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Dudley Farm Historic State Park

 Activities at Dudley Farm Historic State Park

Birding

Birding

Bring your binoculars & enjoy the bluebirds at the Visitor Center. Hawks & other birds may be seen at the farmstead.

Gardens

Gardens

At the turn of the 20th century, neighbors would drive their horse and buggies past the Dudley Farmstead admiring the front yard. Today visitors to Dudley Farm can see the spring bloom at its peak from March through May. Heirloom roses, amaryllis, larkspur and coreopsis provide an explosion of color.  The Red Buckeye Tree, a Florida challenger, can be seen amongst the lovely blooms.

Geo-Seeking

Geo-Seeking

Explore the park in a new and challenging way. Experienced Geocachers have requested permission to hide caches containing trinkets, treasures, or information in various places around the park.  Please check the Geocaching website for the most current and up-to-date information and clues to locate these caches. 

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

The Pause and Ponder Trail - Enjoy this .3 mile loop nature trail at Dudley Farm's Visitor Center. This is your chance to take a quiet, meditative walk through the diverse habitat of Dudley Farm's woodlands. This trail consists of a Mixed Forest interspersed with wild grape vines, American Beauty Berry and seasonal wildflowers.  There is mystery here as the trail slopes downhill and curves out of sight.  A hand-hewn cedar bench is made for resting or bird-watching. Pileated woodpeckers can be heard calling; native magnolias and live oaks create a majestic canopy. The trail begins and ends at the park's picnic area.

 

Historic Site

Historic Site

Dudley Farm was developed by Phillip Benjamin Harvey Dudley, Jr.  He assumed ownership of the farm in 1881 and began to develop the farm complex.  Eighteen buildings constructed between the 1880s and 1945 include the 1880s family farmhouse and separate kitchen, general store, dairy shed, canning house, smokehouse, syrup house and mill, hay and tobacco barns, stables, and drinking well.  Come experience a pioneer farm from the turn of the 20th century.

The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Interpretive Exhibit

Interpretive Exhibit

Located at the Visitors Center; browse through the display cases and follow the timeline depicting Florida's pioneer settlement, pre and post Civil War, the Dudley community and three generations of Dudley family.

Picnicking

Picnicking

The picnic area is located on the west side of the parking lot beneath shaded oaks and is equipped with tables and 3 grills.  Picnic tables are also located at the Visitor's Center front lawn.

Tours

Tours

School groups and organizations must make reservations for tours one month in advance. Groups are limited to 40 people. For more information and a Program Reservation Form, please download the Education Letter and Teacher Packet or call 352-472-1142.  Dudley Farm does not have a staffed ranger station. Staff is often in the field assisting visitors. When calling, please leave a message and someone will contact you within 24 hours (48 hours on weekends).

Pick up a brochure and enjoy a self-guided walking tour of Dudley Farm. An authentic working farm, the homestead consists of: eighteen buildings, including the family farmhouse with original furnishings, an 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store, sweet potato cellar, and a cane syrup complex. Interpreters may be working the farm in the lifestyle of the 1880s to 1940s as they perform daily chores, work the crops, and tend to livestock. (Note: the chickens are penned to protect them from natural predators. The turkeys are on the east side of the farmstead, free-ranging from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.)

Visitor Center

Visitor Center

This 1918 converted farmstead features display cases with Dudley family heirloom artifacts and the Dudley Farm history video, "A Family Legacy".

Weddings

Weddings

The focal points of this park are beautiful moss-draped live oaks, open fields and rustic buildings.  With plenty of open space your wedding can be as lavish as tents set up with silk covered tables, candelabras and romance inspired themes. Or as simple as standing underneath one of our majestic oaks by your loved ones. Let your imagination run wild. The outdoor settings of Dudley Farm can hold up to 150 guests. Please call our wedding coordinator for a quote on your wedding experience (352) 472-1142.

For photos and more information, download Your Dream Wedding at Dudley Farm State Park (PDF - 1.28KB)

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Bring your binoculars & enjoy the bluebirds at the Visitor Center. Hawks & other birds may be seen at the farmstead.

Visitors are able to see and learn about heritage breeds of livestock during their visit. Cracker cattle, chickens, turkeys and mules all call Dudley Farm home. (Note: the chickens are penned to protect them from natural predators. The turkeys are on the east side of the farmstead, free-ranging from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.)