COOPER STATE PARK
Lake Holathlikaha is the heart of Fort Cooper State Park. Spring-fed and crystal-clear, the 160 acre lake lured battle-weary volunteers to its banks in 1836, where they built and defended a frontier fort. Today, it charms thousands of visitors each year with its unique blend of beauty and history.
is named for Maj. Mark Anthony Cooper, commander of five companies of the
First Georgia Battalion of Volunteers during the Second Seminole War. In
April 1836, Cooper's duty as to protect the sick and wounded left behind
during Gen. Winfield Scott's long march to present-day Tampa. For 16 days,
Cooper and about 380 men watched and waited, drinking from the waters of
the lake and scanning the woods that rimmed its eastern shore. There were
several skirmishes, but the volunteers held their own. On April 18, Scott
returned with supplies and reinforcements, leading the men of Fort Cooper
from their frontier sanctuary into new battles. The 710 acres that would
become Fort Cooper State Park were acquired in 1970 from private owners.
It opened to the public in 1977. The swamp and marsh
areas around the lake, the hardwood hammock, and the sandhill communities
provide opportunities to observe the extensive wildlife on the park's 10
miles of self-guided trails. Deer, fox, rabbits, owls, herons and cardinals
are all residents of park.
Swimming, sunbathing and fishing are very popular activities at this park. The hardwood hammock is an excellent picnic area complete with grills, tables and pavilions. Pavilions are available to rent as are canoes and paddle boats which can be rented for a day of enjoyment in the lake.
Some facilities and activities
in the park are accessible to people with disabilities.
For more information on Fort Cooper State Park, write to: