DUDLEY FARM HISTORIC STATE PARK
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this park demonstrates the evolution of Florida farming from the 1850s to the mid-1940s-through three generations of the Dudley family. An authentic working farm, the homestead consists of eighteen buildings, including the family farmhouse with original furnishings, an 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store and post office, and a functional cane syrup complex. Park staff in period clothing perform daily chores, raising crops, and tending to livestock. The farm features seasonal cane grindings, corn shuckings, and heritage varieties of livestock and plants. Deer, wild turkeys, gopher tortoises, and bluebirds are still seen in the fields. The park has a visitor center, picnic area, and nature trail. Self-guided tours are available Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Group tours can be reserved one month in advance. Smoking and pets are not allowed at the farmstead. Located seven miles west of I-75 on State Road 26 between Newberry and Gainesville.
Bring your binoculars & enjoy the bluebirds at the Visitor Center. Hawks & other birds may be seen at the farmstead
As you step back in time from the Dudley Farm Visitor Center, you follow the old road to Gainesville. To the north, are open pasture and croplands, but before the Dudley family settled here from South Carolina, this land supported longleaf pine and wiregrass. These pine trees supplied the lumber for the farm?s 18 buildings and provided the posts and rails for fences. Across the field is the 100 year old rail fence that surrounded the original log home site of Phillip Benjamin Harvey Dudley (P.B.H., Sr.). He established Dudley Farm before the Civil War.
His son, P.B.H. Dudley, Jr. developed the 1880s farm that can be seen today. Spanning one hundred and fifty years, three generations of the Dudley family lived and worked this piece of land which became a significant crossroads community by the 1880s. Dudley Farm represents the evolution of Florida farming from the 1850s to the mid 20th century.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park is located near Alachua, Gainesville and High Springs
The picnic area is located on the west side of the parking lot across from the visitor center and is equipped with 6 tables and 3 grills.
Picnic Area Loop - A pleasant 15 minute walk that wanders through a hammock with many live oaks and sinkholes.
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. There is mystery here as the trail slopes downhill and curves out of sight. The trail climbs to high ground with a view out over pasture land where the Dudleys once grew cotton and where cows still graze. 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.
The Old Homestead Trail - This trail is featured January through June; the 2nd Saturday of the month.A ranger or docent will meet you at the Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m. for this behind-the-scenes view of the Dudley Farm that was before the existing 1880s farmstead. The original log homesite location and possible slave houses location will be pointed out. Participants will learn about Captain PBH Dudley, who established the original farm. This walk back through time traverses the original lane past 100-year-old split rail fences. One will experience the flavor of the true South while walking under ancient canopy live oaks and red cedars dripping with Spanish moss.Allow a leisurely hour or two for this new guided walk.
School groups and organizations must make reservations for tours one month in advance. Groups are limited to 40 people. Please call the park office at 352-472-1142 for group tour guidelines and information
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, a 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store and post office, and a functional cane syrup complex. See costumed interpreters working the farm in the lifestyle of the 1880's to 1940's as they perform daily chores, work the crops, and tend to livestock. (Note: the chickens are sometimes 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., east side of the Brooder House.)
Seasonal Harvest Time - From June through November experience and participate in the farm harvest of fruits, nuts and crops; including figs, peaches, pears, pecans, field corn, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane. Call the park for more information(352)472-1142.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park is located 4 miles east of Newberry on SR 26.