This 10,338-acre conservation area protects the water quality and species diversity in this environmentally sensitive watershed. Preservation of the shoreline helps maintain hydrologic connections within the Orange Creek Basin. In 1987, the state designated Orange Lake an Outstanding Florida Water. The Cross Creek community adds historic character with the site of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ home close by. This conservation area is adjacent to the Grove Park Wildlife Management Area (16,437 acres) which is privately owned, but over which the district acquired a conservation easement that allows limited public access. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages the recreation and hunting on the Grove Park property while Plum Creek manages the timber.
Please respect Florida’s wildlife and use caution while visiting district lands. These are wild animals. For your safety, do not approach or feed any wild animal. This area is of regional significance for large populations of bald eagles, ospreys, wading birds and other wetland-dependent species. Eighteen listed species live within the area, including wood stork, sandhill crane, black bear, fox squirrel and eastern indigo snake.
- Seasonal hunting, fishing (handicapped accessible), hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, boating and wildlife viewing at designated locations.
- Boating and canoeing opportunities are available on Lochloosa Lake; however, there are no launches located on the property.
- Within the adjacent Grove Park property, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and wildlife viewing are allowed only on designated trails.
From the north off County Road (CR) 2082 and from the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. From the east, off U.S. 301. In Cross Creek, access is adjacent to the volunteer fire department on the east side of CR 325 and from Fish Camp Road.