Goethe State Forest

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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, Division of Forestry, was given lead management responsibility for the Goethe State Forest. Using sound forest management, the Division of Forestry 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. Rare plants include the hooded pitcher plant and coontie.

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 Division of Forestry's Trailwalker Hiking Program.


GPS Coordinates

1) Headquarters
29.19918, -82.57918

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The interactive map above gives the location of the Headquarters for Goethe State Forest. Look at the trail and road map listed to the lower left for a more complete picture.

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