This diverse state park offers a whole lot of nature and history, beginning with the Fairchild Oak, one of the largest live oaks in the South.
It has stood in this very spot for over 400 years; just imagine the things it has seen, hurricanes, wars, floods, fires, and droughts, oh my.
The Fairchild Oak marks the beginning of a 6.8 mile hiking trail, leading to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park. While I love hiking trails, 6.8 miles seems a little daunting, but maybe someday. Instead, I chose to drive. It’s a scenic drive with plenty of spots to stop and walk around.
There are even some sugar mill ruins along the way. Like Dummitt Plantation Mill.
This mill, like many others in the area, was burned down and partially destroyed during the Second Seminole War in 1836. You can’t get as close to these ruins as Bulow Plantation Ruins, but it’s still a spectacular sight you can see from the Old Dixie Highway.
Old Beach Road, as it is called now, was the original road leading to and from the Bulow Plantation.
This one wagon road was used to transport goods produced at the plantation to various locations in Florida. I could tell the road hadn’t been widened since; it was a struggle driving our compact car down it. Luckily, no one was trying to leave the plantation as we arrived.
Bulow Plantation prospered until the Second Seminole War.
In 1836, ‘Bulowville’ was burned down. After that, the plantation was abandoned and all that was left is what stands today.
The coquina ruins of the sugar mill, some wells, a spring house, the crumbling foundation of the mansion and lots and lots of mosquitos are all that remain.
I’m serious about the mosquitos, and you should take this as a warning if you plan to visit.
On our way back home, we took the scenic route through Bulow Creek State Park.
As you can see, the drive was worth it.
Now I’m off to my next adventure.