Total Acreage: 53,587
Goethe State Forest
Goethe State Forest was named for Mr. J.T. Goethe, from whom most of the land was purchased under Florida's Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) Program in 1992. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Forest Service, was given lead management responsibility for the Goethe State Forest. Using sound forest management, the Florida Forest Service provides for multiple uses of the forest resources which includes timber management, wildlife management, outdoor recreation and ecological restoration.
The main area of Goethe State Forest is located in
the southeastern portion of Levy County near the Gulf
of Mexico. A smaller area of Goethe State Forest, called
Watermelon Pond Unit, is separate from the main tract
and is located in both Levy and Alachua Counties.
Goethe State Forest has more than 15 different natural
communities. A few examples are scrubby flatwoods, dome
swamp, sandhill, and basin swamp. Goethe State Forest
may contain the largest tract of contiguous, old-growth longleaf pine flatwoods in the state.
This extensive old-growth forest has one of the largest
red-cockaded woodpecker populations on state lands in
Florida. Other rare animal species found on the forest
include the Florida black bear, gopher tortoise, Sherman's
fox squirrel and bald eagle.
Prescribed burning is one of the most effective and frequently
used tools in managing Goethe State Forest. Many natural
communities and their inhabitants are dependent on fire
for their very survival. Absence of fire results in the loss or alteration of native
plant and animal species composition and the possibility
of uncontrollable, devastating wildfires.
The Goethe Trail System extends throughout the forest
with access available at three separate trailheads. The
forest is open during daylight hours for visitors to enjoy
picnicking, hiking, bicycling, fishing, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding. All horseback riders must have proof
of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses
when on state lands. Overnight camping is allowed by permit
only. However, private campgrounds are located near the
forest. Goethe State Forest contains 2 hiking trails (Tidewater
and Black Prong) that are included in the Florida Forest Service's Trailwalker
PHOTO: A fox squirrel.
Goethe State Forest is open to regulated hunting and fishing under the direction of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (FWC). We encourage non-hunting recreationists to check FWC's Goethe Wildlife Management Area regulations and season dates before visiting Goethe State Forest. In 2010 FWC added hunting zones in the Watermelon Pond Tract of Goethe. For more information, download the Watermelon Pond Wildlife and Environmental Area (pdf) publication.
In keeping with its mission to protect and manage Florida's forest resources, the Florida Forest Service has developed rules which apply to all State Forest visitors. Find out more about state forest fees and rules.
||Leashed Pets OK
|| More Activities
- Florida Forest Service
Goethe State Forest
9110 SE CR 337
Dunnellon, FL 34431
- Telephone: 352/ 465-8585
FAX: 352/ 465-8515
Email Goethe State Forest