitive, youth and group camping.

Hours

O'Leno State Park is open between 8 a.m. and sundown every day of the year (including holidays).

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