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Lake Talquin, 8,800 acres of sparkling Florida water, is conveniently located just a few miles west of Tallahassee. The Florida Power Corporation created Lake Talquin in 1929 by constructing the Jackson Bluff Dam and hydroelectric plant and impounding the Ochlockonee River. The power company operated the facility until 1970, when management was turned over to the Florida Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR managed the lake and dam from 1970 to 1981 without producing power. In 1981 the City of Tallahassee began refurbishing the dam and power plant, and the C.H. Corn Hydroelectric Power Generating Plant became operational in 1985, one of only two hydroelectric plants in the state of Florida. Today, the Lake Talquin reservoir is one of northern Florida's top recreation destinations.
The topography of the greater Lake Talquin area makes nature lovers giddy: rolling hills, towering forests, plunging ravines, and a variety of hardwoods and pines invite almost all of Mother Nature's kingdom to live here. Wild turkeys cross the roads, defying traffic laws and challenging anyone to get in their way. Our national bird, the powerful bald eagle, swoops through the sky, watching and observing everything on the ground below. Ospreys perch atop their twig nests, calling out not-so-gentle warnings to all who pass too closely. Deer leap gracefully through the forests, giving us a glimpse into their world as they stop to drink from the lake. Life is truly wild at Lake Talquin, as untouched and undisturbed as possible, so take your camera along and capture a few magical moments.
Adjacent to the lake lies Lake Talquin State Forest, a 17,491-acre tract of land dedicated to preserving wildlife and bringing humans a little closer to it. A diverse forest includes longleaf pine, water oak, bald cypress, laurel oak, life oak, loblolly pine, mockernut hickory, red maple, swamp tupelo, and many more species of both hardwood and pine. Beautiful flowering trees, such as dogwood, paint the landscape in spring and summer. Animal life finds refuge here, and even shyer animals like the bobcat and gopher tortoise make their homes at Lake Talquin State Forest.
The state forest offers many recreation activities to the public, the most popular being a combination of hiking and nature study. As you traverse the nature trails, you'll find yourself with a unique view of nature that only submerging yourself in quiet forest can bring. Equestrians take heart: horseback riding is allowed on the open roads of Lake Talquin State Forest and Ford Braden, which boasts 12 miles of dedicated equestrian trail. Biking is also allowed in the park, though not on designated hiking and riding trails. A 9-mile bike course was created to provided beginners and intermediate riders with an exciting trail that will wind them through the forest.
When you're finished hiking, biking, and riding, head on over to Lake Talquin; its beautiful blue waters are cool and inviting after physical activity. Take a powerboat, canoe, or kayak out to investigate coves and discover the lake's secrets. Warm yourself under the sun along the lake's shores. Enjoy the tranquil beauty all around you. And when you've tired yourself out from all the relaxation, take a break for an energy-restoring picnic before heading back out into the waters to enjoy the rest of your day. That's how it is here at Lake Talquin: peaceful, beautiful, enjoyable. Come and visit!
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