Camp Milton Historic Preserve

Just across the street from the Halsema Rd access for the Baldwin Rail Trail lies Camp Milton – roughly the midpoint of the trail.

Camp Milton, a Confederate Army encampment during the American Civil War, played a pivotal role in the region’s history. It was established in 1862 and served as a strategic location for the Confederate forces. The camp’s primary purpose was to protect the nearby railroad junction and provide a base for launching attacks against Union forces. The Jacksonville area itself didn’t see much major military conflict during the war, so this encampment was left relatively undisturbed.

Directly off the entrance and parking lot is a large quiet field and the trailhead the splits into a couple of easy and short trails, each leading to a different feature of the park.

To the right, the trail becomes a boardwalk through the thick pine forest. The trail loops around the remnants of the earthworks – defensive fortifications dug out next to the camp. Several information boards describe the features on each side.

Continuing further from the parking lot, the trail leads you to the farmhouse and cabin, along with a historical perspective of each. Toward the back side of the park, a bridge crosses McGirts creek and leads back to the Baldwin trail.

Circling back toward the entrance is a paved loop around a small arboretum area – each tree contains some historical significance from the Civil War, and markers at each provide the reason why. The park itself is a quiet place for a walk, and a great place to access the Baldwin trail near its midpoint. More information can be found here.