(Last Updated On: December 24, 2022)
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' house in Cross Creek

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ house in Cross Creek. Photo: Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in Cross Creek, roughly halfway between Jacksonville and Orlando, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park is a fascinating place to visit.

Designated as a National Historic Landmark, it is situated on the homestead that was once owned by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. An incredibly talented author who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her book The Yearling in 1939.

Providing an absorbing insight into what farm life was like in this part of Florida in the 1930s, her cracker-style property has been meticulously preserved and restored to how it was when she resided here.

Open every day of the year except major holidays, this Florida state park provides guided tours of the main buildings at regular points throughout the day. Aside from this, visitors can check out its beautiful gardens, enjoy a picnic or explore a couple of hiking trails that lead in two different directions from the house.

For fans of her books or those who just enjoy reading, the park is a destination of cultural and literary significance. Indeed many of her works were about her home and surrounding area. So a visit here provides you with a way to connect with her spirit.

Activities

The grounds of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park are open from 9 am to 5 pm every day.

Visitors can enjoy a range of activities during their time there. Below is a brief overview of what you can do.

House tours at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

One of the main reasons for coming to the park is to go on a house tour.

These tours start off at the barn, then proceed through the farmyard before entering the historic property.

The home itself is a wooden-framed, single-story, rambling type of structure, whose central core takes the form of a dogtrot house that dates back to the 19th century.

During the tour, your guide will relate interesting facts and tidbits about Rawlings’ life, the local area, her books and what life was like living in a farm in the 1930s.

Tours of the house’s interior start at 11 am, 1 pm and 2 pm and 3 pm from Thursday through to Sunday. They are limited to just 20 people at a time, so have a nice intimate feel to them.

Gardens at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

Close to the cracker farmhouse there is a lovely set of gardens you can explore.

Featuring ornamental plants that were cultivated by Rawlings, this area is resplendent with flowers, herbs and vegetables. Most of which are grown during the months of spring and fall.

Surrounding the house lies a beautiful grove of citrus including tangerine, orange and grapefruit trees. This is a pleasant feature to check out too, if you have the time.

Hiking at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

As well as the gardens, the property has a couple of hiking trails that will lead you into the woods.

The most popular of the two is the East Grove Trail. Beginning from the front of the house, this wide trail takes you through a picturesque hammock.

From the rear of the house, a narrower jungle trail will guide to a citrus grove via a forest of ferns.

Both of these trails will take you about 15 minutes to traverse.

Geo-Seeking at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

Within the park there is a hidden box in the farmyard waiting to be discovered by geocachers.

Fans of this pastime can visit the park with the intention of finding it. To do so you will need to download the location coordinates onto your handheld device and use them to guide you to the loot.

Once you have found some, be sure to replace it with a stash of your own for the next person to find.

When geocaching, you would be well advised to keep an eye out for the sprinklers dotted around the gardens, as these can go off at any time. Many poor geoseekers have been caught out by them in the past. Much to the amusement of onlookers!

Pets at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

You can bring your dog with you to the park, although they must be restrained on a 6-foot leash at all times.

Should you decide to embark on a house tour, you must carry your pet by hand.

Some other restrictions on their presence may apply. So it would be a good idea to call the park’s main office for further clarification should you need it.

Camping at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

There are no camping options available at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park.

However, for those who need to stay at a campground overnight in order to visit it, there are several options available within easy driving distance.

This includes Twin Lakes Fishing & Camping, Kate’s Fish Camp and Puc Puggy. All of which feature camping options that range from cabins and full hookups for RVs and trailers to primitive, youth and group sites.

Depending on which one you stay at, amenities may include flush toilets and hot showers, a swimming pool, playground, dump station and convenience store.

Accessible Amenities at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

To ensure their visitor experience is as good as it can be, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park provides a range of accessible amenities.

For a start all the grounds around the property are accessible. In addition, a full color display of the home’s interior, is available outside the home.

You can also watch a guided tour of the home at the barn on a LCD TV and there are several interpretive exhibits you can check out too.

The staff within the park are also very courteous and professional, and only too happy to provide you with the assistance you need.

Park Location

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 S, Co Rd 325
Cross Creek, FL 32640
Phone: 352.466.3672

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park: