A Message from the Park Manager

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alt text: the park manager is pictured in burn gear

People who love history love Dade Battlefield Historic State Park. So do people who love nature. Or volunteering. Or taking part in fun activities and events.

As one park visitor said when she noticed me in uniform at a local diner recently, "It seems like there's always something going on at Dade Park these days!"

Weighing in at just 80.6 acres - we always count the .6 - Dade Battlefield is small as Florida State Parks go. But we are mighty in terms of programming and the devotion staff and volunteers feel for this little gem.

Dade combines beautiful natural resources with a compelling historical narrative that we find evocative and moving.  Many visitors come to the park having never heard of Dade's Battle of 1835 or the long Indian war it started. Most leave wanting to learn more.

And while we take our history seriously here, state parks are also about enjoying friends, family and the great Florida outdoors.  There are so many opportunities to do that here.  Programs throughout the year range from ranger walks and talks to our spooky Haunted Trail and Village event or the charming Christmas on the Florida Frontier. Hands-on classes enable you to try your skill at a variety of pioneer arts and newer crafts. Enjoy playing or listening to music?  Join us around the campfire. Want to learn how to use that fire to cook in a Dutch oven?  We'll show you how.  Our Dade Pioneers youth group offers an array of programming geared toward youngsters, as do our two summer day camps. There's just too much to list it all here.

Upcoming classes, programs and events are updated regularly in the "park events" section of this website. We invite you to check back regularly to see what's up.  Or just stop by or call us at 352-793-4781. We'll be happy to fill you in.

Of course, our largest and most anticipated event each year is the reenactment of Dade's Battle of 1835, always held the first full weekend in January. Planning is already under way for the next one.

When not interpreting the park's natural and cultural resources, park staff and volunteers are busy preserving and restoring them. An active prescribed fire program and ongoing exotic plant removal efforts ensure that our little slice of The Real Florida is ready for you to explore and enjoy.

We look forward to seeing you around the park!

Bill Gruber, Park Manager