River Rise Preserve State Park

373 Southwest US Highway 27
High Springs, FL 32643

386-454-1853

The Santa Fe River goes underground in O'Leno State Park and reemerges over three miles away in River Rise Preserve State Park as a circular pool before resuming its journey to the Suwannee River.

Surrounded by quiet woods and huge trees, anglers can spend a relaxing afternoon fishing on the river. Hiking and wildlife viewing are also favorite pastimes for park visitors.

Equestrians, hikers and "fat-tire" cyclists can explore over 35 miles of trails. Equestrians can end the day camping overnight with their horses at the park's primitive equestrian camp consisting of primitive campsites, a bathhouse, and a 20-stall horse barn available on a first-come-first-served basis. Located on US 27 just outside of High Springs.

Experiences

Bicycling
The park offers approximately 35 miles of multi-use trails that can be used biking, hiking or equestrian use. “Fat tire” or mountain bikes are recommended for this trail system.

Please note that portions of the trails may be strenuous or difficult to traverse due to sand, roots, or mud. After heavy, extended rains, portions of the trails may be closed due to standing water. Please contact the Ranger Station at (386) 454-1853 to inquire about current trail conditions. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.

Because the trails are multi-use, be prepared to meet the occasional hiker, horseback rider or park vehicle. Please yield to equestrians while on the trail. Please stay on designated trails, bike responsibly and respect the park and wildlife. The park closes at sundown and you must exit the park at that time, so please plan your ride accordingly. It is recommended that you take items such as water, snacks, insect repellant, a trail map, compass and a cell phone out on the trails.

Gaining Access: There are three gated entrances to River Rise. The first is located on US441 just north of High Spring. This would be the entrance those wishing to access the east section of the River Rise trail system and view the rise would enter.  The second entrance located on Bellamy Road, off of US441 north of High Springs (and north of the US441 entrance). The third is off of US27 and will allow access to the western portion of the River Rise trail system and equestrian camping. Please visit or call the O’Leno State Park ranger station at (386) 454-1853 to pay entrance fees and obtain the gate combination or for more information.

Birding
River Rise Preserve State Park is a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and offers visitors ample opportunity to bird watch throughout the park. Bird enthusiasts might expect to see a variety of migrant songbirds, Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Wild Turkey, Barred Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker, Bachman’s Sparrows and many more.

Camping Equestrian
River Rise Preserve State Park offers primitive equestrian camping off of US27. The area can accommodate up to 40 rigs, including tents, nightly. The area contains a 20-stall horse barn, available on a first come, first serve basis, a restroom with showers and two established fire circles. There are no electric or water hookups in this camping area.

Equestrians are required to maintain written proof of negative Coggin's test for Equine Infectious Anemia for all horses while at River Rise. Well behaved, leashed pets are allowed in the camping area, but not on the trails.
Reservations: Camping reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance. Walk-ins are welcome on a first come, first serve basis, and can pay camping fees by calling or visiting the O’Leno State Park ranger station. Fees for primitive equestrian camping are $5.00 (plus tax) per person, per night. Please contact the O’Leno State Park ranger station at (386) 454-1853 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for information, to pay fees, or to make a reservation.

Fishing
Fishing is allowed in designated areas. The Santa Fe River is an unpredictable fishing spot. Sometimes the fish bite, sometimes they don't. Come on out and take a chance!

All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.  A fishing license may be required.  More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.

Geo-Seeking
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.

Operation Recreation GeoTour

Hiking
River Rise Preserve State Park has over 35 miles of multi-use trails available for hiking, biking, and equestrian use.

During your hike, make sure to see “River Rise” the name sake of the park. The Santa Fe River enters the ground in O’Leno State Park and travels several miles underground before it reemerges at the “River Rise,” found in River Rise Preserve State Park. The land between the sink and the rise forms a natural land bridge that was used by people throughout time and was traversed by Spanish explorers, Indians and settlers alike.

(Canoes and kayaks cannot be launched from River Rise, but there are several places to launch outside of the park that will provide access to the Santa Fe River.)

Because the trails are multi-use, be prepared to meet the occasional bicyclist, horseback rider, or park vehicle. Please stay on designated trails, hike responsibly, and respect the park and wildlife. The park closes at sundown and you must exit the park at that time, so please plan your hike accordingly. It is recommended that you take items such as water, snacks, insect repellant, a trail map, compass and a cell phone out on the trails.

Gaining Access: There are three gated entrances to River Rise. The first is located on US441 just north of High Spring. This would be the entrance those wishing to access the east section of the River Rise trail system and view the rise would enter.  The second entrance located on Bellamy Road, off of US441 north of High Springs (and north of the US441 entrance). The third is off of US27 and will allow access to the west portion of the River Rise trail system and equestrian camping. Please visit or call the O’Leno State Park ranger station at (386) 454-1853 to pay entrance fees and obtain the gate combination or for more information.

Picnicking
Small picnic areas are located at three entrances (Bellamy Road, US441 and US27).

Walking
River Rise Preserve State Park offers a scenic spot for walkers, joggers and hikers of all fitness levels. A beach wheelchair is available upon request. Please reserve by contacting the O'Leno State Park ranger station at (386) 454-1853.

Wildlife Viewing
River Rise Preserve State Park offers plenty of opportunities to view wildlife. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, turkey, and a variety of reptiles and amphibians can be seen in the park. The park is also a popular birding destination.

Amenities

Horse Equestrian Trail
River Rise Preserve State Park has 35 miles of multi-use trails taking the rider through a variety of plant communities near the Santa Fe River.

Because the trails are multi-use, be prepared to meet the occasional hiker, bicyclist, or park vehicle. Please ride responsibly, and respect the park and wildlife. The park closes at sundown and you must exit the park at that time, so please plan your ride accordingly.

Horses are not permitted on the water’s edge. There is water at the Horse Barn off of US27 and at the 441 trail head for thirsty horses. Proof of negative Coggins is required. These trails or portions of them may be closed temporarily on days when staff is conducting prescribed burns.

It is recommended that you take items such as water, snacks, insect repellant, a trail map, compass and a cell phone out on the trails. Please enjoy the nature trails responsibly and respect the park and wildlife.  The park closes at sundown and you must exit the park at that time, so please plan your ride accordingly.

Gaining Access: There are three gated entrances to River Rise. The first is located on US441 just north of High Spring. This would be the entrance those wishing to access the east section of the River Rise trail system and view the rise would enter.  The second entrance located on Bellamy Road, off of US441 north of High Springs (and north of the US441 entrance). The third is off of US27 and will allow access to the west portion of the River Rise trail system and equestrian camping. Please visit or call the O’Leno State Park ranger station at (386) 454-1853 to pay entrance fees and obtain the gate combination or for more information.

Accessible Amenities
River Rise Preserve State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of its visitors. Those amenities include:

Beach wheelchair
Picnic pavilion
Grills
Interpretive Exhibit
Bellamy Road Interpretive Panels – learn about the first federally-funded road running from St. Augustine to Tallahassee while walking the trail on Bellamy Road. You can access these panels at the Bellamy Road Trail Head, located on Bellamy Road off of US441 north of High Springs (if you hit O'Leno State Park you have gone too far).

Picnic Pavilion
River Rise Preserve State Park has one picnic pavilion for rent located at the Horse Barn, adjacent to the equestrian camping area (US27 entrance).

Reservations: Park facilities can be rented up to 11 months (to they day) in advance. A deposit in the amount of one day’s rental is required at the time of the reservation. Please contact the ranger station (386) 454-1853 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for information or to make a reservation. Park entry fee is not included in the facility rental price.

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