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USA Parks
USA Parks
Florida
Florida
North Central Region
North Central Region
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
STEPHEN FOSTER FOLK CULTURE CENTER STATE PARK
STEPHEN FOSTER FOLK CULTURE CENTER STATE PARK
Post Office Drawer G
White Springs, Florida   32096

Phone: 386-397-2733
Reservations: 800-326-3521
Situated on the banks of the legendary Suwannee River, this center honors the memory of American composer Stephen Foster, who wrote "Old Folks at Home," the song that made the river famous. The museum features exhibits about Foster's most famous songs and his music can be heard emanating from the park's 97-bell carillon throughout the day. In Craft Square, visitors can watch demonstrations of quilting, blacksmithing, stain glass making, and other crafts, or visit the gift shop. Hiking, bicycling, canoeing, and wildlife viewing are popular activities. Miles of trails wind through some of the most scenic areas of North Florida. For overnight stays, visitors can camp in the full-facility campground or stay in a cabin. Every Memorial Day weekend (last weekend in May), the park hosts the Florida Folk Festival. Other special events include concerts, weekend retreats, a monthly coffeehouse, a regional quilt show, and an antique tractor show. Located in White Springs off U.S. 41 North.
History of the Area
In 1931 Josiah K. Lilly, an Indiana pharmaceutical manufacturer, suggested that Florida create a memorial to the American composer Stephen Foster, whose lyrics had made the Suwannee River famous around the world. The Florida Federation of Music Clubs worked with local citizens in White Springs to obtain land contributions that were then presented to the state. In 1950 the Stephen Foster Memorial Commission was set up to administer development of the park. Shortly thereafter the Florida Folk Festival was established to highlight the state?s cultural history and traditions. In 1979 the memorial became a part of the Florida Park Service and now carries the name of the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. In 2002, the Florida Folk Festival will celebrate its 50th year anniversary.

White SpringsThe Suwannee River has its headwaters in the Okefenokee Swamp of southeastern Georgia. It travels a southwestern course for about 250 miles before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. East of White Springs, the river?s limestone outcroppings and a drop in elevation create Florida?s only whitewater rapids at Big Shoals. Opportunities abound for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and camping along the Suwannee River.

White Sulphur Springs, located on the banks of the Suwannee River at the Stephen Foster Center, can be dated at least to the 1700s. Native Americans regarded the sulphur springs as sacred ground because of its curative powers.

White European settlers did not establish substantial populations in the area until after the Civil War. In the late 1800s, they began promoting the springs as a health resort, advertising the sulphuric waters as a cure for almost any ailment.

In 1906 the spring was enclosed with gates and a high concrete wall to keep the river out. Buildings on either side of the spring contained shops, dressing rooms, and clinical examination rooms. Among the resort?s many famous visitors were Henry Ford and Teddy Roosevelt. The spring house continued to attract visitors as late as the 1950s. Today the original concrete wall and gate still exist. White Springs retains its cultural heritage as a tourist destination spot.
Camping
The newly renovated campground offers 45 oak-shaded sites with electricity available and state-of-the-art bathhouses. Pets are also welcome at Stephen Foster campground.

RV Camping

The campground at Stephen Foster State Park has 45 oak-shaded sites, all of which will accommodate RV camping. Fourteen of the sites are pull-through sites for larger rigs. Three of the sites have 50 AMP electrical hookups and the remainder have 30 AMP hookups. All of the sites have an in-ground fire ring, potable water, and a picnic table. The campground features two state-of-the-art bathhouses and a washer and dryer. The dump station is located at the campground entrance.
Cabins
Each of our five riverside cabins can accommodate a maximum of 6 people. These spacious two-bedroom cabins have centralized heating and cooling, a gas fireplace, screened-in porch, and kitchenette. They are fully equipped with linens and kitchen utensils. One of the cabins is ADA accessible. Pets are not permitted in the cabins or cabin area. No minimum or maximum stay is required.
Events
July 18
Antiques, Arts and Collectibles Day
Collectors from all across the area will gather at Stephen Foster to display antiques, unique art and collectibles. Come enjoy a variety of collections of teapots, linens, furniture, dolls, silver, farm equipment and more. Spend time visiting with the collectors to learn about their different items and how they started collecting.

Additional Information:

If you are interested in displaying your special collection or antiques, please contact Pat Cromer at 386-397-4408.

There will be no set-up fee for collectors. Selling of items will not be permitted.

September 11
Stephen Foster Old Time Music Weekend
This three day event offers participants in-depth instruction in old time music techniques on the banjo, guitar, and fiddle for all levels. Concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday evenings in the park auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Friday evening is the Florida Masters Concert and Saturday evening is the Instructor's Showcase.

Additional Information:

A spouse program is also offered for just $85.00 and includes two concerts, jams and all meals.

Tickets for public admission to the concerts are $10.00.

$199.00 registration includes all workshops, jam sessions, discussion groups, concerts and meals.

September 12
Stephen Foster Old Time Music Weekend
This three day event offers participants in-depth instruction in old time music techniques on the banjo, guitar, and fiddle for all levels. Concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday evenings in the park auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Friday evening is the Florida Masters Concert and Saturday evening is the Instructor's Showcase.

Additional Information:

A spouse program is also offered for just $85.00 and includes two concerts, jams and all meals.

Tickets for public admission to the concerts are $10.00.

$199.00 registration includes all workshops, jam sessions, discussion groups, concerts and meals.

September 13
Stephen Foster Old Time Music Weekend
This three day event offers participants in-depth instruction in old time music techniques on the banjo, guitar, and fiddle for all levels. Concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday evenings in the park auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Friday evening is the Florida Masters Concert and Saturday evening is the Instructor's Showcase.

Additional Information:

A spouse program is also offered for just $85.00 and includes two concerts, jams and all meals.

Tickets for public admission to the concerts are $10.00.

$199.00 registration includes all workshops, jam sessions, discussion groups, concerts and meals.

Canoeing
For about six months a year water levels in the Suwannee make the river accessible only by canoe. In the springtime wild azaleas crowd the ridgeline above the river. During periods of low water flow, limestone outcroppings, small caves, rock formations and overhangs can be enjoyed along the river course. Alligators and turtles can be viewed in their natural habitats. Canoeing also affords visitors excellent fishing opportunities. Canoe liveries are available locally.


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Picnicking
Picnic tables are located throughout the park, in tall pine groves and beneath shaded oaks. Tables are available near the carillon, at the childrens playground, near the museum, and Nelly Bly's Kitchen. Each campsite in the park also has a picnic table.
Trails
Carter Camp Trail is a multi-use trail for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. The four-mile trail winds through piney flatwoods and along a river flood plain hammock. Alongside the Suwannee River visitors can see limestone outcroppings and rock formations. Gopher tortoise, box turtles, alligators, white-tailed deer, wood ducks and many bird species are companions along the forested trail. A portion of the trail is designated as part of the Florida Scenic Trail, which travels approximately 100 miles through north central Florida. Maps of trails are available in the local community. Proof of a negative Coggins test is required for horseback riding.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews


Pets
Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and can not be left unattended for more than a half-hour. Dogs are not permitted in our buildings or cabins and may not be allowed at some special events. If you are planning to bring your pet to a special event, please call the park in advance to confirm pet access.

Pet camping is available in our campground. Florida law requires that pets be vaccinated against rabies. Pets must be confined, leashed, or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Leashes must be hand-held and may not exceed six feet in length. Pets must be well-behaved at all times and must be confined in the owner's camping unit during designated quiet hours (11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.). Unconfined pets must be leashed and cannot be left unattended for more than thirty minutes. Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles. Pets considered a nuisance are not allowed to remain in the park.
Weather Forecast, (32096)

Directions
Located on U.S. 41 in White Springs. From I-75 to S.R. 136 (Milepost Exit 439 - Old Exit 84), travel east on S.R. 136 for 3 miles. Turn left on U.S. 41. Park entrance is on the left. From I-10 to U.S. 41 North (Milepost Exit 301 - Old Exit 43), travel 9 miles to White Springs. Park entrance is on the left.

USA Parks
USA Parks
Florida
Florida
North Central Region
North Central Region
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park