Florida Guide > State Parks
DUDLEY FARM HISTORICAL STATE PARK
Dudley Farm Historic State Park is situated between Newberry and Gainseville
If you go back far enough this land was just wire grass and pine trees. A gentleman called P. H. Dudley started farming here before the American Civil War. The incumbent pine trees were put to good use to build fences, out buildings and barns.
In the 1880's his son (also called P. H. Dudley) improved the farm to make it very like it is today. Here you can see how farming has changed(or in some cases not changed too much) over the last two hundred and fifty years
They still plant crops here and keep live stock, choosing the breeds that we might have seen in the Dudleys time. Two of the ancient breeds they have here are cracker cattle and heritage roses.
If you possibly can, time your visit between wednesday and sunday when the staff dress in farm costumes appropriate to the Dudley era.
At the visitor centre are many farming exhibits and some demonstrations take place. These include cane grindings and corn shucking and other farming tasks These centres are always a good place to start your day at any State Park.
You will see the farmhouse that was lived in by 3 generations of Dudleys (incredibly the farm stayed in the family for all of its time)Also the out door kitchen they used and a post office and general stores.
There is a short trail that loops round sink holes and hammocks. Sink Holes are created over centuries when the acid rain drips through the vegetation making the acidity more pronounced and eventually wearing away the imestone floor. This creates a cavern which ultimately caves in.
They have provided a pic nic area and you will find this to one side of the car park, so take a packed lunch and enjoy a welcome break. There are barbecues for those who can organise themselves to take the provisions (first come, first served)
If you are visiting between June and September you can join in with the harvesting. The crops here are sugar cane, fruits, vegetables and nuts. All the crops are as they would have been long ago.
The self guided tour is fun (pick up a leaflet from the visitor centre)Make sure that in the warmer months you come armed with sun screen, sun hats, insect repellant and plenty to drink.
It is a good idea to take a 2 day side trip from the Orlando area and stay in Gainseville. You could maybe combine this park with tubing in Ichnetucknee?
18730 West Newberry Road
Tel 353 472 1142
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