Developed in the 1920s as a winter resort, Keystone Heights is home to many lakes formed in sinkholes. Set in the rolling sandhills of North Florida, it boasted a lakeside casino and a popular swimming beach on Lake Geneva.
Bringing in the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the state of Florida built Gold Head Branch State Park, one of Florida’s first state parks. It remains a popular getaway on with lakefront cabins that include some of the originals built by the CCC.
One of the very first segments of the Florida Trail spanned this region, providing hikers access to the woodlands of Gold Head Branch and neighboring Camp Blanding. Decades later, the former rail corridor was converted to a paved path, the Palatka-Lake Butler Trail, which connects Keystone Heights with Florahome and Palatka to the southeast and Hampton and Lake Butler to the northwest.