Description - The park is named for Major 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 General 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.
Copyright: - Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Fort Cooper State Park
The 710 acres that would become Fort Cooper State Park were acquired in 1970 from private owners. It opened to the public in 1977.
- Lake Holathlikaha, a crystal-clear 160-acre spring fed lake, is the heart of Fort Cooper State Park. 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.
The park offers primitive tent camping for groups of up to 20 people. Visitors can play volleyball and horseshoes in the day use area of the park. Swimming, sunbathing and fishing are very popular activities at this park. There is also a playground available. The hardwood hammock is an excellent picnic area complete with grills, tables and pavilions. Pavilions are available to rent as are canoes and paddleboats. Some facilities and activities in the park are accessible to people with disabilities.
The Withlacoochee State Trail passes close to the park offering a 46-mile paved path between the towns of Citrus Springs and Trilby.
Recreation - Recreational activities include picnicking, canoeing, fishing, primitive camping, swimming, wildlife viewing, and hiking.
Climate - Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.
Fort Cooper State Park is located in S.R. 39, two miles south of Inverness.