Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park (BPRHSP) is in Flagler County, maybe a mile north of the Volusia County line, on Old Kings Road. The one mile dirt road into the Park is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Tree lined, I saw deer the last time I was there, in June 2010. After that paddle, I told myslef I had to do a car/bike shuttle in the fall. Bulow Creek is not shaded. Fall, and winter came and went. Summer is here, in May. But, today's forecast was highs in the mid 80's. It was now or never- or October. Dropped off the kayak, drove to High Bridge. Parked, got on the bike.
The dirt is hard packed. No problem for a skinny tire road bike.
A few of the ruins. I'll show more later.
I was on Bulow Creek at 11:15.
Blue heron. Not a typo. The blue will come out as it matures. I did not see a lot of wildlife. More blue herons, great blue, and green herons. Four alligators.
Great blue heron barely visible, flying away.
I have the world's worst sense of direction and wasn't entirely sure I was going the right way. Was I going with the current, or was the wind pushing the water the other way? I resolved to ask someone, but there was no one to ask. I did see two people at the Cisco Ditch, a canal, but they left before I got near. Seeing the Ditch, I knew I was headed the right direction. Until I hit a dead end. Had I gone the wrong way? From BPRHSP, it is 3 miles to start of Bulow Creek. Based on time, I had gone about that far. I turned around, got into a different channel. Also the wrong way, but at least I got a gator photo.
Good thing there were only 3 channels. Third was the charm.
My sense of direction is poor, so is my grasp of technology. But, last night, I got the camera's zoom function working. So a closer pic of today's osprey compared to yesterday.
Road signs confirmed it.
I don't remember this bridge. Had to be built since 2005, my last visit here.
A gate, a fence, and what appears to be a private home. I've searched to find info on it. Nothing so far. I just wonder how many people you need to pay off to build a private bridge. And I don't mean bricklayers and masons.
Bulow Creek ends at the Halifax River.
By modern standards, low bridge. Built in 1955. I paddled under it to Smith Creek.
Smith Creek is very short. Part of North Peninsula State Park. I landed.
Florida Greenways and Trails suggest Smith Creek as a landing site and not Highbridge Park. Bulow Creek Canoe Trail I'll follow that advice next time. Anything to avoid motorboats. Although I did have to deal with them when I made the short paddle back to Highbridge.
Found a dirt area away from the boat ramp and landed about 2. Loaded the yak and drove back to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park. From the picnic area, there are to ways to get to the main ruins. A dirt road, or a nature trail. I took the nature trail.
Which ends at the largest sugar mill in the Florida Territory in 1836. Florida did not achieve statehood until 1845.
The plantation and sugar mill as begun in 1819, when Florida as a Spanish possession. I'm a history buff, and a history major, and this stuff fascinates me. Quite the industrial operation in the backwater that was Florida. Heck, Florida was a backwater until WW II.
Of course, this was built with slave labor.
A natural interlude in the ruins pics.
Back to the ruins. What you see is coquina- the same material found in the Castillo San Marcos in St. Augustine. Any wood parts of the mill burned in 1836 during the Second Seminole War.