Description - Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 80-acre park features the historic battlefield, a visitor center, playground, recreation hall and a nature trail through 40 acres of pine flatwoods. Graceful live oak trees with moss-draped branches provide a tranquil backdrop for a peaceful picnic and reflection. The end of December is the annual re-enactment period visited by thousands each year. On event days, the park gates open at 9 A.M. with activities and food concessions going until 5 P.M. Battle reenactment at 2 P.M. each day. Donations: $5 for adults; 12 and under free. In addition, a World War II Commemorative Day is held early August.
Copyright: - Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Dade Battlefield State Historic Site
- "Have a good heart; our difficulties and dangers are over now, and as soon as we arrive at Fort King you'll have three days to rest and keep Christmas gaily." Major Francis L. Dade spoke these words of encouragement to 108 cold, tired soldiers in a pine forest on the morning of December 28, 1835. Within eight hours, only three soldiers would survive the battle that marked the beginning of the Second Seminole War.
The story of this momentous battle in Florida history is told in the visitor center at Dade Battlefield State Historic Site. An annual re-enactment is co-sponsored by the Dade Battlefield Society, a citizen support organization. The re-enactment is held on the weekend falling closest to the actual battle date. The weekend event includes many displays of historic memorabilia of the battle era. Festivities begin at 9 A.M. and continue until sunset both days. There is also a World War II Commemorative day held in early August of each year.
Recreation - Dade Battlefield State Historic Site offers hiking, picnicking, a visitor center, recreation hall, and an annual re-enactment. The picnic shelters and the recreation hall are available for rental and can be reserved by contacting the park office. The recreation hall features a full kitchen, restrooms and shuffleboard court. A nature trail meanders through the longleaf pine flatwoods that is similar to the forest where the battle was fought. Trail labels mark the military road and battlefield. In addition, a 6.2-mile FVA (Florida Volksport Association) trail traverses the park and into the adjacent neighborhood. The park also features ranger guided tours with two months advance notice.
The visitor center is open daily from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. A $2 fee is charged for entering the park. This is a per vehicle or bicycle rate. There is no additional fee for the visitor center. The entrance fee is slightly higher on special event days.
Climate - Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.
Dade Battlefield State historic Site is located in southwest Florida off Interstate highway 75, exit 63 East, west of Highway 301 and north of Tampa.