Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness

3.9
#5 of 11 in Things to do in Inverness
Fort Cooper State Park is a 710-acre historic site in Inverness, Florida, United States. It is located two miles (3 km) south of Inverness, off of U.S. Hwy. 41 on South Old Floral City Road. On June 13, 1972, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is also a Florida State Park.FaunaAmong the wildlife of the park are white-tailed deer, turkey, opossum, bobcat, owls, herons and cardinals.Recreational activitiesThe park features an annual re-enactment of the Second Seminole War, the third weekend in March. Activities include fishing, swimming, sunbathing, youth camping, canoeing, hiking, boat tours, and nature viewing. The park is also accessible from the Withlacoochee State Trail.Amenities and hoursAmenities include access to 160acre Lake Holathlikaha, a swimming area, paddleboat and canoe rentals, a picnic and playground area, and nearly 5mi of hiking trails. The park also has nature trails, a beach, and a primitive campground.
Plan to visit Fort Cooper State Park during your Inverness vacation using our convenient Inverness online journey planner .
Source
Create an itinerary including Fort Cooper State Park
map
Fort Cooper State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
66 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • it started storming about 30 minutes into our unplanned visit, just saw it on the map while in the area. Nice looking park, great little playground area for the kids,. will go back to hike and cookout...  more »
  • A restful walk through the woods takes you past the remains of a fort from the era of the Seminole Indian Wars. There's even a lake for boating.  more »
  • Visit it often. They have several events over the year. Very small and no camping. Some walking trails. The staff is great and helpful  more »
Google
  • Nice park with a long blacktop for those only able to take that route. As a wheelchair user I have to advise that others with disability not take any off-road trails -- they're not accessible and are strictly sugar sand. I would give a full five stars if the park was more accessible.
  • Nice natural setting in central Florida. Nice facilities. Probably gets crowded on weekends and holidays. I wanted to see the actual Fort site, but unfortunately didn't have time to make the hike to it.
  • The city of Inverness, Florida lies 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico and 80 miles to the north of the great city of Tampa. It is the seat of Citrus County, Florida. In April 2017, we moved to live a few miles to the south of Inverness. Our new home is located in a beautiful area of woods and lakes. As the sunlight comes slanting through the trees, there is an atmosphere of total tranquility. The deer, squirrel and sand crane wander around fearlessly, which is clever of them because they have nothing to fear. Yet a couple of centuries ago, it wasn't at all like that. There was fierce fighting in this idyllic setting. Andrew Jackson seized Florida for the United States of America in 1820 and was elected President in 1828. The Second Seminole War, which began in 1835, was triggered by Jackson's plan to move Native Americans from Central Florida to reservations west of the Mississippi River. However, they didn't want to leave. Close to our new home are the remains of Fort Cooper, built in April 1836 on the shores of Lake Holathlikaha. The crystal clear water of the lake covers 160 acres. The fort was built by Major Mark Anthony Cooper, commander of the 380 First Georgia Battalion Volunteers, whose task was to protect the sick and wounded left behind by General Scott who was moving on to Fort Brooke, which is now Tampa. Cooper built his fort close to the lake's edge in order that the sick and wounded could benefit from the fresh water. His orders were to hold his position until the arrival of relief troops which were expected to be there in nine days. After three days, this seemingly vulnerable target was discovered by Seminole warriors led by Chief Osceola. The Seminoles launched daily attacks upon Cooper and his men, who were greatly outnumbered. At one time, there were over 500 Seminoles attacking the fort and relief from Tampa did not arrive as promised. Supplies in the fort were running out. Yet surely those under attack were merely undocumented or illegal immigrants to Florida? Should they not have received from the Seminoles the same gentle treatment accorded to such immigrants by the US Federal Government in the 21st century. Anyway, the attacks continued, but Cooper held out. The relief column arrived on the sixteenth day. Cooper and his Georgia Battalion were saved. Their casualties were 20 wounded and only one fatality. Fort Cooper continued to be used by the US Army during the rest of the war for reconnaissance purposes. The fort and the lake now form part of Fort Cooper State Park, so Major Cooper's efforts have been rewarded and his name is preserved for posterity. So has the name of Chief Osceola, who died in captivity not long after the events described above. Osceola County, Florida is now visited by millions of people from all over the world because it is the home of Walt Disney World. This internationally renowned resort is on the other side of the city of Orlando, about 80 miles to the south east of the crystal clear lake and the crumbling fort in Fort Cooper State Park. Chief Osceola may have failed to win 1836 but, in terms of 21st century fame, he can at least claim victory over Major Cooper in name recognition. Fort Cooper Events On March 17 and 18, 2018, Fort Cooper was the site of a re-enactment of the battle between the US Army and the Seminoles fought at the fort in 1835. The people who portray the characters take their role very seriously and pay great attention to detail to get an accurate representation of the time period from the clothes to all the paraphernalia used to make up the two camps of the opposing parties.
  • A very peaceful, lovely location to hike, bird watch, see deer, alligators, playground. It is well maintained with pleasant staff.
  • Very well kept. It has fantastic scenery. This state park seems to not get much traffic which is good.
Places to stay near Fort Cooper State Park

Plan your trip to Inverness

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Fort Cooper State Park by other users

4 days in Inverness BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, kids, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 58 days in Leesburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 58 days in Eustis BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 58 days in Celebration BY A USER FROM INDIA July, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Holiday BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Apopka BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 36 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, kids, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May, kids, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 41 days in Holiday BY A USER FROM INDIA May, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: May, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 59 days in Holiday BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Orlando BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, culture, outdoors, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 42 days in Holiday BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 38 days in Homosassa Springs BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans