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Bulow Creek State Park

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Bulow Creek State Park is home to many ancient and awe-inspiring oak trees and a must-see stop on a Florida RV Tour. The park is located south of Jacksonville, along the eastern coast of Florida 5-miles north of Ormond Beach along the Old Dixie Highway. Entrance to the park is free, and it’s open from 8 am until sunset.

Fauna and Wildlife at Bulow Creek State Park

The park protects one of the biggest remaining southern live oak forests, nearly 5,600 acres of amazing, Spanish moss covered trees. The most striking tree in the park is the Fairchild Oak, which is among the largest surviving live oaks in the entire South. While some sources say the tree is more than 2,000 years old, others estimate it at 300-500 years old. Either way, this particular tree has survived more than 400 years of history. It’s near the screened picnic pavilion overlooking the creek at the entrance to the park.

The historic Fairchild Oak. Photo credit floridastateparks.org

The park is also home to more than 1,500 acres of submerged wetlands. At Walter Boardman Pond you might see all types of waterfowl and wading birds, such as egrets, great blue herons, wood ducks and wood storks. Or, can launch a small boat at the boat launch along the creek; it’s the perfect place to go fishing. However, you do need a Florida state fishing license.

The park has several nature trails, including The 7-mile long Bulow Woods Trail, leading to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park. Bulow Plantation Historic State Park is home to the ruins of an antebellum plantation and the plantation sugar mill. These were constructed of beautiful coquina sedimentary rock, which is made up of crushed seashells. The plantation was established in 1821 by Major Charles Bulow, originally from France. At the time, it was the biggest plantation in Eastern Florida, producing sugarcane and indigo. Sadly, The Bulow plantation was destroyed in 1836 during the Seminole War.

The park boasts more than 1,500 submerged acres giving it a primordial feel. Photo credit floridahikes.com.

The Wahlin Trail is a short, circular trail, featuring a small spring, totaling around half a mile. It’s a great scenic option for visitors hiking with small children, or for those with mobility issues.

Along the nature trails, visitors will marvel at the amazingly dense, tropical forest, as well as the ponds and marshes. Likewise, there is also abundant wildlife, including raccoons, deer, and many fascinating bird species. Majestic bald eagles have been known to soar high above the park, as well as the unusual Swallow-Tailed Kite.

Camping at Bulow Creek State Park

While there is no RV camping at Bulow Creek State Park, there is RV camping at nearby Tomoka State Park, less than 5 miles away. Tomoka State Park is also well worth the visit. Native Americans once fished the lagoons here, and today, it’s a popular place for boating and fishing. Tomoka State Park also has a wide variety of wildlife, including the West Indian manatee. The campground here features 88 sites with 30 amp electric, with a dump station and potable water. The rate is $24 a night. However, The large, beautiful trees surrounding the campsites create size restrictions; no RVs longer than 34′ or taller than 11′. This may restrict quite a few 5th-wheels from using the campground. Also, it’s very popular, and reservations may be made up to 11-months in advance, through Reserve America.

The Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area is also just a short drive from Bulow Creek and a popular spot for RV camping near the beach.

For more information, you can visit the Bulow Creek State Park page on Florida State Parks or call 386.676.4050.

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