By  Mike Miller  Updated April 4, 2024

Quiet little towns like Cross Creek are getting harder to find in the fast growing state of Florida. 

Cross Creek is on SR-325 between Gainesville and Ocala.  It rests quietly between US-301 and US-441, major north-south Florida highways.

Road into Cross Creek in 1965Road into Cross Creek in 1965
Florida Memory

You'll enjoy the rustic drive through old canopied oaks draped with Spanish Moss. You will come to the community of Cross Creek, nestled on the creek between Orange Lake and Lockloosa Lake.

You will be in the heart of Old Florida and among some of the neatest country Florida back roads in the entire state.

Most Florida tourists don't get off the major highways to poke around in Cross Creek or other small Florida towns. They are missing a treasure.

Cross Creek is famous far beyond other small Florida places because author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived there for many years.

She wrote many of her stories while living there, including the Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Yearling".

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings immortalized Cross Creek and its people.

She moved to Cross Creek in 1928. She was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and had been living in New York. 

Sign at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Park in Cross CreekSign at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Park in Cross Creek
Flickr/Paul Comstock

She immediately fell in love with the isolation of Cross Creek. She felt like she was home for the first time in her life.

The Florida Crackers who lived in the area became not just her friends, but the subjects of her books.

Her personal memoir, "Cross Creek", was made into the 1983 film of the same name starring Mary Steenburgen and Rip Torn.  

Her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "The Yearling" was made into the 1946 film of the same name. It starred Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman and Claude Jarman, Jr.

Tenants House at Rawlings Home in Cross CreekTenants House at Rawlings Home in Cross Creek
Flickr/Denise Olson

Marjorie liked visiting nearby Gainesville and St. Augustine, and had a cottage on the ocean in Crescent Beach south of St. Augustine Beach.

She married Norton Baskin and they owned a hotel in the Ancient City.

Ripley's Believe or Not is now in the building. Believe it or not.

My Personal Cross Creek Story

I have been to Cross Creek many times, but the trip I remember most clearly was on July 20, 1969. That was when the Crew of Apollo 11 made their historic landing on the moon.

I had been returning to Tampa from Jacksonville on a business trip, and parked my car by the side of the road among huge old oaks draped with Spanish moss.  

The historic moon landing was being broadcast from my car radio.  I stood next to my car and listened to the voices on the radio.

The full moon was in the eastern sky. The darkness of this Florida place made the lunar surface seem eerily bright and close.  

The moonlight bathed the old Florida cracker house across the road, the house where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived when she wrote South Moon UnderThe Yearling and Cross Creek.

Cross Creek, Florida.  Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings HouseMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings Home In Cross Creek, Florida

As I looked at the moon and heard the crackling words of Neil Armstrong, I imagined I could hear the faint clicking of Marjorie's typewriter coming from the front porch of her house.

The throaty croaking of frogs and the squawking of fishing night birds drifted in the sultry night air.

The contrast between the modern accomplishments of the space program and the unchanged old natural feeling of Cross Creek has remained in my mind as the turning point in Florida's headlong rush into development and over population.

These beautiful little old Florida towns and places are a vanishing species.  Cross Creek remains Old Florida. A place of fish camps and cypress trees, oaks and Spanish Moss.

Cross Creek Fishing DockCross Creek Fishing Dock

Marjories's house is still the big attraction in Cross Creek. It is lovingly preserved by dedicated people and looks much like it did in Marjorie's time. It has been preserved forever as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park.


The Yearling Restaurant has some rustic small cottages that are a good place to relax and spend some time in the heart of Cross Creek.

Cabins at the Yearling Restaurant, Cross CreekCabins at the Yearling Restaurant, Cross Creek

If you intend to stay overnight and explore the area, I also recommend the Herlong Mansion Bed and Breakfast in nearby Micanopy.

It is a beautiful old restored mansion in a lovely little town west of Cross Creek.

Herlong Mansion B&B, Micanopy, FloridaHerlong Mansion B&B, Micanopy, Florida

Micanopy is a Florida town with an interesting history. That history includes Chief Micanopy who was the chief of the Seminole Nation during the 2nd Seminole War from 1835-1842.

If you plan to stay in nearby Gainesville, I recommend that you stay at Magnolia Plantation, 309 SE 7th St, Gainesville, FL 32601. Tel: 352-375-6653.

Magnolia Plantation B&B, GainesvilleMagnolia Plantation B&B, Gainesville

Longtime friends of mine, Joe and Cindy Montalto own this lovely Victorian bed and breakfast with 14 guest rooms each with private bath.

It is in the heart of my favorite university town with plenty to see and do.


Mrs. Rawlings and her husband, Norton Baskin, are buried in the old Antioch Cemetery just northeast of Island Grove.  Her fans keep putting deer statues on her grave to memorialize "The Yearling."

Some of her Florida Cracker neighbors are also there, including ones mentioned in her books. These include Zelma Cason, Tom Morrison, Chet Crosby and Berney Bass.

Micanopy, Evinston, Cross Creek, Antioch Cemetery

To get to the cemetery leave Cross Creek and go east to US-301 and cross over to SE 219 Avenue.  

Continue east on SE 219 Avenue for about 2 miles to SE 225 Drive, an unpaved road that can be pretty rough sometimes. Especially in small cars like the ones I drive.

Keep following this road until you reach SE 189 Avenue.  The cemetery is just to your right.

Majorie Kinnan Rawlings Grave Near Cross Creek, FloridaMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings Grave, Antioch Cemetery, Island Grove, Florida


Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park 18700 S. CR 325 Cross Creek, FL 32640. Tel: 352-466-3672.

Wood and Swink Store in Evinston FloridaWood and Swink General Store, Evinston, Florida

Visit the old Wood & Swink General Store in nearby Evinston.

Recommended Restaurant


14501 East County Road 325
Hawthorne, Florida 32640
Tel: 352-466-3999

The Yearling is the best place to eat in Cross Creek. There may be other places, but I haven't tried them. 

The Yearling Restaurant, Cross Creek

This rustic old place has been a Florida dining legend since 1952.

For many years, with some interruptions, this quaint dining place served thousands of hungry Florida Gator fans, including me. 

It was a tradition for many of us Gator faithful who would stop in after a University of Florida football game in Gainesville on our separate ways back to Orlando, Tampa, and other Florida towns south of Gainesville.



Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park 
18700 S. County Road 325, Cross Creek, FL 32640 | (352) 466-3672 
Step back in time at the former home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. This well-preserved homestead, where Rawlings wrote classics such as "The Yearling," offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of Florida's most beloved authors.

The park's guided tours provide an intimate look at Rawlings' life and work, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Florida landscape that inspired her. Picnic tables are available and dogs are welcome. 

Cross Creek Fishing 
Cross Creek, FL 32640 
Cross Creek is a fisherman's paradise, offering some of the best bass fishing in Florida. The creek, which connects Orange Lake to Lochloosa Lake, is teeming with largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill.

Rent a boat or fish from the shore to experience the peaceful joy of fishing in these pristine waters. It’s a perfect activity for those seeking relaxation and a chance to connect with nature. 
Herlong Mansion Bed and Breakfast 
402 NE Cholokka Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667 | (352) 466-3322 
I recommended this Bed and Breakfast earlier on this page. Built in 1845, Herlong Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Breakfast is served every morning as well as platters of home-baked cookies and wine in the evenings. They have charming swing beds on the second floor veranda for your relaxation. 

Lochloosa Lake 
5 miles south of Hawthorne, US Hwy 301, Cross Creek, FL  
Lochloosa Lake is one of the few remaining unspoiled lakes in Florida and a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The lake and its surrounding areas are perfect for bird watching, with a chance to see eagles, ospreys, and herons.

Bring your kayak or canoe for a peaceful paddle through the lake's tranquil waters, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. It’s an ideal spot for those seeking solitude and a deep connection with nature. 

Marjorie A. Hoy Memorial Park at Orange Lake Overlook 
19865 US-441, McIntosh, FL 32667 | (352) 373-1078 
Located just south of McIntosh, FL on U.S. 441 less than 11 miles away, Orange Lake offers stunning views, especially at sunset. The overlook provides a panoramic vista of the lake, making it an ideal location for photographers or anyone who appreciates the beauty of a Florida sunset.

Leashed dogs are welcome. The walking trails are unpaved and include steep inclines and declines perfect for exercise. 

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park 
100 Savannah Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667 | (352) 466-3397 
Just about 10 miles from Cross Creek in Micanopy, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park offers a unique outdoor experience with its diverse ecosystems and rich history. The park's trails, including the La Chua Trail, provide opportunities to see wild horses, bison, and a variety of bird species.

It’s a must-visit for nature lovers looking to explore one of Florida's most significant natural landmarks. 


From US-301, drive west from the little town of Island Grove.

From US-441, drive east from the crossroads of SR-346 and US-441 near Micanopy. Drive east on SR-346 until you come to SR-325, then go south to Cross Creek.

The Google map below will help you find the way.


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