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Explore Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park

December 13, 2020 by Corey A Edwards

Olustee BattlefieldBoth Civil War buffs and nature lovers will enjoy a visit to Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park in Osceola National Forest. The park commemorates Florida’s largest Civil War battle.

The Battle of Olustee took place on February 20th in 1864, in a pine forest near the town of Olustee, FL. More than 10,000 troops were involved in the conflict, including three “colored” regiments on the Union side.

The 54th Massachusetts, made famous in the 1989 film “Glory,” starring Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick, was one such regiment. In fact, some scenes from “Glory” were filmed during a reenactment right here in the park!

The Olustee conflict ended after five hours of intense fighting, with 2,807 casualties and the Union troops retreating to Jacksonville. This decisive defeat of the Union at Olustee ended their invasion of Confederate Florida for the remainder of the war.

Olustee Battlefield became Florida’s first state park 48 years later, on October 23, 1912.

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Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

July 27, 2018 by Corey A Edwards

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State ParkGold Head Branch State Park is one of Florida’s oldest state parks. It’s 2,000 acres include sandhills, marshes, ravines, lakes, wildlife, and hiking trails to explore.

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park is just 20 minutes away from our North Central Florida inn, Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast. The historic state park is located between Gainesville and Jacksonville, six miles north of Keystone Heights on SR 21.

The park was developed in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the first New Deal agency to begin operations in Florida. The CCC constructed a number of parks and facilities throughout Florida during the 1930’s and Gold Head Branch State Park was one of the first. The CCC’s extraordinary craftsmanship is still in evidence in the park today and one reason to visit.

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