The 150 acres of Bulow Plantation Ruins stand as a monument to the rise and fall of sugar plantations in East Florida.
In 1836, the Second Seminole War swept away the prosperous Bulow Plantation where the Bulow family grew sugar cane, cotton, rice and indigo. Ruins of the former plantation, a sugar mill, a unique spring house, several wells and the crumbling foundations of the plantation house and slave cabins, show how volatile the Florida frontier was in the early 19th century.
Today, a scenic walking trail leads visitors to the sugar mill ruins, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The park has picnic facilities and an interpretive center that tells the plantation's history. A boat ramp provides access for canoes and small powerboats to scenic Bulow Creek, a designated state canoe trail. Anglers can fish from the dock or a boat.
The 6.8 mile Bulow Woods trail is known for the stately oaks and hardwood trees that line the trail. Mountain bikes are a great way to experience this trail. While the trail is generally dry, the wet season can create some shallow standing water and muddy sections. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.
Bulow Creek is recognized as a State Canoe Trail. Each bend of the channel reveals new scenery and opportunity for wildlife sightings. Bald eagles, swallow-tailed kites, and Florida manatees are occasionally seen. Canoes can be rented by the day or hour from the park office, which can provide a map. There is a boat ramp available to launch small powerboats.
Visitors can cast a line for several salt and fresh water species.
All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Explore the park in a new and challenging way. Experienced Geocachers have requested permission to hide caches containing trinkets, treasures, or information in various places around the park. Please check the Geocaching website for the most current and up-to-date information and clues to locate these caches.
Operation Recreation GeoTour
The Bulow Woods Trail is a 6.8 mile hiking trail that runs from the Fairchild Oak in Bulow Creek State Park to Bulow Plantation Ruins State Historic Site. The northern section near Bulow Ruins is recommended for half-day hikes. Starting from the parking area on Plantation Road, the trail crosses open woods before entering Bulow Hammock, where the shaded path winds around massive trunks under the cathedral-like canopy of live oaks. White-tailed deer, barred owls, and raccoons are commonly seen, and, occasionally, a diamondback rattlesnake. The hiking trail is open for day use from 8:30 am to sunset. Trail maps and other information may be obtained at the park office of Tomoka State Park, 4.5 miles south of Bulow Creek State Park on Old Dixie Highway.
A small picnic area complete with grills is located along the scenic banks of Bulow Creek. There is a screened pavilion available by reservations for larger groups. This pavilion has become quite popular for family reunions and birthday parties. Restrooms are provided in the picnic area and interpretive center.
Bulow Plantation is committed to providing a variety of amenities accessible to all visitors. These amenities include:
Interpretive exhibits are available.
The outdoor museum houses a number of artifacts from the Bulow era as well as written accounts of the historical happenings at the plantation.
A screened-in picnic pavilion is available overlooking scenic Bulow Creek. This facility has an accessible restroom, 6 picnic tables, accommodating approximately 48 people, with grills available outside in the picnic area.
There is a restroom facility at the museum and an accessible restroom at the picnic pavilion.
Boats more than 16’ long are not recommended on Bulow Creek.