If you love Florida hikes, this is a MUST-DO trail for you
Florida is such a unique place to hike in. Because there are no mountains and very few hills, your hikes won’t include much of an incline. This means that finding the perfect trail can sometimes become difficult. However, I think I’ve discovered the BEST Trail in Florida, and it’s located right outside of Gainesville for all of you University of Florida fans out there.
What I love about this trail is that it has everything that you could want in a Florida trail. There is the occasional incline, multiple paths, swamps, beautiful trees, wildlife, creeks, and more! We did this amazing trail in February and the weather was perfect.
This trail is located only 15 minutes from UF’s main campus making it the closest AND best trail near Gainesville. In order to get to this nature preserve, you will take State Highway 232 to San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. There is plenty of parking there and even more trails across the street. The trails are well marked with blazes, which is important as the path often gets flooded. My advice: wear waterproof boots when hiking this trail. Being close to nature in Florida usually means being knee deep in a swamp. Be prepared for a little more water on the trail than you might expect. All in all, I would give this trail a 10/10 rating and the award-winning (meaning my own judgement awards lol) title of the best trail near Gainesville and in Florida! Go check it out for yourself.
There are a few options for lengths of this trail depending on the distance you feel like walking.
- South Side Nature Trail (1 Mile Loop)
- Creek Sink Trail (1.25 Mile Loop) Connects with South Side Nature Trail to make a 2.25 mile loop
- Old Spanish Way Trail (4.8 Mile Loop)- Starts across the road. Goes by sinkholes
- Spring Grove Trail (5.6 Mile Loop)- This one starts across the road from the parking lot
Side note: There is a $4 dollar fee (Cash) that you can drop in a box when you get there.
Read More: San Felasco State Park