Gainesville’s neighborhoods are rich in trails, parks, and other outdoor recreational opportunities, and Blues Creek in no exception. Come along as we tour the community’s top 5 green amenities.
1. Blues Creek Ravine
Blues Creek Ravine is a well-kept local secret. Tucked away on NW 71st Street, the publicly accessible part of the preserve is a great place to walk the dog, enjoy a relaxing forest bath or a vigorous hike. It’s about a 30 minute hike through the marked loop trail.
The land is managed by Alachua Conservation Trust, which keeps it as an almost pristine example of a North Florida upland habitat. The preserve gives harbor to the threatened crane fly orchid and southern lady fern.
To get there, park in the grass on the right-of-way of NW 71st Street and walk down NW 69th Avenue. Don’t worry about the “Private Road” sign; you’re permitted to walk down the road to get access to the preserve entrance. The park opens up to a beautiful upland pine habitat and elevated views of the creek, which winds its way through the ravine.
Entrance fee: free
2. San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
This sprawling nature preserve offers serene walks through wetlands and mature forests, as well as outdoor adventures for horseback riders and off-road cyclists. Two-thirds of the park is set aside for hiking only, to maintain the delicate hammock ecosystem and ensure a true wilderness experience for human visitors.
- The hiking trailhead is located 4 miles NW of Gainesville on State Rd 232 at 11101 Millhopper Rd
- The horseback and bicycle trailheads are located just south of Alachua off US 441.
Entrance fee: $4 per vehicle, $2 for pedestrians and cyclists
3. Turkey Creek Golf Club
Turkey Creek, a 1,1000-acre golf development on the edge of San Felasco State Park, is experiencing a renaissance thanks to volunteer efforts to restore Turkey Creek Golf Club to its former glory. Golf Digest wrote about the Miracle at Turkey Creek earlier this year.
The golf club offers free introductory clinics led by PGA pros for adults of all ages. Lessons for the kids start in early spring. Monthly tournaments are an occasion for the community to come together and engage in some friendly competition.
Entrance fee: $10 for 9-holes on weekday, $20 for 18-holes on weekend
4. Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
A short drive from Blues Creek, Devil’s Millhopper is an iconic Gainesville landmark. Fed by little waterfalls and slow-moving creeks, the sinkhole at the heart of this park nourishes an ecosystem found in very few other places in the world.
It gets cooler and quieter as you descend the 132 steps of the boardwalk, while the vegetation becomes more lush. Even during the hottest summer months, Devils Millhopper is an oasis of cool and tranquility. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the fox sparrow, grey treefrog and golden-banded skipper.
Entrance fee: $4 per vehicle, up to 8 visitors. $2 pedestrians and bicyclists.
5. Family Fun at Possum Creek
Set on 76 acres, Possum Creek features the best skate park in Gainesville, a playground, a nature trail, and a dog park. The dog area is fully-fenced, well maintained and offers a water bowl and kiddie pool for your fur babies to splash around in.
There are also two huge open fields with mobile soccer goals. There’s something for everyone at Possum Creek, making it one of the best urban parks in Gainesville.
Entrance fee: free