Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park is a Florida State Park in the Osceola National Forest, near the town of Olustee. The site of Florida's largest Civil War battle, the park is located 50 miles (80 km) west of Jacksonville and 15 miles (24 km) east of Lake City, on U.S. 90. It also has the honor of being the first park in the Florida State Park system.
The State of Florida actually owns only 3.09 acres (12,500 m2) of the Park, but manages another 688 acres (2.78 km2) of the original battlefield under a Special Use Permit from the United States Forest Service.
Under the title of Olustee Battlefield, it was added to the U.S.National Register of Historic Places on August 12, 1970.
In 1897, the Florida Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) began raising funds to place a monument at the battle site. Two years later, the Florida Legislature appropriated $2,500.00 and established a commission to oversee construction of the monument. The project was completed in 1912, and the monument was officially dedicated on October 23, 1912. The UDC administered the Olustee Battlefield Memorial until 1949, when the Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials assumed responsibility. Today the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park is administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks.
Year-round park activities include hiking, picnicing, and viewing interpretive displays. Amenities include a one mile (1.6 km) hiking trail with interpretive displays, picnic tables and a small interpretive center about the battle. In addition, the Florida Trail goes through the Historic Site, with the Olustee Trailhead close to the entrance just off U.S. 90.
A one-day Expo is held every September, on a Saturday late in the month (see Footnotes), with reenactors portraying infantry, cavalry, artillery and 1860s civilians. Historical displays include weapons, books, slave histories, sutlers (period merchants), blacksmiths, and others.
On one weekend every February (see Footnotes), thousands of reenactors from across the U.S. and even from overseas, come to the Park to reenact the Battle of Olustee. Reenactors begin arriving as early as Thursday to set up. Friday is usually reserved as a "School Day" when thousands of students arrive to spend the day watching demonstrations and listening to living historians discuss various aspects of the war and 1860s life in the United States. The public is invited to attend the reenactment on Saturday and Sunday, visit the camps, view demonstrations, interact with living historians, shop at numerous sutler tents for Civil War merchandise, and attend the battle on each day. A large selection of modern day food is continuously available from Friday through Sunday at the park.
Florida state parks are open between 8 A.M. and sundown every day of the year (including holidays).
Biscayne National Park •Dry Tortugas National Park •Everglades National Park
National Monuments and Memorials
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument •Fort Matanzas National Monument •De Soto National Memorial •Fort Caroline National Memorial
Apalachicola •Choctawhatchee •Ocala •Osceola
National Wildlife Refuges
Archie Carr • Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee • Caloosahatchee • Cedar Keys • Chassahowitzka • Crocodile Lake • Crystal River • Egmont Key • Florida Panther • Great White Heron • Hobe Sound • Island Bay • J.N. 'Ding' Darling • Key West • Lake Wales Ridge • Lake Woodruff • Lower Suwannee • Matlacha Pass • Merritt Island • National Key Deer • Okefenokee • Passage Key • Pelican Island • Pine Island • Pinellas • St. Johns • St. Marks • St. Vincent • Ten Thousand Islands
Other National Protected Areas
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary •Big Cypress National Preserve •Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve • Canaveral National Seashore •Gulf Islands National Seashore • Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve •Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve •Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Amelia Island •Anastasia •Avalon •Bahia Honda •Bald Point •Big Lagoon •Big Talbot Island •Bill Baggs Cape Florida •Bulow Creek •Caladesi Island •Camp Helen •Cayo Costa •Collier-Seminole •Curry Hammock •Delnor-Wiggins Pass •Devil's Millhopper •Don Pedro Island •Eden Gardens •Egmont Key •Falling Waters •Faver-Dykes •Florida Caverns •Fort Clinch •Fort Cooper •Fort George Island •Fort Pierce Inlet •Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou •Gasparilla Island •George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier •Highlands Hammock •Hontoon Island •Hugh Taylor Birch •John D. MacArthur Beach •John Pennekamp Coral Reef •John U. Lloyd Beach •Jonathan Dickinson •Little Talbot Island •Long Key •Lovers Key / Carl E. Johnson •Mike Roess Gold Head Branch •Navarre Beach •North Peninsula •O'Leno •Oscar Scherer •Ravine Gardens •River Bluff Picnic Site •Sebastian Inlet •Skyway Fishing Pier •St. George Island •St. Joseph Peninsula •Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center •Stump Pass Beach •Tomoka •Torreya •Windley Key Fossil Reef
Botanical Garden Parks
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens •Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock •Lignumvitae Key •Washington Oaks State Gardens
Lakes, Rivers and Springs Parks
Deer Lake •Lake Griffin •Lake June in Winter Scrub •Lake Kissimmee •Lake Louisa •Lake Manatee •Lake Talquin •Alafia River •Blackwater River •Econfina River •Guana River •Hillsborough River •Little Manatee River •Myakka River •Ochlockonee River •Silver River •Suwannee River •Blue Spring •De Leon Springs •Edward Ball Wakulla Springs •Fanning Springs •Homosassa Springs Wildlife •Ichetucknee Springs •Lafayette Blue Springs •Madison Blue Springs •Manatee Springs •Peacock Springs •Rainbow Springs •Troy Springs •Weeki Wachee Springs •Wekiwa Springs •Werner-Boyce Salt Springs
Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek •Dead Lakes •Dunns Creek •Gamble Rogers Memorial •Grayton Beach •Henderson Beach •Honeymoon Island •Oleta River •Perdido Key •Ponce de Leon Springs •St. Andrews •Three Rivers
Museums, Historic sites, and Archaeological sites
Cedar Key Museum •Constitution Convention Museum •Forest Capital Museum •John Gorrie State Museum •Ybor City Museum •The Barnacle •Bulow Plantation Ruins •Dade Battlefield •DeSoto Site •Dudley Farm •Fort Foster •Fort Mose •Fort Zachary Taylor •Gamble Plantation •Indian Key •Koreshan •Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Homestead •Natural Bridge Battlefield •Olustee Battlefield •Orman House •Paynes Creek •San Marcos de Apalache •Yellow Bluff Fort •Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins •Crystal River •Lake Jackson Mounds •Letchworth Mounds •Madira Bickel Mound •Mound Key •San Pedro Underwater
Preserves and Reserves
Anclote Key •Cedar Key Scrub •Charlotte Harbor •Crystal River •Estero Bay •Fakahatchee Strand •Grassy Lake •Hal Scott •Kissimmee Prairie •Lower Wekiva River •Paynes Prairie •Pumpkin Hill Creek •River Rise •Rock Springs Run •San Felasco Hammock •Savannas •Seabranch •St. Lucie Inlet •St. Sebastian River •Tarkiln Bayou •Topsail Hill •Tosohatchee •Waccasassa Bay •Yellow River Marsh
Gainesville-Hawthorne •General James A. Van Fleet •Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail •Withlacoochee
Belmore •Big Shoals Public Lands •Blackwater River •Carl Duval Moore •Cary •Cottage Hill •Deep Creek •Etoniah Creek •Four Creeks •Goethe •Holopaw •Indian Lake •Jennings •John Bethea •Lake George •Lake Talquin •Lake Wales Ridge •Little Big Econ •Matanzas •Myakka •Okaloacoochee Slough •Picayune Strand •Pine Log •Point Washington •Ralph E. Simmons Memorial •Ross Prairie •Seminole •Tate's Hell •Tiger Bay •Twin Rivers •Wakulla •Watson Island •Welaka •Withlacoochee