View All Parks Director's Message

Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

 About Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

Seminole reenactor. Photo by Bonnie Gearhart.

A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER

Bill Gruber

It seems as if our cool-weather event season is just flying by here at Dade Battlefield.

The staff and volunteers have been excited by the positive visitor response to our annual offerings that so far this year that have included a Native American Pow-Wow; the Road Back in Time living history event; the Haunted Hayride and Trail; Frank Thomas Folk Heritage and Music Festival; Christmas on the Florida Frontier and much more, always highlighted by the annual reenactment of Dade's Battle of 1835 in January, which drew almost 2,000 people to the park this year.

And it isn't over yet!  Be sure to mark your calendars for the much-anticipated World War II Weekend on March 7 and 8. Allied and Axis reenactors will demonstrate period vehicles and equipment as they honor the Greatest Generation and our veterans of all wars. A daily skirmish between the opposing forces is always a favorite of park visitors.

Please also join us for two new events, Campfire Music Jam Night on February 27 and Dog Day in the Park on March 14. 

The ever-popular hands-on programs will include palm frond weaving, pine needle basket making and other crafts along with wild foods foraging, incredible edibles and more. Check the listings under the Events tab often for new updates on programs, classes and other activities here in your state park.

Of course you don't need to be attending an event or craft class to enjoy a visit to Dade Battlefield. This is also a great time of year for hiking and picnics in the park. Pavilions provide shade and seating, and the nearby playground is a magnet for youngsters. Try hiking our beautiful nature trail, which loops through longleaf pine flatwoods that appear much as they did in pioneer times. Birding and wildlife photography are popular pastimes here.

History buffs will want to spend time in the visitor center and museum. An award-winning 12-minute video tells about the battle from which the park gets its name, and historical displays including period artifacts help bring the past to life. Hats, t-shirts, books and other items are available for purchase at the visitor center, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year.

Planning is already under way for the next reenactment of Dade's Battle of 1835, January 2 and 3, 2016. While the battle reenactment is our best-known and most eagerly awaited event, it's plain to see there are many others throughout the year. Again, be sure to click the events link above for current information. If you are interested in helping with a special event, or have questions, please call the park office at 352-793-4781.

We have limited resident volunteer campsites, and area residents who wish to volunteer in the park are always welcome and appreciated. We especially need local volunteers in the summer months, when many seasonal volunteers head north just as the grassy areas and trails head into their growth spurts. Please call the park office at 352-793-4781 for more information on volunteering. Volunteers make the many events and activities offered at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park possible, just as they helped your Florida State Parks win their third Gold Medal Award for being the best in the nation.

DESIGNATIONS

Trail of Florida's Indian Heritage Logo Greenways and Trails Designated Site Logo

GETTING HERE

  • Dade Battlefield Historic State Park is located in Bushnell between I-75 to the west and U.S. Highway 301 to the east.
    • FROM I-75: Take Bushnell Exit 314 and head east toward downtown Bushnell on County Road 48. Just past the True Value hardware store on the right, turn right onto CR 603 (Battlefield Parkway). Follow CR 603 to the end. It dead ends in the park.
    • FROM U.S. 301 in downtown Bushnell, head west on County Road 48. Turn left onto CR 603 (Battlefield Parkway). Follow CR 603 to the end. It dead ends in the park.
    • PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT follow GPS directions that take you to County Road 650. This will bring you to a locked service gate at the back of the park.

GET INVOLVED

CONCESSIONAIRES

PET POLICY