Ascent of Fort Cooper State Park High Point on 2014-01-22

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Fort Cooper State Park High Point
    Elevation:80 ft / 24 m

Ascent Trip Report

Working on checking out all the FL state parks and finding their highpoints. This HP was at least easy to find and obvious. Parked in parking lot and hiked down to the water edge of Lake Holathlikaha and made it my trailhead. The lake is a typical Florida marshy shallow depression. Then hiked back up to the paved trail that leads to the Fort Cooper kiosks. At their intersection the trail maps indicate a large loop hike that climbs away from the lake.

I first performed the entire loop hike easily finding the obvious HP on the western leg of the loop. The sandy trail rutted by hogs. Then on the return to the parking lot once again walked down the short paved trail to the intersection of the nature loop trail and the Fort Cooper trail and visited the site of Fort Cooper and read about the 300 some soldiers that held up there waiting for reinforcements while the Seminoles under Chief Osceola attacked them with some excess of 500 warriors. Reflected on the history and motivations of the combatants, I realized how important these parks our to maintain our history. Shame there is not more relics of reconstruction money avaialble to bring to life the history here.

The state park hiking trail loop actually takes you very close to the park's natural highpoint in the xeric sandhills some 40 feet above the lake. A nice solitutde hike in the woods well marked and nobody in the park at all so I had the trails all to myself.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Total Elevation Loss:90 ft / 27 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Start Trailhead:Started at the lake edge in winter when water leve  30 ft / 9 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:90 ft / 27 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 40 ft / 12 m; Extra: 50 ft / 15m
    Gain on way out:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    End Trailhead:Car parking lot  40 ft / 12 m

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