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Explore the Goethe State Forest

Step into an authentic natural Florida landscape when you enter the Goethe State Forest. Made up of longleaf pine flatwoods and swamp basins, this 53,587-acre forest preserves the habitats of many rare wildlife species.

The Goethe was purchased in 1992 from Mr. J.T. Goethe under the Florida Conservation and Recreation Lands program. The forest is managed and maintained by the Florida Forest Service. Goethe State Forest contains 19 different ecological communities, each with unique plants and animals.

Mesic flatwoods, dome swamps, wet flatwoods, basin marsh, and sandhill are the primary community types. The forest also has two large flatwoods lakes and several seasonal creeks. The forest supports a variety of wildlife including:

  • Sherman’s fox squirrel
  • Florida black bear
  • White-tailed deer
  • Gopher tortoise
  • Gopher frog
  • Bald eagle
  • Red-cockaded woodpecker
  • Wild turkey
Goethe State Forest hiking trails outside of Black Prong
Explore trails and relax in nature for your weekend getaway

Goethe State Forest Contact

(352) 566-5225

Goethe State Forest Website

Visitors can enjoy picnicking, hiking, bicycling, fishing, wildlife viewing, and equestrian activities.

The Goethe is open during daylight hours, and trails can be accessed from seven separate trailheads. Each trailhead provides a new experience for the explorer. Visitors to the Goethe must carry a forest pass with them. Both annual and day passes are available. Annual Forest Passes can be used at any Florida state forest. Day passes must be purchased on the day you plan to visit the forest.

Purchase A Forest Pass

Goethe State Forest is open to regulated hunting and fishing under the direction of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). We encourage non-hunting recreationists to view the hunting dates before visiting the forest.

View 2023-2024 Goethe State Forest Hunting Dates

Logging operations are taking place in the Cow Creek area. Please be cautious when traveling SR 121 or Cow Creek Road in Goethe State Forest, as logging trucks and other heavy equipment will be present.

Explore the extensive Goethe trail system on foot, by bike, horseback, or carriage.

The Black Prong Trailhead is the nearest Florida Forest Service trail access and is located about one mile south on County Road 337 from our property. From this trailhead, there are three blazed forest trails, the Orange Trail, the Blue Trail, and the Green Trail.

For easy access to the Black Prong trail system, there are three exits to the Goethe Forest directly from the Black Prong property. Black Prong Guests will have access to a collection of trails with GPS navigation through our Ride with GPS club. These trail maps can be downloaded for use and voice-guided navigation even with out cell service

Guests are encouraged to explore the forest and experience Florida’s Nature Coast. All equestrians must carry a copy of their horse’s negative Coggins with them while in the forest. Complimentary bicycles are available to guests to use on the marked trails. Cyclists must yield to equestrians on the trails.

Full Goethe State Forest Map