Florida Springs Bike Tour

Day 2: Goldhead Branch to Olustee Battlefield

Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site, PO Box 40, Olustee, FL 32072, 904-752-3866

Second night camping:
Ocean Pond Campground, c/o Osceola National Forest, P.O. Box 70, Olustee, FL 32072, (904) 752-2577. No reservations taken.

The second day on the loop is a 66 mile route between Gold Head Branch State Park and Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site with camping at Ocean Pond Campground in Osceola National Forest.

The route travels through Camp Blanding Military Reservation and continues in a generally northwestward direction through the towns of Starke, Raiford and Sanderson. There are very long stretches of road through farm and forest land with no services.

Olustee Battlefield commemorates Florida's most significant Civil War battle, which took place on February 20, 1864. Union and Confederate forces fought in the open forest here without protection of forts or earthworks. The battle raged for five hours with Union troops finally retreating hastily to the east. More than 2,500 men died during this battle. Every year in February the event is reenacted by local people in full costume on the weekend closest to the anniversary date. The historic site is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and all holidays from November to April.

Six miles from the battlefield is Ocean Pond Campground in the Osceola National Forest. The campsites are very scenic, situated in the pine forest along the northern shores of Ocean Pond.

Riding Conditions

The majority of the route is along very lightly traveled rural roads. The first 10 miles from Gold Head Branch State Park are on SR 21 with the sand trucks. Ride defensively with caution.

Through Camp Blanding SR 16 is a four lane, divided highway. Leaving Camp Blanding, the road narrows and carries heavy traffic. The Kingsley Lake cutoff (CR 16A) provides a quiet reprieve from traffic for a couple of miles.

A wide and well surfaced sidewalk parallels SR 16 and SR 230 for many miles after Kingsley Lake Road and provides an alternative to highway riding.

From Starke to Sanderson, SR 229 is a very quiet, rural road for its entire 26 mile length. The only convenience store in this section is located at Raiford.

U.S. Highway 90 west from Sanderson is more heavily traveled by cars and trucks going at higher speeds. The lanes are fairly wide, but use caution traversing this six mile stretch of road.


Services are available in Starke, Raiford and Sanderson. Be sure to resupply in Sanderson as it has the most well stocked stores before reaching the campground at Ocean Pond.

Directions from Gold Head Branch State Park to Ocean Pond Campground

Park Entrance Station.
Turn right from park onto SR 21. 10.4 Turn left onto SR 16. 16.1 Pass Camp Blanding.
Turn left onto CR 16A (Kingsley Lake Dr).
Turn left onto SR 16.
Turn left onto SR 230.
Enter Bradford County.
Turn right onto Walnut St.
Turn left onto SR 16 Brownlee St.
Cross US 301.
Turn left onto CR 229.
Cross CR 225.
Turn right, bear right at "Y" intersection, staying on CR 229 (CR 235 goes to left, unsigned).
Enter Union County.
Cross SR 121 (Main St) in Raiford.
Road bends left, signed Central Ave.
Road bends right, signed Raulerson Rd.
Continue on CR 229 (CR 238 on left).
Enter Baker County.
I-10 Overpass.
Bear left at intersection with unmarked road after overpass, continue to Sanderson.
Turn left onto US 90.
Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site.
Turn right onto CR 250A (unsigned) into Osceola National Forest.
Turn left onto Ocean Pond Campground Rd.
Campsites at lake.

Total Trip Mileage to date: 129.9

As well as these directions, you should bring along your own map, in case you miss a turn, get lost, a road changes, or for any of the other thousands of reasons that you may need to vary your route.

Many thanks to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for this tour description.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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